St. Patrick’s Day Cocktails, Shots, and Drinks: Recipes Just for Bartenders

st-patricks-day-cocktail-recipes

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up! That means a whopping 150% increase in beer and liquor sales.

And green makeup, a Leprechaun hat, and whatever random green stuff you can find in your junk drawer to adorn yourself with aren’t the only things you’ll need as a bartender on one of the biggest party days of the year. 

You will 100% need some green beer. It’s sort of a staple. But, dare I say, it’s a boring staple. 


Don’t be a boring bar or bartender! Keep the party going with festive, Irish-fun-filled, liquid luck—cocktail recipes for St. Patrick’s Day. And if you’re ready for it, a little flair never hurts!

Let’s get Shamrock-in’ I wouldn’t want to leave you Guinness-ing. Okay, enough with the puns.

1. Irish Coffee

irish-coffee-recipe
Image via Canva

What makes an Irish Coffee an Irish Coffee? You have to get a special blend of coffee beans from Ireland and then you—just kidding! What makes this coffee drink stand out from the rest is the Irish whiskey. We’re bartenders, not baristas! 

This drink is easy to make and can turn any cold-weather St. Patrick’s day celebration into a warm, cozy party.

Is it hot in March where you live and work? Try an Irish Iced coffee variation with Irish cream and whiskey. Nobody likes a hot drink when they’re sweating, so don’t even try to suggest it.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons packed brown sugar, to taste
  • 4 ounces strong, hot coffee
  • 1 1/2 ounces Irish whiskey
  • 1 ounce heavy cream, lightly whipped

Instructions

  • The brown sugar should be placed into a hot Irish coffee glass, mug, or something similar that’s heatproof. Add Irish Whiskey and coffee, then stir until solids are dissolved. By slowly pouring the cream over the back of a spoon, you should create a floating layer of lightly whipped heavy cream.

2. Green Beer

how-to-make-green-beer
Image via Canva

In Chicago and cities where St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by the masses, you can’t swing a cat without hitting a glass of green beer. 

This means whether or not you’re new to bartending, you’ll need to know how to make this nostalgic staple to celebrating the Irish. 

Luckily, making this St. Patrick’s day drink is probably easier than your first bartending shift was (or ever will be.) 

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces of  beer
  • 1-2 drop(s) green food coloring

Instructions

  • Go ahead and add 1-2 drops of green food coloring to your beer glass. Pour your beer, stir if needed, and serve!

3. St. Patrick’s Day Jello Shots

jello-shots-for-st-patricks-day
Image via Society19 | Recipe via Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt

There’s a reason why people wear that little shot glass around their neck on St. Patricks’ Day. And the reason is pretty simple. People take a lot of shots! So you’ll need one or two in your playbook to suggest. 

These St. Patricks’ Day jello shots are brightly colored with hues of the Irish flag and are batched ahead of time so you can keep turning guests and making money. 

Ingredients

  • 3 packets unflavored gelatin, divided for use
  • 2 cups water, divided for use
  • 7 oz sweet condensed milk 
  • 1 cup chilled vanilla vodka, divided for use
  • 3 oz box green gelatin
  • 2-3 drops orange food coloring
  • Whipped cream and sprinkles, garnish

Instructions

  • Add 1 cup water to a small pan. Bring the water to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat. Stir in 1 packet of unflavored gelatin. Let gelatin dissolve completely. Stir in the green jello mix until it dissolves. Stir in the green jello mix until it dissolves. Add ⅓ cup of vodka. Stir well. Fill the bottom third of each shot glass with the green mixture. Put it in the freezer for about an hour or until the gelatin is firm.
  • Boil the remaining 2 packets of gelatin and stir until it’s all gone. Pour in the condensed milk and then two-thirds of the vodka, chilled. Stir. 
  • Then, pour your white mixture into a bowl and chill, saving for later. Then, pour the rest of the white concoction into your shot glasses (two-thirds of the way now) and let chill for a half hour or so.
  • Bring out the mixture you were saving for later use. Heat it in a microwave so you can stir it up to be smooth. Once you can stir, add a few drops of orange food coloring. Stir until color is consistent. Finish off your jello shots by pouring in this orange layer. Chill for a half hour.  
  • If you want, you can garnish with whipped cream and sprinkles for an added experience. 

4. Grasshopper

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Image via Canva | Recipe via Liquor.com

This green cocktail almost made the cut for our top spring cocktail list. If you missed those recipes, definitely check those out before the season ends! 

