The holiday surrounding Saint Patrick is a full multi-faceted event covering many different things. It is a Catholic Christian holiday celebrating the feast day of St. Patrick – patron saint of Ireland – and a celebration of Irish heritage, history, and all things Irish.
As a Catholic St. Patrick’s always meant going out to dinner for some Corned Beef and Cabbage and a break from whatever I had given up for Lent that year; I always looked forward to this day.
Now the beverages the Irish are most well known for are beer and whiskey not so much wine. Although there are a few small local Irish wine producers that create wines for domestic consumption they produce mostly light white wines and a couple Red’s. Oddly enough the Irish expats have made a huge name for themselves in the world of wine outside Ireland. Some of the oldest wine traders and wineries in France were started by Irishmen, Hennessy Cognac was started by an Irishman as well as numerous wineries on the US West Coast and South America.
But going back to beer as the most commonly known Irish drink I’ve created a few beer and Irish inspired recipes for serving at your Saint Patrick’s party.
A few tidbits to know for Saint Patrick’s Day…
- St. Patrick wasn’t actually Irish – he was born in Roman Britain and kidnapped as a teenager and sent to Ireland as a slave
- St. Patrick was a missionary who helped spread Christianity to Ireland
- St. Patrick spent over 20 years in Ireland conducting charity and service work as part of his missionary role
- Legend has it St. Patrick used the ubiquitous 3 leaf clover to describe the Christian Trinity concept of God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit); 3 leaves in 1 leaf.
- The wearing of green to celebrate the holiday is a mostly American addition to the holiday. When parades were organized in America in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s Ireland was still under British rule and wearing of green to show Irish pride was banned. So of course one of the biggest aspects of the parades and celebrations in the USA was to wear green to show Irish pride.