Tuesday, March 13, 2012


St. Patrick’s Day gives us that much-needed boost as we await escape from the winter doldrums and look toward spring. The patron saint and national apostle of Ireland, credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland, likely never imagined that he would be the impetus for the creation of, ‘hold your shillelaghs’ and green beer! 

The wearing of the green has been celebrated since the 17th century, and so has the wearing of shamrocks. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade in America took place in New York on March 17th, 1762 to honor Irish soldiers from the British army that were stationed in the United States at that time. Today, the United States celebrates St. Patrick’s Day more prolifically than any other country in the world – go USA!!! And, it is one of the highest-ranking days for alcohol consumption of the year as the Irish and wannabee-Irish clink pints at pubs all over the country.

Saint Patrick’s Day is mired in traditions, both new and old. It is a day for celebration, a day to honor the Patron Saint of Ireland, a day to eat some great Irish food and drink Irish beer and whiskey, and perhaps even watch a parade.

The annual event kicks off with Countdown to St. Pat’s events and promotions to get us geared up for the one-day celebration on March 17th. Promotional products abound including green wearables, blinky buttons, openers, hats, beads, coasters, banners, and signage. GAP has everything one might need for a successful St. Patrick’s day O’Celebration with an array of promotional items, displays, and fixtures. 

St. Patrick's Day Event T-Shirt

Foam Leprechaun Ears

Glossy Event Poster

Of course, no St. Pat’s event is complete without choice beverages and traditional foods. Here are a few of our favorite drink recipes, as well as one for Guinness and Bailey’s infused chocolate cupcakes that’ll knock the paddy cap off your head! 

1. Green Beer. Beer is a favored drink among the Irish and the Irish of the Day. Favorite Irish beers are Guinness and Kilkenny but any Irish stout works. Just add a bit of green food coloring to the glass.

2. Irish cider. Magners Original Irish Cider is found in many bars this time of year.

3. Irish Coffee. Originally created in Limerick, Ireland, if you drink enough you’ll be reciting bad limericks with everyone at the bar. Mix a half shot of Irish whiskey into a cup of hot coffee. Stir in some sugar to taste. Top off with a splash of Irish cream.

4. Frozen Leprechaun. Mix equal parts Bailey’s, Kahlua, peppermint schnapps and milk; blend it all with ice and then top it off with a sprig of mint.

All of these drinks can be enjoyed in moderation. Whatever you end up doing and drinking on St. Patrick’s Day, please celebrate responsibly! If you are partaking, arrange for designated drivers or taxi cabs to get you home at the end of the night.

And don’t forget to wear your green to avoid being pinched!

Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey’s Irish Cream Frosting

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup Guinness stout
2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
2 eggs
½ cup sour cream

½ cup unsalted butter
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 pinch salt
3 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream (or Carolan’s)
1 tablespoon milk
Green sprinkles, optional


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 24-30 cupcake cups, or fill with paper liners.

2. In a saucepan, heat the butter, Guinness, cocoa powder and brown sugar, whisking often until butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature.

3. In work bowl of a stand mixer, sift together salt, flour, white sugar and baking soda. Add the cooled Guinness mixture and beat on medium for 1 minute. Add eggs and sour cream and beat on medium for 2 minutes or until smooth.

4. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake cups. Bake in preheated oven 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean. Cool in pan 20 minutes, then remove and transfer to a cooling rack until completely cooled.

5. Meanwhile, in (cleaned) work bowl of stand mixer, cream butter until very light and fluffy. Add salt, and slowly add confectioners sugar. Do not run the mixer above low, or the sugar will spray all over your kitchen. Add a couple of spoonfuls at a time until all is absorbed into the butter. Add Bailey's and milk (and optional green food coloring) until spreadable consistency is achieved.

6. Frost cupcakes with Bailey's frosting. Top with green sprinkles, if desired.

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