While St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday dedicated to celebrating the roots of Irish culture, many people (including, admittedly, myself) use March 17th as an excuse to imbibe. Ain’t nothing wrong with that, but after years of donning green and chugging cheap beer, I decided it was time to step up my St. Patrick’s Day drinks. Unfortunately, all that kept coming to mind was somehow dyeing wine green. Fail. For help, I turned to TJ Connelly, co-founder of onthebar and generally awesome man about town, to give us his insight on what drinks we should be consuming this St. Paddy’s Day.
“Most of the city seems dedicated to the notion that it’s a great day to drink your face off and yell at strangers. Which can be fun, but it’s a bit of a leap,” Connelly said when I initially asked his thoughts about tastefully imbibing on St. Paddy’s.
“What do I like about St. Patrick’s Day is that it’s a huge citywide party, even if some of what goes on is not my kind of party,” he added. “Given that the day pushes a certain sense of wild abandon, I’d say everyone should enjoy whatever they would normally like.”
With, of course, some guidelines. Check out our Q&A with Connelly below.
What are some ways Guinness can be used creatively?
I’ve had plenty of Guinness variations over the years. For a long time, Charlie’s Kitchen was pouring different Lambics on draft alongside Guinness, leading to a number of half-and-half style beverages with raspberry and blueberry flavors. They were completely delicious at the time, but nowadays I’m most happy with just a simple Guinness, or occasionally a Guinness Extra Stout when I come across it.
Do you recommend an Irish whiskey that’s not Jameson?
I’m more of a bourbon drinker when it comes to whiskey.
So, I hate beer and whiskey. What’s a cocktail that’s fitting for St. Patrick’s Day?
This is the thing: It’s a holiday. It’s a party. Drink what you want. I like a mint julep every once in a while, but when it comes to the Kentucky Derby I usually enjoy one or two and then move on rather than spend the entire afternoon pounding bourbon and sugar while ducking around giant headwear…
…I do, however, have one exception.
What would that be?
I am not a fan of the carbombs. The name is tasteless and the beverage doesn’t improve that [Guinness] flavor. Ordering a carbomb makes you sound like an asshole. I don’t see drinks called the Flight 93 or Sandy Hook making their way onto cocktail menus around the country, and I’m hoping someday the carbomb makes its way into obscurity.
Does that mean green beer is acceptable?
I think I’ve made enough rules for today. If green beer is the way you like to party, good luck and party on.
What are you drinking this St. Patrick’s Day?