3 Traditional Irish Drinks to Try for St. Patrick’s Day


By Emma Creighton

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We know you’re probably celebrating with a few pitchers of green beer somewhere, but if you’re looking for something different to drink today, look no further than these three traditional Irish drinks!

Irish Coffee st patricks day

Irish Coffee – For the Cultured Irish  

Invented by Joe Sheridan one winter night in 1942. Joe was a cook in the city of Foynes in West Ireland. Foynes was an airbase near Limerick and hosted many travelers. That cold night in 1942 Joe Sheridan came up with the drink to warm up some weary travelers. It had such a positive response it became a regular item on his menu and is now recognized internationally.

Here is Joe’s original recipe:

Cream, Rich as an Irish Brogue

Coffee, Strong as a Friendly Hand

Sugar, Sweet as the tongue of a Rogue

Whiskey, Smooth as the Wit of the Land.

Brew a cup of coffee dark and strong then stir in a spoon of sugar (I prefer brown sugar). Then add a shot of your favorite whiskey, I recommend Jameson Irish whiskey for full authenticity. Top off your drink with a big scoop of heavy cream or whipped cream to make it extra thick!

Guinness st patricks day

Guinness – For the Traditional Irish

Guinness is easily the most famous Irish alcoholic beverage and for good reason too! It has been around longer than the United States have been a country. It was first brewed by a man named Arthur Guinness in 1759 in Dublin, Ireland. At first it started as a Dublin Ale, but eventually diversified into a porter. This was revolutionary as it was one of the first porters and was characterized by its dark color.

Guinness is just as much of a symbol of Ireland as the shamrock is. Pouring it is considered a special skill. A “perfect pour” should take 119.5 seconds while being poured at a degree of 45 degrees. Any Irishman would be horrified to see it poured any other way.

If you’re ever in Ireland, simply walk into any bar and ask for the good stuff and you’ll be handed a pint of Guinness.

The Irish Car Bomb – For the Competitive Irish

The Irish Car Bomb is a pretty simple shot. And yes it is a shot, even though it includes drinking a pint of Guinness! However, the name of the drink is not so simple, and is in fact quite controversial. The name Irish Car Bomb is in reference to the extreme tactics used by the Provisional Republic Irish Army (a.k.a the IRA). The IRA was a series of movements in Ireland during the 20th and 21st centuries dedicated to Irish republicanism. For centuries Ireland suffered until British rule. Today, the majority of Ireland is independent, except for Northern Ireland which is still apart of Britain. Tensions still exist especially between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland.

But basically the Irish Car Bomb encompasses every key Irish drink and liquor you should be consuming on St. Patrick’s Day.  Remember to drink fast.. it is a shot after all.  Here’s your recipe:


Guinness Stout

Jameson Irish Whiskey

Baileys Irish Cream

* Kahlua (Part of the original recipe, but is often left out)


  1. Fill your pint glass 3/4 the way with Guinness
  2. Fill the shot glass halfway with Jameson
  3. Fill the rest of the shot glass with Baileys (and/or Kahlua)
  4. Quickly drop the shot glass into the pint glass
  5. Chug! Chug! Chug!

And finally, St. Patrick’s Day wouldn’t be complete without a quick Irish saying. Cheers!

Here’s to a long life and a merry one. A quick death and an easy one. A pretty girl and an honest one. A cold pint and another one! 

Photography by Maggie Russell