Cocktail & Other Recipes Occasion St. Patrick's Day

17 Cocktails to Make for St. Patrick’s Day

There’s more to the holiday than Guinness and green beer.

Dubliner cocktail
Dubliner Image: / Tim Nusog

The St. Patrick’s Day we celebrate today has come a long way from the religious observance of a patron saint that originated in 17th-century Ireland. Traditional or not, the holiday serves as an annual excuse to enjoy a drink and some good craic. 

And a much more delicious option than Guinness or green-dyed beer is to mix up these cocktails inspired by the Emerald Isle. Whether you’re looking for a new Irish whiskey drink or would prefer something with a gorgeous green hue, these are the cocktails made for saying “Sláinte!”

  • John the Baptist

    John the Baptist cocktail / Tim Nusog

    There’s no rule that Tiki drinks have to contain rum, as this Irish whiskey cocktail proves. It combines the spirit with apricot eau-de-vie, creme de cacao, absinthe, pineapple juice, half-and-half, pistachio syrup, and a Coco Lopez-and-matcha green tea-powder mix for a creamy, nutty, and vibrantly green drink. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Buena Vista Irish Coffee

    Buena Vista Irish Coffee / Tim Nusog

    This version of the ever-popular Irish Coffee was created in 1952 at San Francisco’s legendary Buena Vista Cafe. To this day, the restaurant pours more Irish whiskey than any place in the world, thanks to its classic recipe, which includes the spirit, sugar cubes, and freshly brewed coffee, all topped with whipped cream. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Pot of Gold

    Pot of Gold cocktail with edible gold flakes / Tim Nusog

    This Whiskey Sour twist employs scotch whisky, lemon juice, and an egg white for its silky texture and golden hue, and substitutes a warming honey-ginger syrup for the traditional simple. But the star of the show is the namesake edible gold flakes that sit atop the egg white’s froth, which you can find at baking stores or online. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Black Velvet

    Black Velvet cocktail / Tim Nusog

    What’s more festive than Champagne? On St. Paddy’s day, the answer is beer and Champagne. For this two-part cocktail, fill a highball glass halfway with Guinness, then top it off with some bubbly, pouring it over the back of a bar spoon to layer the two. 

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 5 of 17 below.
  • Shamrock Shot

    Shamrock Shot / Tim Nusog

    This green shooter embodies the simple fun of St. Patrick’s Day: Creme de menthe, vanilla vodka, heavy cream, and chocolate bitters get shaken, then topped off with an Andes thin mint and whipped cream. The recipe yields two shots—and whoever you choose to share one with will certainly be lucky. 

    Get the recipe.

  • McGlashan

    McGlashan cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Irish whiskey gets top billing at The Dead Rabbit in New York City. This cocktail from the bar’s co-founder Jack McGarry leans on the spirit, which he combines with oloroso sherry, a housemade orange-ginger marmalade, ginger syrup, lemon juice, and bitters. The result is a drink that’s both warming and refreshing. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Early Start

    Early Start cocktail with sorel leaf garnish
    Jenn Duncan

    This pretty green cocktail leans savory, thanks to a muddled sorrel leaf and the caraway and star anise notes of aquavit. Orgeat sweetens the mix and adds nutty flavor, while lime juice brightens and an egg white gives the cocktail its lush texture. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Irish Buck

    Irish Buck / Tim Nusog

    It doesn’t get much simpler than the buck, a combination of ginger ale (or ginger beer), citrus, and a spirit. Naturally, this version uses Irish whiskey for the latter. It’ll go down easy on St. Patrick’s Day—or any time of year. 

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 9 of 17 below.
  • Piña Verde

    Pina Verde cocktail with mint sprig garnish / Tim Nusog

    This refreshing twist on a Piña Colada swaps the usual rum for green Chartreuse. Invented by bartender Erick Castro in the 2010s, it has become a modern classic for its interplay of creamy coconut and the herbaceous liqueur.

    Get the recipe.

  • Good Cork

    Good Cork cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Originally served at Phil Ward’s now-shuttered Mayahuel, this spirit-forward drink combines Irish whiskey, mezcal, Benedictine, and bitters. Ward uses a pot-still Irish whiskey, which stands up nicely to the smoke of the mezcal. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Sanka, Ya Dead?

    Sanka Ya Dead cocktail

    Casey Elsass

    This frozen twist on Jamaican Guinness Punch doubles as dessert, with vanilla ice cream standing in for the usual condensed milk in the beer-based drink. Allspice and cinnamon add warming notes, while a generous pour of Jamaican rum gives the drink an extra kick. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Gaelic Flip

    Gaelic Flip / Tim Nusog

    Bar pro Charles Joly combines Irish whiskey, sweet vermouth, and allspice liqueur in this warming flip-style cocktail, in which a whole egg gives the drink its frothy head and rich texture. 

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 13 of 17 below.
  • Irish Maid

    Irish Maid cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This refreshing drink is a twist on the Kentucky Maid, a mixture of bourbon, lime juice, simple syrup, mint, and cucumber crafted by pro bartender Sam Ross. The Irish variation swaps in (natch) Irish whiskey and lemon juice, and also adds St. Germain liqueur for floral notes.

    Get the recipe.

  • Frisky Whiskey

    Frisky Whiskey cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Celebrate the other side of the Irish flag with this blazing orange cocktail from bar pro Allen Katz. He mixes the spirit with honey liqueur, orange juice, simple syrup, and Angostura bitters for a bright, citrusy drink. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Tipperary

    Tipperary cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This riff on the Bijou includes Irish whiskey, sweet vermouth, green Chartreuse, bitters, and the expressed oils from an orange peel. Jack McGarry adapted The Dead Rabbit’s version from Harry MacElhone’s seminal book ABC of Mixing Cocktails, dialing down the Irish whiskey slightly. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Mint Green Old Fashioned

    Mint Green Old Fashioned / Tim Nusog

    Legendary bartender Dale DeGroff created this eye-catching scotch Old Fashioned variation for a cocktail-pairing dinner at New York City’s Keens Steakhouse. The restaurant’s lamb chop with mint jelly served as the inspiration for his bright-green variation: Four forms of mint—a mint sprig, mint syrup, mint jelly, and mint bitters—get muddled in a glass along with a cherry, orange, and Angostura bitters, and then get a stirred with a hefty slug of scotch whisky. 

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 17 of 17 below.
  • Dubliner

    Dubliner cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This citrusy take on a Manhattan includes Irish whiskey, Grand Marnier liqueur, sweet vermouth, and orange bitters. For extra St. Patrick’s Day flair, don’t skip the green maraschino cherry garnish. 

    Get the recipe.