St. Patrick’s Day: the day when everyone is a little bit Irish. Outside of New Year’s Eve, there are few other holidays so focused on the act of celebration itself, especially on a global scale. While St. Patrick’s Day is considered a national holiday in Ireland, it’s just as big in America. One survey by WalletHub found that 54% of the population plans to participate in the day’s festivities. And with the emergence of a wide variety of high-quality canned alcoholic cocktails, you can take the party wherever you go.
And while beverages are a central component, St. Patrick’s Day is about more than just the drinks. There is also food and tradition to consider, all set against the backdrop of Ireland’s rich culture and heritage.
Canned Alcoholic Cocktails and the History of St. Patrick’s Day
For much of the Western World, St. Patrick’s Day has become a cultural phenomenon. In fact, today’s celebrations have strayed so far from their origins that the city of Chicago has dyed the Chicago River green every St. Patty’s day for the last sixty-plus years.
But how did a religious holiday become a modern-day celebration? How did we go from a deeply ingrained Catholic tradition to canned alcoholic cocktails and dyed-green rivers?
The Legend of St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day, which falls on March 17th, dates back more than 1,000 years. In its original form, the holiday served as a celebration of Ireland’s patron saint, the titular St. Patrick. March 17th marks the date of his death, which was sometime around the year 500 A.D.
While the legend of St. Patrick has been aggrandized over the years, he was initially credited with bringing Christianity to the country. In some stories, he rids the isle of snakes, who were biblically synonymous with evil. In others, he explained the difficult calculus of “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,” using the shamrock to illustrate his point.
Regardless of legends, myths, and religious beliefs, the people of Ireland lionized him after his death. In fact, St. Patrick’s Day was originally considered a break from lent, in which the Isle’s parishioners celebrated and indulged for a single evening. This religious “cheat day” helps bridge the gap between traditional celebration and modern-day revelry, where parades, good food, and signature drinks such as canned alcoholic cocktails are the norm.
A Global Celebration
St. Patrick’s Day is a prime example of cultural exchange. Cities and towns of all shapes and sizes hold special events on the 17th, like green-themed parties and extravagant parades. What makes St. Patty’s Day so unique is the fact that celebratory elements are both common and authentic in a variety of contexts. For example, it’s routine to see kilted bagpipe players perform traditional music, to experience a Guinness toast at your local bar, or to enjoy signature cuisines such as boiled ham and cabbage.
According to the WalletHub article referenced above, alcoholic beverage sales skyrocket on St. Patty’s day, with liquor sales increasing by 153%. The holiday is big business for all kinds of commerce, with Americans spending a total of $5.87 billion in celebration.
In terms of consumption, St. Patrick’s Day is third in popularity, with the average celebrant drinking an average of four drinks. Don’t forget the food, though! Just over a third (34%) of all Americans plan to prepare some kind of traditional Irish meal this St. Patrick’s Day, which is the perfect entry point for our canned alcoholic cocktail and meal pairing guide.
Food, Drink, and Fun: Five Canned Alcoholic Cocktails to Pair with Your Holiday Cuisine
There are dozens of traditional foods, recipes, and drinks associated with the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. Some of the most popular include favorites like corned beef and cabbage or Irish soda bread. Regardless of the delicacy you decide on to celebrate this day, you’ll need a great drink to go with it. To get you started, here are five of the most common dishes served on St. Patrick’s Day alongside their ideal canned alcoholic cocktail pairing.
Corned Beef and Cabbage
There’s no food more emblematic of Ireland and its holidays than corned beef and cabbage. What most people don’t realize is that corned beef isn’t commonly served in Ireland itself but instead is a product of the Irish expatriate community that arose in the 1800s. Irish immigrants found the cost of brisket to be cheap in the US, propelling it to dietary prominence.
Corned beef is a type of slow-cooked and heavily marinated brisket that can be made in various ways, including via slow cooker or simmered all day on the stove. It gets the “corned” title from the large amount of spices, namely salt and pepper, that are used to cure and ultimately flavor the meat.
