St Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, died on this day in 461 AD. Over the years, celebrations to mark his death and recognize his influence on religion in Ireland, the color green and the shamrock have become synonymous emblems of the day. The color green being a symbol of Irish Catholicism, and the shamrock a symbol for the Holy Trinity. Furthermore, celebrations of his death allowed for the temporary lifting of Lenten restrictions on food and alcohol – which is probably why the day revolves around booze and is recognized in more countries around the world than any other holiday.
Living in St Paul, I am no stranger to the much-stereotyped celebrations of this day where people pretend to be Irish, slug down green beers and spend the evening impersonating the Lucky Charms leprechaun. But, with the high population of Irish who make Minnesota home, the festivities are also rich in tradition and culture. During the week leading up to St Patrick’s Day, and on the day itself you can partake in showings of music, traditional cuisine, dance, and crafts. Not to mention the best parade of the year.
So, to celebrate, I like to indulge with a beverage we came up with a few years ago. The recipe is a knock-off of the shamrock shake but with an added spiked element . . . and it is just as good as you would expect.
Drunken Shamrock Shake – Makes two 6 oz servings
- 1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1-2 Tablespoons Creme de Menthe
- Ready Whip
- Sprinkles, Maraschino cherries, or mini chocolate chips for garnish
- Place all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth
- Pour into a chilled glass
- Top with Ready Whip
- Garnish with your toppings of choice
Feel free to pair your shakes with some Shamrock Sugar and Mint Cookies and have a happy but safe St Patrick’s Day.
*Image courtesy of Ashton Swank because mine was half gone before I thought to share the recipe . . . oops.