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5 Tips for Throwing a NYC St Patty’s Day Bash

Top o’ the Party

Each year on March 17th, the annual celebration of Ireland and its patron saint inspires the look and feel of the Irish. Whether you’re dreaming of lucky four leaf clovers and rainbows ending in pots of gold, or just generally wearing a whole lot of green, this mid-March holiday isn’t just the perfect excuse to celebrate with family and friends alike, but has also become a cultural icon with both Irish and non-Irish participants joining the celebration. Like most holidays, the St. Patrick’s Day holiday is rooted in a deep, rich tradition. However, over the years it has also become a celebratory day (and New York City requirement) to eat, drink and be merry—the only way the Irish like it!

Saint Patricks Day clover leaves hanging with red clothespins

While the common drink associated with the Emerald Isle’s biggest day may be a standard green beer or a dark Guinness lager, we’ve got a slew of yummy cocktails and entertaining ideas that are sure to tickle your Irish fancy and help spread Irish cheer with everyone you meet.

Lucky Libations

It wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without a good drink—and a good drink on St. Patty’s day definitely requires some Irish whiskey. Smooth, warm, and less smoky than its scotch counterparts, Irish whiskey is one of the oldest kinds of alcohol in the world (fun fact: the oldest legal grain distillery in the world is located in Bushmills, Ireland, having been started in 1608)

One of our favorite specialty Irish cocktails is an Irish Derby. This libation is an Irish spin on a vintage cocktail recipe that originally called for bourbon, and is perfect for those who enjoy a zesty and fun drink with a hint of something smoky.

Irish Derby:

1-1/2 ounces Irish Whiskey
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
1/2 ounce dry orange curaçao (can sub with Cointreau)
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice from 1/2 lime
2 dashes bitters

Another one of our favorite St. Patty’s Day cocktails is a classic Irish coffee. Both an Irish and American staple, an Irish coffee blends piping hot coffee in a warmed glass with brown sugar and Irish whiskey. Topped with a collar of the whipped heavy cream, this after dinner drink is a hit anytime of the year.

Homemade Irish Coffee with Whiskey and Whipped Cream

Perfect Irish Coffee

1 ½ oz. of Irish Whiskey

5-7 oz. of hot coffee or 2 shots of espresso

1-2 tsp of brown sugar

Fresh wiped cream

When catering for New York City weddings and events, we’ve found this next Irish-inspired cocktail to be a real crowd-pleaser, and is perfect for the upcoming St Patty’s Holiday. The “Emerald Isle” Cocktail is a sophisticated, sweeter drink for those who prefer something out the lighter side. (Don’t worry, it’s still green so you can still get an extra shot at the luck of the Irish). Made with Pinot Grigio, cucumber, mint and lime, this sweet and crisp Irish drink is also the perfect libation for those anticipating the warm months ahead.

Emerald Isle Cocktail 

2 oz. Pinot Grigio
4 cucumber chunks
5 mint leaves
¾ oz. lime juice
¾ oz. simple syrup
1 oz. soda water
Garnish: 3 mint sprigs and a cucumber slice
Muddle cucumber and mint leaves. Fill shaker with ice and add lime juice, simple syrup, and wine. Shake vigorously.


Green Garden Party

If you’re thinking about throwing a party for the greenest day of the year, play up the holidays’ whimsical mood and opt for a playful and chic table setting, complete with a “green thumb” aesthetic. We love a green and white table decorated with herbs or succulents to accentuate your green garden look. For a colorful centerpiece, we love the look of an elegant flower, such as green daylily or orchid, or two medium-size bowls filled green apples on either side of the table.

Gold Rush

Bring the luck of the Irish to your table setting with a few green and gold accents and shiny details, such as gold rimmed wine glasses or gold tableware. For a fun finishing touch, sprinkle the table with chocolate and caramel- wrapped gold candies for your guests to nibble on something sweet. Another fun idea is serving cold candy coins in a small black “pot” or tin for your guests. We recently offered our “pots of gold” candy alongside our white chocolate truffles with gold dust as part of our seasonal St. Patrick’s Day menu. The truffles were filled with unexpected, yet sweet flavor and our clients loved the whimsically yummy look.

Whether you’re Irish or not, as the saying goes, “We’re all Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!”—And with these fun entertaining tips and party ideas, you and your guests will be shamrockin’ and rolling all day long—no luck necessary.


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