Green Beer Is for Amateurs

How (and where) to drink like a pro this St. Patrick’s Day.

Let us stipulate from the start that you’ve come far enough in life that your idea of celebrating- St. Patrick’s Day no longer involves plastic cups of green-tinted Miller High Life, a stained KISS ME I’M IRISH t-shirt and passing out on Broad Street. But just because you’ve left your days of crippling hangovers and low-rent sinning behind doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the March 17th festivities this year. You just need something a little classier to drink at the long oak—something that will separate you from the Irish-Car-Bomb-swilling college boys at the other end of the bar. And the pros are here to help you out.

For starters, there’s the Blackthorn, a lowball mix of Jameson Irish whiskey, dry vermouth, absinthe, bitters and a cherry, served up, at the Ranstead Room in Rittenhouse Square. One of RR’s “Bartender’s Choice” cocktails, it’s a finely crafted and balanced mixture as smoky and bitter as James Joyce on a bender.

Over in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood, George Costa from Pub & Kitchen goes classic and refined with a recipe straight from the Savoy Cocktail Book: the Tipperary Cocktail, made with equal parts Irish whiskey, sweet vermouth and green chartreuse, iced, stirred and served up.

Classic and refined not your cup of tea? The folks at the Black Sheep in Rittenhouse Square argue that the Dirty Leprechaun (a layered shot made of Midori, Bailey’s and the whiskey of your choice) will get you where you’re going with a bit of style, even if it’s a drink ordered more for its visual effect (the Irish flag) than its delicate blend of flavors (cream whiskey and melon liqueur are not a classic combination).

For those who can look past the politics of the day, the oh-so-British pub the Dandelion mixes a mean beer flip—rum, orange marmalade,- simple syrup and a whole egg, shaken and topped with four ounces of chocolate stout and a bit of grated nutmeg. For the serious celebrant, this also makes for a fine morning drink, comprising most of the major breakfast-food groups in one glorious 10-ounce glass. Add a side of bacon and you’re golden.