March 17: St. Patrick’s Day

St Patricks“Normally if someone were to wake up at 7:00 in the morning, take the day off work, and get drunk at a bar before 10:00 a.m., they would be called an alcoholic, and not in the artistic, edgy way that white people are so fond of.” –Stuff White People Like.

Yes, folks, it’s Saint Patrick’s Day, that day when the world’s amateur drinkers decide to ruin it for the rest of us. The first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in America was organized in 1737 by the Charitable Irish Society of Boston. However, rather than look at the celebration of the holiday, let’s look at the origins of this feast day.

The historical Saint Patrick was allegedly a fourth century Roman-Brtion who was kidnapped by Irish pirates at the age of 16 and taken to Gaelic Ireland. In Gaelic Ireland, Patrick spent six years as a slave, during which time he “found God”. Patrick claim that God then told him to escape to the Irish coast where a ship would be waiting to take him home.

The story goes that the prophecy came to pass and Patrick returned home, where he became a priest. Soon Patrick returned to Ireland where he rid the country of its snakes. Of course, that’s just a metaphor. The story of St. Patrick ridding Ireland of it snakes is actually an anti-Pagan allegory spread by Catholics. Ireland had no snakes for Patrick to rid Ireland of; instead, he converted thousands of Pagans to Christianity beating out the metaphoric snakes of Paganism. Legend says that Patrick used the three-leaved shamrock to teach the concept of the Holy Trinity. It’s said that St. Patrick died (whether he was martyred or not is unclear) on March 17.

Now, if you’re planning on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, you can drink beer laced with green food coloring, or you could enjoy something less disgusting. I tried to find something that used Irish whiskey, but my eyes kept turning to a cocktail called The Emerald Isle. It’s a bright green and minty concoction made with gin and creme de mènthe named after Ireland.

The Emerald Isle

  • 2 ounces Gin
  • 1/2 ounce Green Creme de Mènthe
  • 2 dash Bitters

Shake the gin and creme de mènthe with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add two dashes of bitters and then garnish with an orange twist.

Tomorrow: One history’s most famous art thefts.


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