When paired with cabbage, which grows easily and is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, you have a delicious, Irish-American staple. What’s the best way to enjoy this rich and flavorful meat-based dish? With a side of whiskey, of course!
Related: What’s a Vodka Gimlet Made Out Of?
For a quick, easy, yet sophisticated canned alcoholic cocktail option, we recommend pairing your corned beef with an old fashioned this St. Patty’s Day. With a blend of straight bourbon whiskey, bitters, demerara syrup, and orange zest, the heavy-hitting old fashioned is the perfect compliment to your traditional St. Patty’s cuisine.
Guinness Beef Stew
If you’re in the mood for a hearty dish this St. Patrick’s Day, look no further than Guinness beef stew. For beer aficionados, Guinness is the St. Patty’s Day drink. Adding it to a rotation of typical stew ingredients creates a warm, filling bowl guaranteed to stick to your bones. With a little freshly baked bread on the side, you have got the perfect dish to see your way through winter’s final days.
Guinness stew has a rich and complex taste, so we recommend pairing it with a cocktail at the other end of the spectrum. The 52-proof southside provides the perfect compliment to the stew’s heartiness with its blend of gin, lime juice, sugar, and mint. Choose a bar-quality canned southside cocktail to make the pairing smooth and easy.
Colcannon is perfect as both a signature entree and a side dish. For those unfamiliar, colcannon, also known as “Irish mashed potatoes,” is a creamy and delectable version of the American staple, infused with shredded cabbage and other vegetables. Every chef you meet has their own signature way to make colcannon, but the end result is always the same: delicious!
How do you top the perfect St. Patty’s Day comfort snack? With something light and refreshing. While a wide range of canned alcoholic cocktails goes well with colcannon, we recommend trying a vodka gimlet.
The breezy, easily drinkable mix of vodka, 100% real lime juice, sugar, and lemongrass pairs perfectly with colcannon’s cabbage accents. You’ll find yourself coming back for seconds—or even thirds—on both.
Not all traditional Irish cuisine is as rich and hearty as corned beef or Guinness stew. If you’re in the mood for a light side dish or standalone snack, Irish soda bread is the perfect companion to a long day of celebration.
Soda bread is unique because it doesn’t require yeast. Instead, this simple yet delicious bread is made using baking soda as leavening. Because it doesn’t need to be worked or to rise, soda bread bakes quickly. The result is a delectable, snack-worthy treat.
We recommend pairing soda bread with a canned cocktail that’s both fun and complex, such as the cosmopolitan. Made with vodka, 100% real lime juice and cranberry juice, and orange curacao, the cosmopolitan features a mix of both sweet and tart flavors. This combination serves as an ideal pairing to serve with soda bread as it both compliments and offsets the bread’s tart, dry flavor.
Let’s end our list with another hearty Irish offering: shepherd’s pie.
Shepherd’s pie is a combination of either minced lamb or beef and vegetables such as peas and carrots. The pie filling is topped with mashed potatoes and baked until golden brown to create an all-in-one dish built to satisfy any hunger.
So what do you pair with a dish like this? The espresso martini. The espresso martini is the perfect pairing with its rich, dark flavor notes of 100% Arabica cold brewed coffee, coffee liqueur, and vodka. The substance of both the pie and the canned alcoholic cocktail is the ideal way to break from lent or simply celebrate one of Ireland’s most important holidays, and the caffeine in your cocktail might even keep you going through that food coma.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day With a Canned Alcoholic Cocktail
St. Patty’s day is a holiday steeped in equal parts mythology and equal parts tradition. For St. Patrick’s Day 2023, wear your green proudly, indulge in good food and even better drinks, and celebrate wherever the party takes you with Post Meridiem’s line of high-quality canned cocktails. With zero artificial ingredients and perfect, bar-quality proportions, it’s the ultimate addition to your St. Patrick’s Day traditions. Visit us online to find your favorite cocktail and experience the taste for yourself.