10 St. Patrick's Day Drinks You Definitely Need To Try

St. Patrick's Day 2023 falls on a Friday, making it ideal for shenanigans and festivities of all kinds. Though the holiday always makes for a good night at your local pub (or pubs, let's be honest), many people may prefer to celebrate it at home. After all, partying in a non-public space is a little less raucous — and gives you more drink options since bartenders are usually too busy serving up the obligatory green beer and shots to experiment with any creative cocktails. 

Indeed, St. Paddy's offers a plethora of beverage options. The Emerald Isle is home to a great beer tradition: Many types, including the famous Guinness, are native to its shores. Why not pay homage to this key aspect of Irish culture by mixing up a few beer cocktails, like a Shandy or a Black and Tan? If you'd like something a little higher proof, then you can't go wrong with Irish whiskey, or if it's something a little sweeter you're after, Bailey's Irish Cream is delightful on its own or in a dessert cocktail. 

Not everyone is looking for an "authentic" beverage experience on St. Paddy's Day, though. The holiday is also an excuse to imbibe pretty much anything green, whether that's how nature made it or not. Whether you fancy a night of Irish feasting or fiddling, these drink recipes should keep you quenched for all of your St. Patrick's Day festivities.

1. Guinness Float

Guinness is a marvelous beer. Thick, rich, malty, and boasting notes of chocolate, it's chock-full of flavor. It is quite different from the lighter beers many of us are familiar with, though, so if Guinness is a taste you haven't quite acquired yet, you might want to consider a Guinness Float. Basically a grown-up version of a root beer float, vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup make this go down mighty smooth, while the ice cream perfectly offsets the beer's bitterness for those who aren't fully on board with Guinness' sophisticated flavor profile.  

Recipe: Guinness Float

2. Copycat McDonald's Shamrock Shake

If you're not feeling beer, another on-theme option is a copycat Shamrock Shake — just like the seasonal variety the Golden Arches is famous for. While it's really not even a wee bit Irish (as McDonald's was reminded of the hard way), this drinkable dessert is definitely green and decidedly delicious. A Shamrock Shake requires only a few common ingredients, too, so it's easy to mix up a pitcher-full to pass around. It's also a perfect pick for all those who'd rather enjoy their holiday sober (or who just enjoy a minty-sweet fix.)

Recipe: Copycat McDonald's Shamrock Shake

3. Classic Whiskey Sour

Irish whiskey is famous for a reason: The island is home to a centuries-old, unique form of spirits. Irish whiskey is distinctive for its concentration of barley (at least 30%), the three-year wooden cask aging process it requires, and being distilled three times, rendering the finished product smoother and clearer than other whiskeys. Oh, and it has to be made in Ireland in a copper pot.

Of course, the best way to showcase a good whiskey is straight up or in a simple cocktail. A whiskey sour hits the sweet spot: It's got the interest and celebration factor of a mixed drink, but the whiskey shines. Keeping with the spirit of St. Paddy's, we'd recommend a true Irish whiskey, like Jameson.

Recipe: Classic Whiskey Sour

4. Irish Coffee Cocktail

Yet another classic cocktail features Irish whiskey, and this one teams up with everyone's favorite non-alcoholic drink for a one-two punch that will leave you warm and happy inside. The traditional Irish coffee features sweetened hot coffee, Irish whiskey, and whipped cream, a winning combination at any time of year. Our version levels it up by adding brown sugar and Bailey's Irish Cream into the mix, yielding a drink that knows its roots and does them one better. 

Recipe: Irish Coffee Cocktail 

5. Refreshing Spicy Margarita

Who says St. Patrick's Day beverages have to hail from the Emerald Isle? On an occasion when everyone's a little bit Irish, whatever their heritage, the day is also a moment to celebrate all things green. You know what fruits are naturally green? Limes. That makes their juice a perfect mixer — and margaritas the obvious next step for your inner mixologist. 

This version takes the classic sweet and sour cocktail and gives it a little extra heat by way of a jalapeño pepper (another conveniently green addition to an already magnificent concoction). While tequila doesn't have much color itself, at least its transparent nature doesn't get in the way of the green theme you're building on here. 

Recipe: Refreshing Spicy Margarita

6. Classic Mojito

Another South of the Border beverage that takes the verdant hue and runs with it is the Mojito. While the spicy margarita gets its color from limes and jalapeños, the mojito takes a cooler approach by making mint the wing man to its lime main squeeze. Made with white rum, muddled mint leaves, lime juice, simple syrup, and club soda, this beloved drink is bright and refreshing — just what you need if you're clog-dancing the night away and need to take a breather. 

Recipe: Classic Mojito

7. Mint Julep

While we're talking about minty goodness, how could we forget the Mint Julep? We know what you're thinking: "The julep is the Derby drink." But who says it has to be a one-trick pony? It's minty, it's green, and you if you want to go full Irish, you could even try swapping out the bourbon for (Irish) whiskey. It's another drink with a light touch that will give you lots of room for corned beef and cabbage or bangers and mash. 

Recipe: Mint Julep

8. Green Tea Shots

As much as we love lime and mint, there's more to green drinks than these obvious ingredients. Another terrific tipple nods to Ireland's favorite color and is food coloring-free: the classic green tea shot. While the green hue is subtle (like the tea itself), it further reflects the day's focus by including Jameson's Irish Whiskey. Also made with lemon-lime soda, peach schnapps, and sour mix, these shooters are light, sweet, and a little bit sparkling.

Recipe: Green Tea Shots

9. Green Ghost Cocktail

If you're looking for something a little different — but not at all difficult — this St. Patrick's Day, the Green Ghost Cocktail may be right up your alley. Another green cocktail that gets its color naturally, this beauty requires only three ingredients (though one is admittedly a bit niche). Gin is the base spirit for the beverage, while lime juice adds a hit of color and flavor. The surprise? French Chartreuse liqueur is tipped in for its signature yellow-green hue and herbal flavor. The result is a subtle, sophisticated, pale green drink. 

Recipe: Green Ghost Cocktail

10. Vitamin Loaded Green Juice

Want something really green and jam-packed with vitamins? If you're looking for a nutritious St. Patrick's Day libation to serve to the lads, look no further than this veggie-rich green juice. Kale provides a mega-dose of nutritional value, cucumber keeps things light, and the apples sweeten it up while ginger gives it a kick. This is certrainly a great way to start the holiday morning (along with the rest of your traditional Irish breakfast, of course). 

Recipe: Vitamin Loaded Green Juice