The Show Must Go On: How to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day this year

How to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day at home amidst the rise of COVID-19.

Saint Patrick’s Day, a day to celebrate the arrival of Christianity in Ireland via Saint Patrick, is generally a day of Irish culture appreciation, local parades, festivities, Guinness and pinching those who are “too cool” for green attire. It’s celebrated in communities and craft breweries around the U.S. – except this year. With the ever-present Coronavirus concerns and CDC recommendations on cancelling large gatherings, many of the St. Patrick’s Day parades and programs are being cancelled this March, leaving our Irish-loving souls wondering how we can celebrate sans-major events.

While many craft breweries are still hosting low-key events over the weekend and on St. Patrick’s Day, it’s likely that turnout might be lower than normal due to the current risk of partying with strangers over green beer. For those that are wondering how you can celebrate at home, check out the ideas below!

But first, Sláinte!

If you know remotely anything about Irish culture, you know that sharing a few pints with friends is part of everyday life – with the potential of the craic reaching up to 90 levels (more on "craic" here). And St. Patrick’s Day is no exception. While Whiskey and Guinness are considered to be prime choices for tourists and residents alike in Ireland, there are other (equally refreshing) options you can make at home.

During our visit to Ireland last year, Travis and I were both surprised and delighted to learn that Ireland is extremely proud of their Gin and Tonics. After spending a few days bar-hopping and drink-tasting, our unscientific research indicated that the G+T was the second most ordered drink to Guinness. And we could see why! The Gin and Tonics there were all so amazing – some using rose gin, some using charred rosemary, most with either dried or fresh grapefruit and all served in a beautiful balloon crystal gin glass. It’s really one of the best things we’ve ever put in our mouths.

A fun make-at-home beverage for St. Patrick’s Day is what we’ve dubbed “lucky beer” as it would make any leprechaun pause his search for gold and take a sip. Making it is ridiculously simple. Pour your favorite local craft light lager or pilsner over a sprinkle of edible glitter or shimmer dust in a fancy glass. You can use the same edible glitter you would use for baked goods. Or if you’re super fancy, you can check out this Brew Glitter for added flair. While beer connoisseurs will surely snub their nose at this one, it’s totally fun for St. Patrick’s Day! This one can also be made for kids using Sprite, Mountain Dew or other light-colored soft drink. Be sure to grab a pic of it in the sun to really capture the sparkle!

Last, but not least, there is green beer. Can we actually celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S without it? I mean we could, but do we want to? Probably not. Like the “lucky beer,” this one is also super easy and can be accomplished in two ways. One, you can pick up a matcha-infused beer that has a naturally green hue; open and pour. Or, like most humble Americans, simply squeeze a small drop of green food coloring into the bottom of your favorite pint glass and pour a light to medium colored beer over it. You may need to give it a quick swirl with a straw or stir stick, but the carbonation from the beer should do most of the work for you. Again, the beer snobs might judge. But what’s life without a little green beer on St. Patty’s Day? Boring.

A feast fit for a leprechaun.

One of the best ways to feast at any party is by pulling together an over-the-top snack platter. Who doesn’t love to just nosh throughout the event? A little here, a little there. Yep, going to need more of that. Plus, when done right the spread itself becomes a work of visual art. Here’s our take on a St. Patty’s Day platter, much inspired by our favorite Irish flavors.

Featured on this board are the following:

  • Irish Soda Bread

  • Kerrygold Irish Butter

  • "The Drunken Nut" from Emporium Pies

  • Black pepper potatoes

  • Raspberry Jam

  • Irish cheddar cheese

  • Bangers and Mash skewers

  • Oranges

  • Rainbow sugar cookie bites

  • Pecans

  • Pistachios

  • Genoa Salami

  • Carrots

  • Cucumbers

To say this platter is delicious is an understatement! It's definitely a party that can hang with a few pints of green beer.

This old thing?

When you’re throwing a little at-home soiree for your family and a few (healthy) friends, you may not have the budget for, or the desire to hassle with, seasonal décor. We get it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still infuse a little spirit into your event. One of the easiest ways to get in the ”luck o’ the Irish” spirit is to wear something festive!

The most obvious place to start is with something green! Think shirts, hats, jackets, accessories – anything goes! And on St. Patrick’s Day, wearing green is a good idea if you want to avoid being pinched by the leprechauns. Legend has it, green is invisible to leprechauns, and so if you find yourself without the magical hue, you’re fair game for them to pinch.

Another easy route to go is shamrocks. Think beyond baseball caps for this one. This time of year, there is a myriad of shamrock-adorned accessories. From shamrock beads and knee-high socks to stickers and temporary tattoos, these are fun, simple and effective.

Feeling lucky?

What’s a party without a party game? Assuming you may have kids at home celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year, here are a few activities that will elevate the family-friendly competition.

Minute to Win it with Lucky Charms

“This is a timed challenge: Give everyone a spoon and see who can use them to pick out the most marshmallow pieces from Lucky Charms cereal and put them in a bowl. For older kids or adults, make it harder and assign a different amount of points to the different marshmallow shapes.”

Gold Rush Scavenger Hunt

Hide chocolate gold coins all over the house (or outside) and have the kids scramble to find them all. Winner receives a pot of gold and green St. Patty’s Day beads (to share, obviously).

Rainbow Math Game

“Challenge kids to roll the dice, add the numbers, and put the right number of cereal pieces on each colorful line.”

Lucky Dice (for adults 21+ only)

“And for a grown-ups only gathering, these dice are sure to get the party started! Hope you have plenty of green drinks on hand.”

We hope these ideas give you some inspiration for planning your CDC-approved Saint Patrick's Day party! Let us know how you're celebrating this year on Instagram!

Sláinte!

Laura

#beerpairings #craftbeercelebrations

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