Cocktail & Other Recipes Occasion St. Patrick's Day

11 Cocktails to Make for St. Patrick’s Day

They’ll ferry your taste buds to the Emerald Isle.

Pot of Gold cocktail
Pot of Gold Image: / Tim Nusog

St. Patrick’s Day is considered by many to be an occasion for drinking and merriment. Beer dyed green with food coloring might be the most common glass-filler hoisted to celebrate the holiday, but appropriately festive drinks go far beyond that. This list ranges from spirit-forward sippers to lightly sweet refreshers, all featuring Irish booze or ingredients to turn them into green drinks. Whether you have the luck of the Irish or you’re just looking to don some green and have a good time, these 11 cocktails are exactly what you need.

  • Fort Defiance Irish Coffee

    Fort Defiance Irish Coffee / Tim Nusog

    This version of the classic hot drink was created by St. John Frizell at his Brooklyn bar, Fort Defiance, and was deemed “the best in the known world” by The New York Times. To make it yourself, combine Powers Irish whiskey with simple syrup and pour in a shot of freshly brewed espresso. Top it with heavy cream that has been shaken to whip and sprinkle some grated cinnamon over it all. 

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  • 14 Hours Ahead

    14 Hours Ahead cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This Japanese-inspired green drink comes from bartender and distiller Allen Katz, who uses tea in a new way, adding matcha powder directly to the drink instead of steeping the tea in a spirit as is typical. The powder is mixed with lemon and lime juices and London dry gin to create a bright and slightly bitter base, while honey syrup and heavy cream help to round it out and add a luscious mouthfeel. The resulting cocktail is perfect for a pick-me-up, thanks to the hit of caffeine from the tea.

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  • Hot Like Kohli

    Hot Like Kohli
    Katrine Moite

    Yes, you can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with tequila, especially if it’s in a bright green drink like this one. Green-chile-infused tequila, mezcal and pear cordial form the backbone of this drink, which also features matcha-cilantro-mint simple syrup, lime juice and chile tincture. Serve it all in a chile-salt-rimmed glass, and you’re certain to spice up your celebration.

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  • Shoe Maker

    Shoe Maker

    Show off Irish whiskey’s sweeter side with this light refresher. Twelve-year-old single malt is tamed with a bit of fino sherry and simple syrup. Muddled raspberries and orange lend fresh flavors, while a dash of orange bitters adds depth. Double-strain and serve it over crushed ice and garnish with mint and a raspberry.

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    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • Green Margarita

    Green Margarita / Tim Nusog

    Up the ante with this fresh and vibrant spin on the classic Margarita. This recipe has the usual suspects you’d expect to find in a Margarita—tequila, Combier and lime—but adds a bit of St-Germain for a fresh floral spin. The real kicker, though, lies in what makes it a green drink: fresh sugar snap pea puree. 

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  • Black Velvet

    Black Velvet / Tim Nusog

    Take your St. Patrick’s Day into elegant territory (while still embracing the traditions of Ireland) with this simple and satisfying highball. The recipe couldn’t be easier: Just fill a pint glass halfway with Guinness, then top with Champagne, pouring it over the back of a spoon so it layers over the beer. 

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  • Irish Affogato

    Irish Affogato / Tim Nusog

    Turn your Irish Coffee into dessert with this new classic, which marries the popular cocktail with an Italian dessert to make a drink you’ll want after every meal. The recipe is just like making your favorite childhood float but with the addition of adult ingredients. Scoop your favorite coffee ice cream into an Irish Coffee mug, then top it with whiskey, Baileys Irish cream and cold-brew coffee. If you want to make it even boozier, add another shot of whiskey, or just top it all with whipped cream for a tamer and sweeter finish.

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  • Luck of the Irish

    Luck of the Irish cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Like a Bijou with an Irish lean, this drink combines Irish whiskey, green Chartreuse and sweet vermouth in equal parts. Its resemblance to the jewel-named pre-Prohibition classic puts the “emerald” in Emerald Isle, indeed.

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    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • Mint Green Old Fashioned

    Mint Green Old Fashioned / Tim Nusog

    Legendary bartender Dale DeGroff created this Old Fashioned variation that adds mint bitters, mint jelly, mint syrup and a mint sprig to scotch, making for a festive green drink with a sweetly herbaceous flavor.

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  • John the Baptist

    John the Baptist cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Irish whiskey meets Tiki in this green drink. Green Spot’s smooth characteristics make it the ideal spirit for this recipe, but any Irish whiskey will do. Apricot eau-de-vie and pineapple juice bring a fruity flavor to the spirit, while crème de cacao and pistachio syrup up the nutty complexity, and absinthe brings a hint of herbaceousness to the party. Round it all out with matcha-infused Coco Lopez and half-and-half for creaminess, and you’ll be set for a guaranteed good time.

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  • Pot of Gold

    Pot of Gold / Tim Nusog

    You don’t have to venture all the way to the rainbow’s end to enjoy this pot of gold. Leprechauns and humans alike will love this drink, which combines Irish whiskey and Islay scotch in a one-two punch that’s amplified with lemon juice and ginger-honey syrup, plus an egg white for texture. The cocktail’s true beauty, though, lies in its garnish: edible gold flakes that take your drink from lovely to luxe in a flash. 

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