By Nick BeJeaux
St. Patrick’s Day is a day to celebrate Irish culture and it’s many contributions to the world: limericks, JFK, James Joyce, and (probably the only one you care about) Irish Whiskey, or uisce beatha in Irish Gaelic . For you non-catholic’s, it is also a day that Lenten restrictions on food and alcohol are lifted which is why the holiday is known as a party day with lots of food and drink. In keeping with this tradition, we’ve found four drinks right here in Baton Rouge that draw inspiration from one of the oldest distilled spirits in the world to help make the most out of your St. Patrick’s Day.
Irish Coffee at Capital City Grill for $7
If you’re a fan of warm drinks, Irish coffee is a great choice for celebrating St. Patricks Day. Irish Coffee is a drink that is very easy to find and usually enjoyed after dinner, but it could very well be enjoyed during brunch as well. However, what makes the Irish Coffee at CCG so great it the house-made chantilly cream on top. It’s sweet and thick; it slowly melts into the coffee but leaves a soft whipped cream-like layer over the top (mustache enthusiasts be advised). This, along with brown sugar and freshly-brewed coffee, cuts the heat of the Jameson but leaves enough bite to remind you you’re enjoying a strong cocktail. Many restaurants serve this drink with Bailey’s, and CCG will do so upon request, but the original recipe (and arguably the best way to enjoy it) is without Irish Cream. If you’re feeling decorative, you can also request green sugar sprinkled over the cream.
The Battle For The UK at Olive Or Twist for $11
Beefeater Gin, Monkey Shoulder Scotch, Black Barrel Jameson, lemon, honey, thyme and fig preserves combine for a drink you will not soon forget. Despite having three spirits in it, this cocktail has (relatively) very little heat, thanks to the sweetness of the lemon, honey and fig. The thyme is the conductor of this remarkable ensemble, allowing the flavors of the gin, scotch, and whiskey to not only come out, but play together very well. Served in a goblet and garnished with a dried fig, it’s as eye catching as it is delicious.
The Emerald Isle Martini at Duvic’s for $8
Perhaps the sweetest drink on this list, The Emerald Isle is a special rendition of the Mint Chocolate Chip Martini Duvic’s carries year-round. Though technically a drink, we recommend ordering it as a dessert after ordering any of the remarkable small plates available at Duvic’s. Three Olives Vanilla vodka, dark Creme de Menthe, Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur, and Baylee’s Irish Cream come together to make this cool, velvety martini. A little semi-sweet chocolate drizzle cuts the sweetness just a tad and is enough to balance the mintiness of the drink, creating that Thin Mint taste every girl scout cookie addict fiends for.
The Bee Sting Smash at Lock and Key Whiskey Bar for $10
Lock and Key is famous for their whiskey cocktails, so it’s no surprise they can take a beautiful thing like Irish Whiskey and turn it into something truly stunning. The Bee Sting Smash is a drink that was created last year in celebration of St. PAtrick’s Day and it was a huge hit. Made with Paddy’s Bee Sting Whiskey (which is made with honey), ginger simple syrup, lemon and mint, this cocktails offers a remarkably balanced but unforgettable experience. Ginger, lemon and mint were made for each other, but with the Bee Sting whiskey, they transform into a floral, light drink with absolutely no heat coming from the booze. It’s served in a tumbler glass and garnish with a mint leave, but after one or two you’ll probably be asking your bartender to fill up a stein – it’s that good.