Happy St Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day (Sunday, 17 March) is an important event on the on trade calendar. It offers the opportunity to increase sales and footfall for the entire weekend.
And while it’s crucial to stock up on classic Irish brands like Baileys, Bushmills, Jameson and Magners, everyone knows that Guinness is the drink of the day – so, cheers to that!
Play it straight
A pint (or half) of Guinness is, for many, one of life’s purest pleasures. However, pouring Guinness is an art form. It has to be ‘the perfect serve’ so make sure your staff are trained on this before the crowds descend! Pouring a Guinness involves a precise process to achieve the settled heavy mass of velvet black beer under a smooth, creamy white head that sits just above the lip of the pint glass (see diagram opposite). Pure perfection.
Mix it up
For those customers who are new to the taste of Guinness, or want to mix it up, here are Take Stock’s suggestions on some Guinness twists…
The Blacksmith – 50/50 mix of draught Guinness and one of the top selling ales in Ireland – Smithwick’s
The Dog’s Nose – pour 25ml gin into a pint glass and top with Guinness. Black, cold and wet, this is said to have been a favourite of Charles Dickens!
Purple Velvet – pour 35ml port into a pint glass and top with Guinness
Guinness Black Russian – 25ml coffee liqueur, 25ml vodka, 100ml cola all poured into a tall glass and stirred. Top up with Guinness and garnish with a wedge of lime
Black Velvet – half fill a tall glass with Guinness and allow to settle. Top up with Prosecco or Champagne (poured in over an inverted spoon) and an optional dash of gin
Black Suede – Guinness with a shot of Tia Maria
Black & Smooth – a classic Irish drink, it’s a mixture of Guinness and Kilkenny Red Ale
Black Castle – also known as Black & Brown, add ½ pint of Guinness to the same amount of Newcastle Brown ale
Belgian Brunette – 50/50 mix of Guinness and Stella Artois – giving a lighter taste and a crisper finish
Black Ice – half fill a tall glass with Smirnoff Ice and top with Guinness; pouring over a spoon to form two layers. It creates a lava lamp in a glass!
Red Witch – mix together 1/3 Guinness, 1/3 cider, 50ml Pernod and a measure of blackcurrant cordial in a pint glass
Lady Guinness – pour 25ml Crème de Cassis into a glass and fill with Guinness. For a lower alcohol version, use blackcurrant cordial
Drunken Leprechaun – put a scoop of vanilla ice cream into a cold glass and pour Guinness over
Dublin Iced Coffee – mix 2oz strong cold brew coffee with 2oz of Guinness, 1½ oz of Irish whiskey and ¾ oz of simple syrup in a highball glass. Add ice to fill then gently add ½ oz heavy cream so it gradually sinks into the coffee. Sprinkle with grated cinnamon
And for those who want a ‘Guinness’, without the Guinness:The Baby Guinness – 3 parts Tia Maria or Kahlúha in a shot glass, 1 part Baileys Irish Cream, carefully poured on top to create the head – whip the Baileys and spoon over for an even creamier head. Check out www.guinness.com for lots more great recipes and food pairing suggestions.
Good things come to those who wait…
The Perfect Pour is an essential part of serving Guinness, as is the use of Guinness branded glassware – which is specifically designed to bring out the best of every pint. Here’s how to do it: