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Festive Irish Drinks: Suggested Beers and Shooter Recipes

Veronica Roberts is a work-from-home mom with a variety of interests, including food, drinks, antiques, and nature.

Learn about some Irish beer brands, and see recipes for shooters like the Cement Mixer and the Irish Gold.

Learn about some Irish beer brands, and see recipes for shooters like the Cement Mixer and the Irish Gold.

Yes, it is tradition, both abroad and in the United States, to drink and drink some more on St. Paddy's Day (March 17). Many bars offer "eggs and kegs" with Irish coffee first thing in the morn' on St. Patrick's Day. Then, they continue with drink specials, green beer, dancing, Irish cocktails, Irish shots, drinking songs, contests, and crazy green attire.

Whether you are hosting a party or going out with friends, keep in mind a few of these authentic Irish beers and shooters.

Guinness is a famous Irish beer.

Guinness is a famous Irish beer.

Irish Beers

We all have heard of Guinness, the dark, frothy goodness straight from Dublin. What about Magners? Here is a list of Irish beers that you should accustom yourself to—and maybe try—this St. Patty's Day. Go on down to your local Irish pub and have a taste. No matter your taste, the Irish have a beer for you!

  1. Guinness: A velvety, bittersweet mixture of hops and roasted barley. It is a bit of a heavy beer, but ask a true Irishman and he will tell you "Nah, it's just a beer!" Aside from the traditional, one can now try Foreign Extra Stout (7.2% alcohol content), Extra Stout, and Black Lager.
  2. Magners Irish Cider: Magners is made with 17 types of apples. Sweetand bubbly with a dash of sour, Magners is a great beer for those daring enough to try something different and bold. I prefer it on the rocks, with a splash of blackberry currant. I have yet to try Magners Pear, but it sounds delicious!
  3. Smithwicks: The "Superior Irish Ale", Smithwicks (pronounced "smid-icks") offers a slight hint of coffee with a sweetness from the ale, and bitterness from the hops. Smithwicks is now offered in a Pale Ale, with a light, floral and malt taste.
  4. Murphy's Irish Stout: Along with numbers 1-3, Murphy's is quite a popular Irish beer in the U.S. This one is much sweeter than Guinness and (next) Beamish. I consider it more of a dessert beer, or a "girly beer". Murphy's is like a shot of espresso in a glass of chocolate milk, topped with caramel cream. It is full of flavor! Murphy's is also available in Irish Red.
  5. Beamish Irish Stout: Using original Beamish yeast, the Irish Stout boasts flavors of caramel and coffee, with a barley bitter end.
  6. Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale: One of the eldest beers (older than the U.S.), Kilkenny's aroma is rich, but taste is similar to that of a Guinness mixed with a Smithwicks.

More Great Irish Beers

  • Kinsale Irish Lager
  • Ohara's Celtic Stout
  • Harp Lager
  • Killians Irish Red
  • Caffrey's Irish Ale
  • Moling's Traditional Celtic

American-Made Irish Beers

  • Samuel Adams Irish Red
  • Great Lakes Wolfhound Stout
  • Great Lakes Irish Red
  • Finnegans Irish Amber

Irish Shooters

Have you tried an Irish Flag or Fruity Irishman? There are countless shooters that the Irish drink, as there are equally countless liquors! Below are some well-known shots, as well as some you may wish to forget after trying (they're either just that good or pretty potent)!

  • After Dinner Mint: Pour 3/4 oz. of Kalhua into a shot glass. Layer 3/4 oz. Creme de Menthe, followed by 3/4 oz. Baileys.
  • Irish Slammer: In a shot glass, pour 1 oz. of Baileys Irish Cream. Layer 1 oz. of Jameson (whiskey) on top. In a separate pint glass, pour Guinness (about 2/3 of the way full). When ready to take the shot, drop the shot glass into the pint glass, and chug!
  • B-52: Pour 3/4 oz. of Kalhua into a shot glass and then gently layer 3/4 oz. of Baileys on top. Lastly, layer on 3/4 oz. of Cointreau (an orange liqueur).
  • Irish Flag: Layering is key with this shooter. Add 3/4 oz. Creme de Menthe to a shot glass. Add 3/4 oz. Irish Cream, followed by 3/4 oz. Grand Marnier.
  • Fruity Irishman: In a shaker, add 1.5 oz. Irish Cream with .5 oz. Midori (a melon liqueur). Shake and strain into a shot glass.
  • Cement Mixer: (This one is not my favorite!) In a shaker, combine 1 3/4 oz. Irish Cream and 1/4 oz. lime juice. Shake and strain into a shot glass. A fun variation is to pour 1 oz. of Baileys into your mouth, followed by 1 oz. of lime juice. Shake (as if using mouthwash) vigorously for a few seconds, and then swallow.
  • Southern Ireland: In a shot glass, add 1 oz. Baileys and 1 oz. Southern Comfort Peach Liqueur.
  • Baby Guinness: Pour 3/4 oz. of Kahlua into a shot glass. Hold a spoon over the glass, and pour 1/4 oz. Baileys onto the spoon, and let the Baileys ease onto the Kahlua. This will create the look of froth, like the head on a pint of Guinness.
  • Irish Gold: 1 oz. Bailey's Irish Cream. 1 oz. Goldschlager Cinnamon Schnapps. Add both to a shot glass (in any order).

Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and fat.

— Alex Levine

Irish Coffee Drinks

  • Irish Coffee is popular world wide. Simply add a shot of your favorite Irish whiskey to a cup of coffee! To be even more authentic, add a dash of brown sugar and heavy cream. Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon.
  • Baileys Irish Coffee: To make it, just simply pour a small shot (about 1 1/2 oz.) of Baileys into a coffee mug, and then add coffee. It is a delicious dessert drink to sip on while conversing.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Whatever you prefer to drink—whether whiskey, fancy shooters, or beer—the Irish have you covered! My favorites of the above listed are Magners, Smithwicks, and Baileys Irish Coffee. Back in the day, I probably had a favorite (or two) shooter, but these days, I settle for a beer to sip on, or some Baileys to accompany a piece of chocolate cake.