Cocktail & Other Recipes Occasion St. Patrick's Day

20 Cocktails to Make for St. Patrick’s Day

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

Neon green Greenhorn cocktail in Nick & Nora glass, with green maraschino cheery at bottom, on marble background
Greenhorn 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. From Irish whiskey drinks to vibrant green cocktails, these recipes are made for saying “Sláinte!”

  • 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.

  • The Dead Rabbit Irish Coffee

    The Dead Rabbit Irish Coffee / Tim Nusog

    You can’t go wrong with Irish Coffee. This version comes from New York City bar The Dead Rabbit, where Irish whiskey gets top billing. There, demerara syrup adds extra richness to the classic formula.

    Get the recipe.

  • Irish Old Fashioned

    Irish Old Fashioned cocktail / Tim Nusog 

    This Old Fashioned twist from The Dead Rabbit co-founder Jack McGarry swaps bourbon or rye whiskey for Jameson’s Black Barrel Irish Whiskey. He also exchanges the traditional simple syrup or sugar cube for the French honeyed liqueur Benedictine, which lends extra aromatic and spice notes.

    Get the recipe.

  • Greenhorn

    Neon green Greenhorn cocktail in Nick & Nora glass, with green maraschino cheery at bottom, on marble background / Tim Nusog

    The Japanese melon liqueur Midori is behind this drink’s vibrant green hue. But the cocktail from bar pro Bobby Heugel is a far cry from saccharine-sweet Midori Sours, thanks to a punchy and gently bittersweet combination of the liqueur, blanco tequila, and Suze.

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 5 of 20 below.
  • 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. 

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  • 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.

    Get the recipe.

  • Irish Blonde

    Irish Blonde cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This rich and spirit-forward drink from the legendary Dale DeGroff combines a blended Irish whiskey, orange curaçao, fino sherry, and orange bitters. A flamed orange peel garnish adds additional fragrance.

    Get the recipe.

  • 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.

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  • McGlashan

    McGlashan cocktail / Tim Nusog

    While it may call to mind a Whiskey Sour or a Gold Rush, this spicy and warming cocktail is entirely McGarry’s own. It includes Irish whiskey, oloroso sherry, a homemade orange-ginger marmalade, ginger syrup, lemon juice, and bitters.

    Get the recipe.

  • Good Cork

    Good Cork cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Originally served at Phil Ward’s now-closed 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 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.

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  • 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.

  • John the Baptist

    John the Baptist cocktail / Tim Nusog

    There’s no rule that tropical drinks have to be rum-based. This rich, creamy cocktail combines Irish whiskey with apricot eau-de-vie, creme de cacao, absinthe, pineapple juice, half-and-half, pistachio syrup, and a cococut-matcha tea mix.

    Get the recipe.

  • Gaelic Flip

    Gaelic Flip / Tim Nusog

    Bar pro Charles Joly combines Irish whiskey, sweet vermouth, allspice liqueur, and a whole egg for this warming flip-style cocktail. The rich and creamy cocktail is a fantastic option for after-dinner drinks.

    Get the recipe.

  • 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 since become a modern classic for its interplay of creamy coconut and the herbaceous liqueur.

    Get the recipe.

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  • Sanka, Ya Dead?

    Sanka Ya Dead cocktail

    Casey Elsass

    This frozen riff on Jamaican Guinness Punch doubles as dessert. Vanilla ice cream stands in for the usual condensed milk in the beer-based drink, and a generous pour of Jamaican rum gives it an extra kick. 

    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.

  • Brotherhood

    Brotherhood cocktail / Tim Nusog

    An alliance of French and Irish spirits, this sour from Joly combines blended Irish whiskey, Grand Marnier, Benedictine, and lemon juice. You’ll want to keep the ingredients on hand to mix one up at any time.

    Get the recipe.

  • Mint Green Old Fashioned

    Mint Green Old Fashioned / Tim Nusog

    DeGroff created this eye-catching scotch Old Fashioned 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 the bright-green drink, which includes four forms of mint: a mint sprig, mint syrup, mint jelly, and mint bitters.

    Get the recipe.