The Grasshopper is a minty-fresh drink that’s served in a martini glass and isn’t meant to be consumed as fast as some people might be drinking today. 

A lot of guests will be hopping around to different bars so they’ll be in and out. But if you work at a bar that’s a bit more refined or has longer table turns, this suggestion may be exactly what your guest needs to feel festive and fun.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce green creme de menthe
  • 1 ounce white creme de cacao
  • 2 ounces heavy cream

Instructions

  • Pour ingredients into your shaker with some ice and shake it until it’s chilled and frothy to the touch. Strain into a chilled martini glass and serve. 

5. Shamrock Punch

group-st-patricks-day-drinks
Image via Canva | Recipe via Lemon Tree Dwelling

Other than shots, serving a group pitcher of cocktails can be a simple solution to handling a higher amount of volume today. And, the more people you serve the more money you make so you need to be churning and burning ‘em all day long to find true luck. 

This electrifyingly green cocktail pitcher is not only shareable on social media (hello, free marketing!), it’s tropical, sweet, and made with melon-flavored Japanese liqueur, Midori. 

Ingredients

  • 4 cup seltzer 
  • 2 cup vodka
  • 2 cup Midori liqueur
  • 2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • Handful of maraschino cherries

Instructions

  • Mix everything in a large bowl or pitcher. Pour batched product into a storing container or store-and-pours. When an order is placed, pour into a pitcher and serve with rocks glasses filled with fresh ice and cherry garnishes. 

6. Green Whiskey Smash

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Image via Canva | Recipe via Always Order Dessert

This festive recipe was made by a lover of Whiskey Sours. Except, they made it to be green which is perfect for today.

Ingredients

  • .5 lime, cut into small wedges
  • .25 cup diced cucumber
  • 5-9 sprigs of fresh mint
  • 2 ounces whiskey
  • 4 ounces limeade

Instructions

  • In the bottom of a glass, combine the lime, cucumber, and mint. Muddle it to release the juices. Add ice and add your whiskey. Top with the limeade. Add a wedge of lime or cucumber wheel and fresh mint as a garnish.

7. Pot of Gold Shot

st-pattys-day-shots
Image and Recipe via Delish

All day long, all over the world, people search for a pot of gold on March 17th. They won’t find it, of course. Unless it’s this shot at your bar, the Pot of Gold shot!

Ingredients

  • 1 package lemon or pineapple Jell-O (3.4-oz) 
  • 1.5 cup cold whiskey
  • 1 cup Cool Whip
  • Gold sprinkles
  • 6 rainbow candy belts, cut into 2-inch pieces

Instructions

  • Get 1 cup of water boiling in a small pan. Mix in the Jell-O until dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the whiskey and another cup of water. Pour the mixture into 16 plastic shot glasses and place them on a baking sheet. Fill each shot glass two-thirds full. Refrigerate for 2 hours, until firm.
  • To garnish, sprinkle each with gold sprinkles and a dollop of Cool Whip. Put a rainbow-colored candy belt forming a semicircle on top, then serve.

We Couldn’t Leave These off the List

Give Your Guests a Rainbow Rim

Seeing a rainbow on St. Patrick’s Day is like seeing a black cat on Halloween. It just makes sense. If it doesn’t happen, the holiday feels meh

You can’t rim a martini glass with a black cat, but you can give your guest a rainbow on the luckiest day of the year and make their St. Patty’s day complete. 

Watch this video (skip to 0:21!) on how to rim any cocktail with rainbow sugar:


From Yucky to Lucky with Local Bartending School

St. Patrick’s Day looks a lot brighter now that you have tasty cocktail recipes ready to whip out of your Leprechaun hat! Who knows, you might even find a whole pot of gold in your tip jar. With these drinks that your guests will love, we’re willing to bet on them. 

Haven’t quite leaped your bartending career? Our team of industry experts and instructors are ready to assist you so you can find your own bit of gold! Sign up for our bartending course today and you’ll be certified in just a week!

Bar owners, can you handle the huge jump in volume on St. Patrick’s Day? You might not be feeling so lucky with the way your staff is operating. We can help! LBS offers specialized training programs just for bar owners like you, so you can be ready for the third biggest drinking holiday in the U.S. this year, and every year!

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Carrie Jean Lipe

Carrie Lipe has been writing creatively since childhood but jump-started her professional writing after college. She's an Indiana native, Ball State Hospitality graduate, and a bartender with over 10+ years in the industry. You can find her making basil Moscow mules when she's not writing. Follow her professional journey on Instagram! @contentbycarriejean

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