Forget Green Beer, Instead Celebrate St. Patrick's Day With Irish Coffee

Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry aren’t just owners of The Dead Rabbit, a tri-level mid-19th century style Irish/New York drinking saloon and two-time “World’s Best Bar” winner. They’re also Irishmen, who know a thing or two about celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, and celebrating it properly. 

And a proper celebration for St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t include garish shamrock hats or green beer. “Green beer’s not Irish,” says Muldoon. “I don’t know where green beer was created, but adding food coloring to beer sounds disgusting to me.” 

Instead, both Muldoon and McGarry believe that the proper way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is with a properly made Irish coffee. “After Guinness and whiskey, Irish coffee is our third national drink,” Muldoon says. 

Muldoon, McGarry and Irish native and Irish whiskey expert Tim Herlihy (national brand ambassador for Tulamore Dew) drank a lot of Irish coffees in the past year, as the three of them spent two months, being driven in a VW bus by McGarry’s father, to visit more than 100 Irish pubs in Ireland and every single working distillery on the island to research their new book, From Barley to Blarney, a Whiskey Lover’s Guide to Ireland. The book is currently available exclusively at The Dead Rabbit, but it goes on sale at bookstores everywhere on April 16. 

“What really surprised us was that having visited 160 pubs, only a handful of them chose to serve Irish coffees,” Muldoon says. “Out of those, only around five make it well. When it’s made well, it’s the pride of Ireland.” 

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