Hello, everybody! And, a very happy St. Patrick's Day to all of you today! As you can see, I've made this place a little bit Irish to celebrate the occasion, and this post will be written in green font to make this post really pop.
I figure it's the best that I can do, given that I have not a drop of Irish blood in me. When you have a first name with Hebrew origins and a last name that is French-Canadian, that pretty much guarantees that the luck of the Irish is NOT on my side.
But hey, I ate Lucky Charms and watched Harrigan as a kid, so I guess that counts for something, right?
Now, I imagine that later on tonight, many of you will be doing a lot of pub crawling. Or, in the case of my small town, going to like one of the three or four bars that happen to be in town and seeing which one is the busiest. And why would you do that?
Well, I would imagine that it may have a little to do with this.
Let's face it. For most of us who are Irish or who want to be Irish, green beer is the best way to blend in with the crowd. It's only available once a year, and it's the same colour as lemon lime Kool-Aid a lot of the time. It's like going back to childhood in a way...only with a lot different taste and a lot less equilibrium the more you indulge.
But what about those of us who don't like green beer? Or beer of any kind? Where does that leave us?
I guess I should explain. While I have nothing against drinking beer - I've been known to enjoy a Heineken once in a blue...ahem...green moon - I'm not much of a drinker. I'm the kind of person who would prefer to drink water over alcoholic beverages at a party. There are reasons behind it, but I won't go into them too much here. For the most part, I practice teetotalism, and I'm fine with that.
Of course, it leads to a dilemma. If I don't want green beer, and if Irish creme based alcoholic cocktails are also out of the question...what else is there for us to drink?
Fortunately, there are other options out there for having a good time the non-alcoholic way. Allow me to share some with you.
1 - SHAMROCK SHAKES
Remember when you were a kid, and you went to McDonald's every March 17th? Remember how they had a special edition milkshake that was only available on that day that you just had to have?
Yes, I'm talking about Shamrock Shakes. And, no...they weren't made with real shamrocks either. We're at McDonald's...not Whole Foods.
No, a Shamrock shake is a basic vanilla milkshake mixed with peppermint flavouring and green food colouring. When I was a kid, I loved them. By my teen years, I lost interest in them. And now as an adult, I've grown to like them again. But if you don't want to go out to McDonald's to get one of these yourself, you can make one using mint chocolate chip ice cream, milk, and a blender. Honestly, homemade ones are much better anyway. But still, it's nice of McDonald's to keep making them every year.
2 - 7UP/SPRITE
Many of us have had the debate as to which one is better. I've always preferred Sprite myself - though I loved Cherry 7UP when it was available in Canada. But these sodas - while not green in colour - are made with lemon and lime flavouring. And at least with Sprite and 7UP being clear in colour, it makes it easy to dye green! It looks like green beer, but has no alcohol, so you can drink as much as you like!
Other green-ish sodas that you could indulge in are Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist, Mello Yello (which I believe still exists in some parts of the U.S.A.) and Canada Dry Ginger Ale.
3 - IRISH COFFEE
Now, I know, I know. You think Irish Coffee is made with alcohol - which if you use Bailey's Irish Creme, yes it is. But if you want the taste of Irish Creme without the alcohol, grab some coffee flavouring that is made with cream. It tastes just as delicious and you won't get buzzed!
4 - GREEN KOOL-AID
Okay, so this is more of a kid beverage, but still...if you want a non-alcoholic St. Patrick's Day beverage, this works!
Regardless of your choice of beverage, just remember not to overdo it. Call a cab or Uber it if you feel like you've had too much. Stay at a pal's house overnight to sleep it off. Do NOT drink and drive.