The Refined St. Patrick's Day Drinking Guide - IMBOLDN
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There’s an unfortunate mythology lurking around St. Patrick’s Day that suggests celebrants have to lie down in the gutter with only your empty pint glass for company before the day is out. Utter nonsense. Paddy’s Day originally commemorated the arrival of Christianity in Ireland and St. Patrick himself, but it has evolved into a huge, worldwide festival honoring Irish culture and heritage.

From hornpipes to ceilis, boxty to beer (you didn’t think we’d ignore Guinness altogether, did you?), there’s a lot to appreciate on March 17, but this year let’s try doing it with a little style.

The Perfect Irish Breakfast

Start your St. Patrick’s Day off on the right foot with a full Irish breakfast. You’ll need the essentials:

  • Rashers (Irish bacon)
  • Sausages
  • Eggs (preferably fried or scrambled)
  • White and black pudding
  • Fried tomatoes and mushrooms
  • Toast

The exact makeup up of this hearty, flavorful meal differs from county to county and even house to house (some add baked beans while others swap toast out for scones or brown bread), but you’ll definitely need a pot of good Irish tea and a few extra special treats like some Mileeven Honey with Jameson Irish Whiskey for drizzling and Kerrygold Butter to put on, well, everything.

High-Quality Whiskey

Whiskey is known as uisce beatha in Ireland, or “water of life.” Though first evidence of the spirit on the island can be traced back to the early 1400s, the first licensed distillery didn’t pop up until 1608 when Old Bushmills opened its doors in County Antrim. Choosing a favorite whiskey is a deeply personal thing, but here are a few we can happily recommend (especially if we’re invited to share):

  • Jameson 18-Year Limited Reserve: Pricey and worth every penny, this mellow, mature whiskey is smooth and supple with a hint of vanilla, wood, leather, and spice, and a ton of complexity.
  • Redbreast 12-Year Irish Whiskey: A slighter sweeter tasted on aged whiskey, the 12-year Redbreast is full of candied orange, brown sugar biscuits, and toasted oak, with a bit of spice and citrus to help round things out.
  • Bushmills 16-Year Single Malt Whiskey: Bushmills matures this single-malt in bourbon, sherry, and port wood casks for an extra complex bouquet bursting with everything from red fruit to chocolate. If you like a less wood and leather-forward whiskey that still has plenty of character, this one’s for you.
  • West Cork Glengarriff Series Peat Charred Cask: Smoky, mysterious, yet still slightly sweet, this innovative take on Irish whiskey melds the darkly bitter aroma of a bonfire with everything from cocoa to citrus.

Classy Glassware

Red Solo cups are for college kids. Pour your booze into a classier vessel and not only will it taste better, you’ll be less inclined to toss your glass at the wall when you hear “Danny Boy” for the hundredth time in 24 hours.

The Baccarat 4 Elements Glassware Collection is designed around the four elements—air, fire, wind, and water—each represented not only in the physical process of making the glassware but also in the aesthetics. From the signature red Baccarat packaging to the sleek lines and etching of each vessel to the accompanying recipe book, this is a St. Patrick’s Day gift worthy of a spot in your home collection.

After you invest in one of those incredible whiskeys above, put your purchase in a place of honor. The Okann Lead Crystal Decanter comes with its own custom black marble coaster, both made in Waterford and featuring incredible craftsmanship that will easily turn this buy into a family heirloom.

Whether you like your coffee with brown sugar, Irish whiskey, and whipped heavy cream or served with a generous dollop of Baileys, you need something better than a mere mug to do your drink justice. Enter this pair of Villeroy & Boch coffee mugs. They’re thoroughly modern yet made to last, with a room 15-ounce capacity and doubled-walled glass sides that keep the heat in so you can sip on your brew while you watch the parade or enjoy a chat after you polish off that big bacon and cabbage or roast lamb and colcannon dinner.

“The Pure Drop”

That’s what the Irish call their traditional music—not U2 or Sinead O’Connor, but brilliant instrumentalists and singers that pass down reels and slow airs from generation to generation. You know Riverdance and you may have moshed to Dropkick Murphys more than once in your life, but that’s not at all what we’re talking about here.

You know Riverdance and you may have moshed to Dropkick Murphys more than once in your life, but that’s not at all what we’re talking about here.

Bands like Altan, Dervish, and Danu infuse songs and tunes that are sometimes centuries old with new energy, while other groups like Solas and We Banjo 3 stretch the boundaries of traditional while still honoring the spirit and melodies at the very heart of each piece.

If it’s a sing-song you’re after, you need to load up your playlist with hits from The Irish Rovers and Makem & Clancy—this is real Irish music without a green alligator or Lord of the Dance in sight.

Accessories and Such

If you’re the kind of whiskey drinker who prefers liquor slightly chilled, check out the Corkcicle Whiskey Wedge. This innovative silicone mold fits right over your glass; just fill the form with water, freeze, and then remove the mold. The result is a slow-melting ice wedge that keeps your drink cold without ruthlessly diluting all that deliciousness.

Stuck on having your two cubes with every pour? No problem. The Nambe Scoop Ice Bucket is a work of art that doubles as a stainless-steel ice receptacle. It’s practical, it’s pretty, and it’s just what you need to keep your St. Patrick’s Day drinks cool.