St. Patty’s Day always seems to give some folks—Irish or not—an excuse to drink all the green beer they can handle. So it’s reassuring to know that you can still feel festive without overindulging this March 17.
Take the Black Velvet, for example, a drink whose origins date back to the early 1860s as a libation created to mourn the death of Prince Albert. The ingredients may surprise you, and so will the taste—in a good way. Fill a pint glass with Guinness and top it slowly with some good bubbly. The tart champagne enlivens the smooth, creamy stout. Tip: Avoid sparkling wine; it’s just not the same.
If you prefer to kick back with a cocktail, consider the Emerald—essentially a Manhattan minus the rye whiskey and Angostura bitters. Mix 2 ounces of Irish whiskey, an ounce of vermouth and a dash or two of orange bitters with ice, and pour it all into a chilled cocktail glass. Despite its name, the drink won’t be green.
And, finally, never underestimate the power of really good Irish coffee. Dissolve 1-3 teaspoons of light-brown sugar into a mug of hot coffee, and pour about 2 ounces of cold heavy cream over the back of a spoon to form a creamy layer on top. Enjoy plain or spiked.