With St. Patrick’s Day upon us, the Kelly green flags and the Guinness posters will start popping up all over the place. Your local watering hole will be adorned with cheap, plastic promotional material attempting to make you feel as though the luck of the Irish is upon you as you search for the next pint of stout in the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Now we all know and love Guinness. That 75% nitrogen pressurized, 198 calories per imperial pint (20 ounces), pot of black gold that isn’t technically ready for consumption until 119.5 seconds after the first pour blah, blah, blah. We’ve heard it all before.

So in an attempt to do something a little different in putting together a beer cocktail, and in my efforts to “keep it green” for the upcoming holiday, I chose to focus on the color more than the country of origin in regard to the beverage of choice.

In 2007, Absinthe, or the Green Fairy, was once again allowed to flap her jade colored wings to the shores of the United States after being banned for nearly 100 years. After almost a century of banishment, barkeeps and home mixologists set to work in an effort to showcase this long time taboo spirit that is often credited with causing Van Gough to remove his ear.

Now forget what you’ve heard about this stuff, you won’t start seeing green fairies, or leprechauns, or any other mystical creatures from consuming this beverage; so put away your Lord of the Rings box set, and put down your tights Tinkerbell…but, as always, imbibe in moderation!

St. Patricks Day Cocktail Liquor

By simply pouring one shot of this green goodness into a glass of Joseph James Craft American Lager, my beer cocktail was complete. Lager seemed like a logical choice as the lightness of the beer lends itself quite nicely to adding hard alcohol to it. The strong anise flavor of the absinthe is very present at the beginning of each sip, but the lager smoothes out the bite of the 124 proof liquor leaving just a slight herbal taste on the finish.

St. Patricks Day Cocktail

Now I love a good shepherd’s pie or a plate of corned beef and cabbage as much as the next person, but I decided to go simple with this and grill up some thin-sliced beef tenderloin. And in keeping with the green theme, I dressed it up with Chimichurri, which is an Argentinian sauce/marinade made with a variety of herbs. The sauce was a great addition to the tenderloin and went quite well with the herbal beverage.

So if you’re looking for something different to try this St. Paddy’s day, there are options out there. So put down the Lucky Charms and the Irish Whisky and you just may find this recipe to be luckier than a four leaf clover in making this a truly unique St. Patrick’s Day!


  • 12 Oz. American Lager (skip the macro brews and find yourself a decent craft lager)
  • 1 Shot Absinthe