Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day – and as this year the famous Irish celebration falls on a Tuesday, there’s a brilliant mid-week sales opportunity looming.
As in previous years there will be parades and events across the UK, so it makes sense for you to join in the fun with food and drink that will let you all your customers go green!
What to serve
• The Full Irish – get your sales off to a flying start by offering your customers an Irish breakfast – bacon, sausages, eggs, fried tomatoes, mushrooms, hash browns, white and black pudding and baked beans.
Pair with: tea and coffee
• Galway Oysters – the West of Ireland is said to produce some of the very best oysters, with those harvested in Clarinbridge, County Galway famous for their taste and quality.
Pair with: Guinness, a crisp dry white wine such as a Muscadet, or for something special, a Fino or Manzanilla sherry
• Colcannon – served as a main or side, Colcannon is potatoes mashed with milk and butter, which is then mixed with cabbage or kale. Serve alongside boiled ham or with bacon stirred into it.
Pair with: an unbaked chardonnay or a glass of Irish whiskey
• Cockles and Mussels – Dublin’s unofficial anthem ‘Molly Malone’ tells the story of a beautiful young woman selling her shellfish on the streets, and the delicious combination of cockles – small saltwater clams – and mussels is a very popular Irish dish.
Pair with: Pinot Grigio, an ice cold Pilsner or a dry cider
• Potato and Irish Cheddar rolls – a uniquely Irish combination that can be prepared ahead of time as they freeze well. Perfect as a bar snack, with butter at teatime or to accompany dishes like Irish stew.
Pair with: Smithwick’s beer
• Pies and stews – Irish stew and steak and Guinness pie are firm St. Patrick’s Day favourites. Serve with colcannon and some soda bread to mop up the gravy.
Pair with: a Côtes du Rhône or Pinotage reds or a Belgian beer like Chimay goes great with Irish stew. Choose a Porter-style beer, or an Argentinian Malbec for the steak pie
Don’t forget desserts…
There are a number of classic Irish desserts that have whiskey or stout as the magic ingredient. Guinness chocolate cake and brownies; stout cupcakes; Irish whiskey salted caramels and soused orange bundt cake to name a few. And of course, both whiskey and stout are fantastic in creams and ice creams, icings and ganache.
Don’t forget the soda bread
Simple and quick to make, but an absolute must for your menu! Do white and brown varieties and serve with plenty of Irish butter, jams and tea. And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not serve Barmbrack – a sweet Irish quick bread made with sultanas and raisins, or incorporate Irish whiskey in your soda bread recipe?
Irish beers to stock
Murphy Irish Red – a hoppy classic
O’Hara’s Irish Pale Ale – a balanced pale ale with bitter citrus aroma
Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale – smooth and creamy
Smithwick’s Irish Red Ale – rich and ruby coloured with malty, floral notes
Beamish Irish Stout – a traditional, fully rounded malted stout
Porterhouse Brewing Oyster Stout – a Dublin favourite
Bulmers Original Irish Cider – made with 17 different apple varieties. Serve over ice
Clonmel 1650 – a pilsner style beer named after the historic town
Murphy’s Irish Stout – from the Lady’s Well Brewery in Cork
Guinness Draught – the world’s number one
Irish whiskeys to stock
Jameson – the world leader
Powers – a mixture of pot-still and grain
Redbreast – a pure pot whiskey
Tullamore D.E.W – the world’s number two
Tyrconnell – from Ireland’s only independent distillery
Bushmills – from the oldest licensed distillery in the world
Paddy – an unusual mix of single pot, single malt and grain
Tradition dictates that the last whiskey on St.Patrick’s Day has a shamrock in the bottom of the glass. After a toast to St. Patrick the whiskey is drunk, and for good luck, the shamrock tossed over
your left shoulder.
St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Tuesday. Why not hold the celebration on a weekend either side to make the most out of the event?