It’s time to paddy like the night ain’t clover with these drink recommendations

Stop whining and start wine-ing brings a special St. Patrick’s Day edition!

Graphic Joey Bruce

If you’re anything like me, then every year, around the second week of March, you start thinking, “Hey, why is everything suddenly green?”

Then it hits you: It’s St. Patrick’s Day! You’ve got to get to the parade downtown (better known as one of the longest consecutive running St. Patrick’s Day parades in the world), but you don’t have anything to drink! 

This year, I’m trying something new. Instead of leaving it up to the luck of the Irish, I’ll be drinking some of these beers, cocktails, and a little something special instead, and I hope you will too. 

For this St. Patrick’s Day, I'm skipping the wine and the flashy green beers that cost an arm and a leg at the bar.  I’ll be (sham)rocking out with these:


Guinness (obviously) 

Approx. 11$ for a 4-pack at most grocery and convenience stores.

What’s St. Patrick’s Day without a pint of Guinness? Founded in 1759, in Dublin, Guinness is actually one of the most successful alcohol brands around the world. If you’re looking to enjoy your night without getting trashed, then this might be the beer for you. It typically has an alcohol by volume of between 4.1 per cent and 4.3 per cent when it’s on tap at a bar or comes from a regular stout can, so you can enjoy a few before piling in the Uber with your friends! With its smooth and creamy texture, it’s a crowd pleaser for a reason, but few people realize that the texture is caused by the little widget, which Guinness invented, at the bottom of the can, which causes the beer to be exactly the same whether it’s poured from the can or the tap.  Don’t freak out if it’s served to you at room temperature; that’s how it’s supposed to be served! 

Read more: Become a sommelier on a budget

Harp Lager 

$3.49 per can at IGA

This beer might be a bit harder to find than a Guinness, but it’s definitely worth the trouble. It has a beautiful golden colour, and according to my mother, it’s the best beer you’ll ever have. In actuality, it has a bright, crisp taste, and is slightly bitter upfront, but finishes nice and smooth. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try creating a Black and Tan, which is when you make a half and half pint of Harps and Guinness. 

Kilkenny  1

$2.59 per can at IGA

This beer is an Irish cream ale, but despite the fact that it’s brewed in Ireland, it has a special connection to Canada. We’re actually, along with Australia, the world’s largest importer of Kilkenny beer, and you can often find it in Montreal Irish Pubs like Hurley’s, Mckibbin’s, or Honey Martin’s. It’s a really creamy beer, with caramel malt aromas and flavours. It’s a straightforward beer that will leave you satisfied every time. 

Iron Maiden Trooper

$3.45 per can at the SAQ

This is an ale that comes from England. While I know it’s not Irish, it tastes good enough that I’m willing to overlook that. It’s a clean, refreshing beer, that has malt flavours and a medium bitterness, so if you don’t like the typical St. Paddy’s Day offerings, this might be more your style. It should smell a bit citrusy and a little woody, but it won’t taste overly so. 


Irish Coffee

I’m sure you’ve heard of this one before, but just in case you haven’t, an Irish Coffee is a decadent, creamy, boozy coffee that is just right for warming you up while it’s still snowing in the middle of March! The recipe goes like this:

1 mug of black coffee 

1 ½ oz of Irish whiskey, I suggest Jameson since it’s easily accessible at most SAQs

Whipped cream

Sugar to taste 

Dissolve your sugar, however much you want, in your mug of hot coffee, then pour in your 1 ½ oz of Irish whiskey, and top with whipped cream. Stir and enjoy! If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can even put chocolate shavings on top, which is how I like to do it!

The Dublin Drop

Often referred to as an Irish Car Bomb (but this name is offensive so please don’t use it), Irish Slammer or Irish Bomb Shot, the Dublin Drop certainly packs a punch, so drink these responsibly (but not too responsibly, it’s still St. Paddy’s after all). If you’ve never done a bomb shot before, don’t worry because it’s pretty simple. You’re just dropping a prepared shot into a glass with a drink already in place, drinking the two as if they were one. The ingredients for this drink are fairly simple, and easily accessible:

0.5 oz of Jameson (or any other Irish whisky) 

0.5 oz of Baileys 

1/2 a pint of regular Guinness stout beer

Pour the Baileys into a shot glass, followed by the Irish whiskey, then quickly drop the shot glass into your pint glass containing your Guinness beer, and chug! The drink should be consumed in one go as it will begin to curdle the moment the drop happens. Don’t worry though, the drink is still good to drink—the texture, however, is not.

Irish Whiskey

When somebody orders a round of shots and the waiter brings out Jameson, you either love it, or you’re preemptively wincing from the taste. Fear not! Here’s an alternative that will make this St. Patrick’s Day a little better for the Irish whiskey lovers, and at least a little more bearable for the naysayers. 

Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition 

$41.50 at the SAQ

This is a new take on an old classic that makes it way more enjoyable if, like me, you aren’t a huge fan of whisky neat. This is the best of both worlds for St. Patrick’s Day because this whiskey is actually aged in casks (which are the barrels that spirits and beers are usually aged in) that previously housed an Irish Pale Ale type beer. So, instead of it tasting simply like whiskey or smoke, this one tastes like hops and citrus, and will have herbal, woody, and spicy notes too! 

So, from me here at Stop Whining and Start Wine-ing, 

Irish you a happy St. Paddy’s Day!