Looking to tszuj up your St. Patrick’s Day experience beyond light-up green beads, leprechaun hats, and Irish Car Bomb shots? In our glorious mecca of craft beer and cocktails, we can stretch the beloved holiday to new pleasures and still feel that luck-o-the-Irish. Here are some of my favorite options:
For cocktail and whiskey fans
Irish Whiskey Tasting, Vom Fass: Keeping it real with an incredible lineup, whiskey die-hards and aficionados are in for a treat. Guests are invited to sample four Irish whiskeys while learning about the distilling process and munching down on mouthwatering Guinness cupcakes with Irish whiskey frosting. Cost: $35. 6:30-8 p.m. For more info, go to hillcrest.vomfassusa.com.
Drinking for Gold, Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant: Using classic ingredients with a homemade twist, good fortune is secured with this cocktail of Irish whiskey, coffee liqueur, Baileys Irish Cream and chocolate bitters. Find your surprise at the bottom of the glass, a chocolate gold coin, to chow on once you’ve finished. Who needs a whole pot of gold?
Dublin Mule, Andaz: Give that ol’ standby Jameson a classy update with this mod on the famous Moscow Mule. A refreshing concoction of Jameson, St. Germaine, orange and ginger beer, it’s perfect for a San Diego St. Paddy’s Day.
Whiskey Cooler, Tower 23/JRDN: Going beachside this holiday? Keep it Irish and green with this easygoing cocktail of Jameson, lime, cucumber and mint. Don’t forget your green bikini for pinch-free fun.
Top pick: Erick Castro of Polite Provisions provided this knockout cocktail recipe, my new favorite for St. Paddy’s Day:
Dublin Iced Coffee
- 1½ ounces Jameson Irish Whiskey
- ¾ ounce brown sugar simple syrup (make with one part brown sugar to one part water)
- 2 ounces cold press coffee
- 2 ounces stout (coffee stout is recommended. Polite Provisions uses Alesmith Speedway Coffee Stout)
Directions: Build in a Collins glass with ice and briefly stir. Garnish with a float of cream and fresh grated cinnamon. Or, just go to Polite on March 17.
For craft beer fans
Hooligan Irish Stout, Hess Brewing, 5.5 percent ABV: On draft only and for a very limited time, the Hooligan has returned, and it’s a must-find this holiday.
Irish Lullabies, Amplified Ale Works, 5 percent ABV: Look for this on location at Mission Boulevard in both CO2 and nitro versions.
The Pugilist, Societe, 4.8 percent ABV: Like everything those boys do, it’s perfection. And at that ABV, you can happily enjoy more than one.
Pacific Storm Stout on Nitro, New English, 5 percent ABV: Keep it laid back at Tom Ham’s, while sipping on this easygoing stout.
Still wanting to enjoy that traditional Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day? All pours are not created equal. (It’s in the pressure, gas, and the way it’s served). The best two Guinness pours in town are The Field (downtown on Fifth Avenue) and The Ould Sod in Normal Heights. Just know, both will be packed on March 17.
With 18 years in the restaurant and beverage industry and more than 850 reviews under her belt, Laurie Delk is a one-stop guide to all things craft beer, wine and spirits. You can follow Delk on Twitter @100beers30days or Instagram @sandiegobeer. Send ideas for featured drinks to firstname.lastname@example.org.