by Nicole Hvidsten - March 16, 2022
From coffee and cocktails to ice cream, it's your lucky day.
If it feels wrong to not raise a glass on St. Patrick's Day, there are plenty of options for staying in and going out, high-octane or spirit-free. No green beer required.
Pace yourself by starting at Claddagh Coffee in St. Paul (or sister cafe Wee Claddagh Coffee). The namesake The Claddagh warms from within with Irish cream, dark chocolate, espresso and steamed milk, or try one of our favorites, the Nutty Mick, which subs hazelnut flavors for the Irish cream. 459 W. 7th St., St. Paul; Wee Claddagh 612 Selby Av., St. Paul; claddagh-coffee.com
Brother Justus is leaning into nostalgia for its new specialty cocktail, the Shamrock Shimmy, which is inspired by the McDonald's Shamrock Shake but with a texture more akin to a Wendy's Frosty. Think more supper club Grasshopper, less soft serve ice cream. Housemade mint and chocolate syrups stand in for crème de menthe and crème de cocoa, accompanied by heavy cream and American whiskey. The Shimmy is available in the cocktail room through the end of March. 3300 NE. 5th St., Mpls., brotherjustus.com
Celebrating its first St. Patrick's Day, the newest distillery on the block will have its specialty cocktail, the Keeper's Mule, available. (Make it at home by combining 2 ounces Irish American whiskey, 1 ounce lime juice and 6 to 8 ounces of ginger beer. Garnish with lime wedge and 1 sprig mint.) The distillery also is giving away free drams of Keeper's Heart whiskey to those who show their best Irish side (an accent, dance move — you name it). One of their best Irish sides? Master distiller Brian Nation, who was at the helm of Ireland's most renowned distillery before the O'Shaughnessys wooed him to Minnesota. 600 Malcolm Av. SE., Mpls., osdistilling.com
Here's one for the whole family: The Uptown location of Bebe Zito is serving its Clover Shake — chocolate, mint and whipped cream — in both short or regular sizes until the end of St. Patrick's Day. If you miss the deadline, it's still worth the trip. The ice cream shop/burger joint owned by spouses Ben Spangler and Gabriella Grant-Spangler has its spring break flavors out, too. (704 W. 22nd St., Mpls., bebezitomn.com)
Not much of a mixologist? Ready-made cocktails fit the bill, too. Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, local bitters maker Dashfire announced a new collaboration with Kieran Folliard's Red Locks Irish whiskey: Lucky Lee's Irish Old Fashioned Cocktail. Dashfire made a liqueur of red clover flowers and tart apple, along with its classic bitters, to complement the whiskey's cinnamon and spiced apple sweetness. Lucky Lee's is widely available in metro-area liquor stores.
But with home bars stocked better than ever, mixing up your own taste of Ireland doesn't have to be difficult.
The team at O'Shaugnessy Distilling Co., maker of Keeper's Heart Irish American whiskey, suggested making their Old Fashioned: Combine 2 ounces of whiskey, 1/3 ounce Demerara syrup and 4 dashes aromatic bitters and serve.
There's no shortage of ideas in the new book "Paddy Drinks: Modern Irish Whiskey Cocktails," by Jillian Vose, Jack McGarry, Sean Muldoon and Conor Kelly (Harvest, 2022). The one, by Vose, head bartender at the Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog in New York City, first appeared in the Washington Post.
Precision Pilot Cocktail
• Ice cubes for stirring, one large cube or sphere for the drink
• 2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
• 1/2 oz. grapefruit liqueur, such as Combier Liqueur de Pamplemousse Rose
• 3/4 oz. Campari
• 1 oz. Lillet Rose
• 1 oz. blended Irish whiskey
• Strip of grapefruit peel, for squeezing
Add a large ice cube or sphere to an Old Fashioned glass and set aside. Fill a mixing glass with ice, then add the bitters, grapefruit liqueur, Campari, Lillet Rose and whiskey and stir to chill and dilute. Strain into the glass, then twist the strip of the grapefruit peel over the surface of the drink to express the aromatic oils. Discard the peel and serve.