With St. Patrick’s Day coming up on March 17th, do you already know how will you celebrate? Our plan is to drink only the best coffee and eat excellent food. Join us!
If you don’t have plans yet, no need to fret! This article will help you decide all the best places to celebrate and what types of traditional foods to eat along with their best coffee pairing!
History of St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday observes the death of the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick. Saint Patrick lived in the fifth century and was believed to have brought Christianity to the people of Ireland. Centuries after his death, the stories of his life became more and more intertwined with the Irish culture. Originally, St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland was a religious occasion with church in the morning and celebration in the afternoon with traditional meals.
The celebration of St. Patrick’s Day grew in the United States largely due to Irish patriotism of American immigrants. Parades in city streets were one way the Irish immigrants celebrated their heritage and connected them back to their roots. It also allowed them to form together against stereotypes and racial prejudice in the American Protestant majority during the mid-19th century. As the Irish immigrants spread out over the United States, each city started creating their own unique traditions. For example, Chicago now has an annual celebration for St. Patrick’s Day by dyeing the Chicago River green.
Best Places to Celebrate
St. Patrick’s Day today is a celebration of Irish culture. This includes parades, special foods, music, dancing, drinking, and the large representation of the color green. With more than 100 parades held across the United States, there are plenty of opportunities for you to get involved with the celebrating! Here are some of the best places to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day:
- Dublin, Ireland: Being Irish’s capital, it is the center of the St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Not only are some of the city buildings illuminated in green, but their celebration lasts for four days. The four days of celebration include many different activities such as colorful street carnivals, parades with floats, beer and whiskey festivals, fun fairs, and free live music.
- New York City: This city is a must-go place for those living in the United States and wanting to celebrate big for St. Patrick’s Day. NYC hosts the oldest and largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the U.S. with other 150,000 participating and two million spectators.
- Boston, Massachusetts: Being the most Irish-American city, Boston is a great city to spend the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. This city hosts a parade that includes traditional marching bands from across the U.S. You are also able to visit the many Irish pubs in the city for some traditional Irish food, such as corned beef and cabbage and some drinks to celebrate.
- San Diego, California: This city has its own kind of fun on St. Patrick’s Day and you’ll be in for lots of fun in the Gaslamp Quarter. The Gaslamp Quarter, to celebrate, is transformed into an emerald isle with rolling hills using turfs. There are also plenty of pubs you can grab green pints of beer while listening to Irish bands performing.
- Savannah, Georgia: Savannah hosts one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the world. Their celebrations also include traditional Irish dancing, professional bagpipers, and tons of food and drinks. One of their unique traditions include dyeing the Forsyth Park’s fountain water emerald green.
- Chicago, Illinois: This city has their own unique St. Patrick’s Day celebration that includes transforming the Chicago River into an emerald stream. They also feature a Downtown St. Patrick’s Day Parade with plenty of floats, marching bands, and Irish dancers. Chicago also has plenty of Irish pubs and taverns you can go to eat and drink to your heart’s content.
One of the most famous drinks the Irish are known for is the Irish Coffee. It is a coffee cocktail made of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and topped with cream. The Irish Coffee was believed to be invented in a small town in West Ireland called Foynes. Hosting one of the busiest airports in Ireland, a new restaurant was opened there. This restaurant was the first to create the Irish Coffee as a way to warm up the passengers. This drink became a huge success in the United States when travel writer, Santon Delaplane, brought the recipe to a bartender in San Francisco. Both Delaplane and the bartender Jack Koeppler opened a bar and tried to make their own American Irish Coffee. Once it was perfected, its popularity grew in the United States.
Do you enjoy a warm cup of Irish Coffee? Or have you been wanting to try how it tastes? Well luckily for you, you can make it right at home. To make the process simpler and less of a chore, you can use Waka Coffee’s instant coffee instead of brewed. In a previous blog we have already created a recipe and detailed instructions for your convenience!
