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(Gerry Furth-Sides – All photos courtesy of the mixologists and chef) St. Patrick’s Day bring to mind party celebrations with plenty of drinking and Guinness Beer. This year top mixologists and an award-winning pastry chef offer a few elegant, creative and certainly beautiful toasting alternatives. The inspiration was to motivate even the most jaded-green palates to raise their glasses (or spoons) in a hearty “Sláinte!”
Saint Patrick’s Day originated as a cultural and religious celebration marking the traditional death date on March 17 of Ireland’s foremost patron saint, St. Patrick ( c. AD 385–461). Today it is celebrated in high fashion by the Irish and the “Irish of heart” around the world who, at the least, wear something green. The fascinating story behind this party day is that St. Patrick was not born in Ireland and is known for converting pagans to Christianity. (http://www.theholidayspot.com/patrick/historyofpatrick.htm)
On the heels of winning her Food Network’s 2016 Christmas Cookie Challenge, pastry chef Brittani Szczecina proves her award-winning calibre talents with this ethereal, smooth, sophisticated St. Patrick’s Day cocktail. Chef Brittani is pastry chef at the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Resort & Spa in Florida.Brittani Szczecina, pastry chef, 3800 Ocean, (Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Resort & Spa)
Bailey’s Irish Cream Panna Cotta
· 4 cups heavy cream
· ½ cup sugar
· 6 gelatin sheets
· 4 oz. Baileys Original Irish Cream
· Pinch of salt
Bloom gelatin in ice water for five minutes or until soft. Remove from ice water and squeeze; set aside on a dry towel.
Bring the remaining ingredients to a simmer and stir in the gelatin.
Pour into glasses large enough to show off gelatin and garnish. Let set in the fridge for at least two hours.
Garnish with any favorite toppings, such as crushed chocolate cookies, chocolate sauce, St. Patrick’s Day sprinkles, or even a mini cupcake.
The Trinity cocktail master-minded by by Zachary Blair, lead mixologist, KANU, Whiteface Lodge in Lake Placid, New York, features an herbal taste with elderflower.Zachary Blair, lead mixologist, (Whiteface Lodge)
Legend has it that St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity. So Ireland’s favorite three-leafed clover is the inspiration behind this cocktail with three distinct spirits.
The Trinity Cocktail
· 2.5 oz. Irish whiskey (Westbrook)
· 1 oz. elderflower liqueur
· 1 oz. sweet vermouth
· .25 oz. lime juice
Combine all ingredients in a glass with ice, stir, and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lime twist.
Eddie Garcia created Luck of the Irish for fans of Guinness beer, affectionately known as the “Black Stuff. ” A simple syrup Eddie made from the beer provides the Guinness-infusion to the cocktail. Eddie is lead mixologist and manager of the Jade Bar at the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa in Arizona. (Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa)
Luck of the Irish Cocktail
· 2 oz. Redbreast whiskey
· ¾ oz. Guinness simple syrup (see recipe)
· ¾ oz. lemon juice
· ½ oz. apple juice
Make Guinness simple syrup: Heat 16 oz. Guinness in pan and cook down to 8 oz.; add 8 oz. raw sugar and stir to dissolve. Set aside to cool.
Combine ¾ oz. of the Guinness simple syrup and all other ingredients in a shaker. Shake and pour into a stemmed cocktail glass.
The Emerald Martini above was created by James Kruecher, director of food & beverage, McCoy’s Oceanfront, Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa in Florida.(James Kruecher, director of food & beverage, McCoy’s Oceanfront, Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa).
· 2 oz Absolut Lime
· ½ oz Sour Apple Pucker
· ½ oz St-Germain elderflower liqueur
· ½ oz lime juice, fresh squeezed
· Dash of house-made orange bitters
Combine all in a mixing glass and top with ice, shake 20 times vigorously, and double strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lime twist.
The St. Patrick’s Day holiday is not about alcohol but always brings to mind drinking. Do the Irish drink more than any other population. Statistics bear this out with the reasons being availability, affordability, fewer government regulations — and the cold, long winters. See:
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