Tired of green beer and corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day? You might be relieved to learn few Irish people eat that way, especially on March 17th. Having been to the Celtic Fringe and enjoyed parties with natives of the Emerald Isle, I’m delighted to share some more authentic fun for throwing a St. Patrick’s Day party.
Set the Mood
Green is the color of the day, but there’s no need to go overboard. Too much green, or green in the wrong places can induce nausea instead of enlivening the mood. Try switching out ordinary bulbs for green ones. Grandma’s linen tablecloth gathering dust? St. Patrick’s day is the perfect time to bring it out. It’s far more authentically Irish than a green paper one. Think gathering ’round with friends at the pub, rather than cartoon leprechauns for real Irish flair.
Oh, Danny Boy
No St. Patrick’s Day party is complete without music. Fortunately, there are Irish artists from several genres to appeal to every taste. Even a blend of different genres show an appreciation of the wealth of Irish musical talent. But, looking for the extra touch to make it truly authentic? Hire local musicians, or a band. They need not play the Bodhran or Uilleann pipes. Singing around the pub or party together is a time honored tradition, although do ask ahead of time if they know Danny Boy.
Skip the corned beef and cabbage. I’ve never met an Irish person who eats that way on St. Patrick’s Day, and certainly not at a party. If budget permits, then oysters are top choice. March is one of the last months to really enjoy them fresh caught. They’re unmistakably Irish, and more fun party fare. Plus, they’re both traditional, and a nod to contemporary Irish sophistication. Salmon is just as authentic, and a bit more budget friendly. Lamb can be a bit pricy, but as meatballs for the party tray, it works. Wash it all down with Guiness, Harp or whiskey — Tullamore Dew if you can — for authentic flair.
Hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party like one you might find in Ireland might look a bit different than the green beer crowd admits. Celebrating the rich, long history and pride of the Emerald Isle is certainly a great party. Perhaps these tips will help you have so much fun, you’ll keep St. Patrick’s Day for more than just one day a year.