To make your own Irish Coffee right at home, click here! & enjoy!
Coffee in Ireland Beyond Irish Coffee
Although the Irish Coffee is the most popular drink Ireland is known for, Irish people drink a variety of different types of coffee, many of which are much like ones found in the United States. According to the Irish Coffee Council, the most popular coffee in Ireland is cappuccino and the runner up was the Americano.
In fact, there are many independent coffee shops and roaster that have opened up in Ireland. Coffee shops and specialty coffee have become just as popular as pubs! This has started an age of Irish coffee culture with flat whites, lattes, filter coffee, and much more. Many of the independent coffee shops have become even more popular than the large coffee chains. These coffee shops provide this experience through quality coffee, an offer of variety of beans, and different brewing methods. In addition, these coffee shops have diversified their menus with new drink creations such as the matcha latte and turmeric latte, as well as offering almond and oat milks.
There is a lot more to Ireland’s coffee culture than just Irish Coffee and continue to rapidly grow and evolve. Who knows how big their innovations can get!
St. Patrick’s Food & Its Coffee Partner
A large part of the St. Patrick’s Day celebration includes both foods and drinks. We are here to introduce a few traditional Irish food for either St. Patrick’s Day brunch, lunch, or dinner! While alcohol is a popular drink for this holiday, St. Patrick’s Day coffee can be a thing too (especially for those of you who are underage). For each dish, we will pair food with coffee and introduce you to their best coffee partner!
Irish Soda Bread
This is a soft textured cake like bread with the use of baking soda as a leavening agent. While the traditional soda bread had golden raisins in them, you can also find variations of this recipe. Some variations include raisins, caraway, and orange zest. Being a very slightly sweet bread, we would suggest to pair this with a latte, which is coffee with steamed milk poured on top.
Find a recipe here.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Unlike the name, this dessert is not an American version of the name “pudding”. In fact, the word “pudding” is more of a term meaning dessert. This is actually a moist date cake that’s coated in warm butterscotch toffee sauce. It can be served just on its own or topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. We would recommend pairing this toffee pudding with a shot of espresso to contrast and balance the sweetness on your tongue. It would also be an excellent pair to a black instant coffee made from quality beans.
Find a recipe here.
Corned Beef and Cabbage
Corned beef is beef brisket that is cured in rock salt and brine. It is then slowly cooked with spices like peppercorns or other mixed spices to make the tough cut of beef tender and flavorful. Cabbage is then added to the mix and once they are done cooking, are served together. Other vegetables can be added such as onions and carrots. Being a midday type of meal, the corned beef and cabbage pairing would be a nice iced coffee or iced instant coffee. This will keep your tongue refreshed and allow you to further enjoy the flavors of the beef and vegetables.
Find a recipe here.
This is a hearty and comforting stew made of a whole chicken, barley, bay leaves, leeks, and other vegetables and spices. Variations can also include recipes featuring lamb, carrots, potatoes, and a few herbs. We recommend pairing the rich Irish Stew with a plain black coffee or instant coffee as it will help cleanse your palate with a different taste in between a few bites of the hearty stew. You can take it warm or iced depending on your preference.
Find a recipe here.
Lemon Sponge Pudding
This cake is unique in that the batter separates into two layers as it is baked. The bottom layer is a custard or pudding and the top is an almost dense cake layer. It has both creamy sweetness and lemony tartness. It can be served with powdered sugar or whipped cream on top depending on preference. We would suggest pairing the lemon pudding dessert with a cappuccino or café au lait as it would complement the sweet tartness of the pudding.
With all the festivities of St. Patrick’s Day coming up, we hope this article gave you some great ideas of how to celebrate! There are plenty of places to go, a large variety of foods to make and eat, and coffee to drink! Check out Waka Coffee’s instant coffee for you celebration and drink needs for this holiday. Feel free to post pictures of your cup of instant joe on Instagram and use our hashtag #instantisback so we can all be in on the fun!