DrinkWire is Liquor.com's showcase for the best articles, recipe and reviews from the web's top writers and bloggers. In this post, the author takes a look at some of the world's largest celebrations of Irish heritage.
“What?” You gasp in absolute bewilderment. Pixies, plaid skirts, and bagpipes dancing a Michael Flatley-inspired conga line across your crazed cerebellum.
The fabrick of creation, does dodgy Four Jockey tossers, and the BIG finally seems to be passing on a coming attraction spectacle for all to see. The end is nigh
“Oh dear god,” a flash of emerald zig-zags through your vision. “Saints preserve us!” Realization making a fool out of you. “I’ll have a Guinness!” You shout, discerning that everything will be alright.
Yup, it’s that holiest of celebrations, the one time period a year were humanity devolves back to its college freshman years, unpacks its wild inhibitions, and shuts off its brains and gives into the collective drive.
It’s Saint Paddy’s Day. So away into the night, you ominous clouds of dread! Begone and never darken our doorstep, responsibility! Stick it you know where, fiscally sound angels! And, oh you naughty devils, let’s ransack Timmy’s college account and fund this year’s precarious jump into the abyss.
1. New York, New York
Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. In that case, NYC is annually doing a whole reach around Kama Sutra like stunt and flattering the hell out of the Irish Community. Dublin may be the forefather, but the Big Apple is the event horizon when it comes to St. Patty. They Kaiju the s@∞t out of the celebration.
“Oh look, a parade! Pick Timmy up that way he can see the floats… Oh, honey, it’s just one beer. What gateway alcohol?! That's not even a thing! Jesus, woman, stop riding me! I’m one 6th Irish, let me celebrate my heritage!”
If NYC continues their bombastic celebration, upping the ante with reckless abandonment, then the natural progression will eventually make itself known. A couple of years down the road and the Mayor will shimmy his way into a super-PAC under-the-table meet, and tack on an addendum for an Airtractor AT-802F. One of those nifty water tanker planes they love so much out there in west. Come March, he’ll start dropping 800 gallons of golden amber in strategic flybys; forever sealing his re-election.
2. Buenos Aires, Argentina
If necessity is the mother of invention, then crass commercialism is its Sicilian Godfather. And by Godfather, I mean the sort that Marlo made into a household name. Always on the look out for an open vein, particularly one that leads from the jugular into a bank account, crafty “porteño” entrepreneurs have seized St. Patty’s coat-tails and used a pneumatic gun to tame it; nailing the sprite into the asphalt and making it do tricks.
“Dance monkey!” They shout. The spirit - dulled by alcohol and transfixed by latin ta-tas that entered rooms way before their carriers - simply shrugs its shoulders and starts doing a hodgepodge boogie; cutting the rug with Macarena bunny hops and careening on the floor with jitterbug beats courtesy of Dropkick Murphy.
Irish fever spread like wildfire all across Buenos Aires, but ground zero is a section of town called: Retiro… In this epicenter of harried hops confluences, everything and it’s doped out grandmother goes wherever the going is suppose to go. A temporary Responsibility Free-zone that you enter at your own risk. The authority’s go-to move, come every DEFCON March, is to wall off the co-ed contagion area, quarantine the outlandish outbreak, nozzle spray with holy water and a latin litany or two the blighted blocks, and beseech the Big Guy up above that once dawn shines its beatific light on the Baghdad like war zone the buildings are still standing.
Places to start off this festivity? Downtown at the world legendary Kilkenny bar; bring rugby gear and a bike helmet.
3. Dublin, Ireland
“Will you look at that, Tommy McFadden, me old friend? That lad over there, the cheeky bible thumper, went and got rid of all the snakes. Leathery Saurons doing a proper number on my potato patch… You know what? He deserves a mighty pint. For that matter, pints all around!”
And with that fabled, true to a fault description, the whole soon to be worldwide-legendary shindig got the Vatican’s thumbs up, the coppers seal of approval and the Anheuser-Busch all-clear. U2 popped out their guitars and Bono started guiding in a wobbly plane of plaid skirted lassies into stout filled hangar; all those in the know, peering behind the veil, grasping the certainty that “With or without you,” isn’t a romantic ballad, but a lyrical lullaby to a case of nutritious 6 pack.
In the background, Sinead O’ Connor spruces off her one hit and tries to twang a melody or two to score at least one free drink; the barkeep immediately cutting her off.
Dublin, for that matter all of Ireland, doesn’t just celebrate St. Patty’s day but manages to string along the blowout for a whole week; never diluting its drinks, watering down its whiskey soaked streets, nor jam-packed jamboree. A week where weekend warriors test the limits of their livers and fortitude. A week of green festivities where a man is judged not by the clothes on his back, but by the evidence that he managed to keep said clothes on said back. The gospel by which the Emerald isle of shamrock heaven holds true: “rub me for luck,” trust me with a bit of that roguish brogue, more than one American dame has fallen sway to the motto’s double-enterer.
Boat races, music, street performance, the not only obligatory by constitutionally obligated parade. More than half a million thirsty travelers, each starving for whiskey and beer, decent on Dublin with the green glow of ale’s tempered in cheap dyes.
4. Chicago, Illinois
“Four score and seven beers ago,” a take no prisoners fella’ from the rolling hills of the IRA arm wrestled Mother Nature in an off the beaten track dismal pub. Midway through the struggle, veins about to burst, muscles bulging, the beer guzzling Leprechaun did what beer guzzling Leprechauns are known to do… he cheated. Down came a Keebler elf mitten, holding strong to a bottle of Walker’s best, down went Gai’s broken noggin’. Since that proud day, Chicagoans have the distinct and unique pleasure of breaking the very fabric of nature once a year… The city’s causeway turning an emerald hue. A beacon to every ale hungry devotee and a tattoo of shame on Mother Nature’s least than stellar performance against those crafty Banshee shaggers.
St. Patty’s for insiders: the sparkling tradition of transforming the murky depths of Chicago’s rivers into Shrek inspired vomit started way back in 1961. The Chairman of the annual parade, a bit tipsy and opened for inspiration, saw green dye bubbling out from the city’s sewage drains. Sparks sizzled in his brain, creativity-spurring on vision for the year to come. Down below, inside the city’s underbelly, maintenance workers were missing out on the Irish merrymaking. Their only potlatch that year… dumping a stream of aquamarine tincture in order to identify problems in their town’s intestines.
5. Boston, Massachusetts
A pilgrimage primed venus fly trap of tantalizing and emotionally heavy alcohol hazed proportions. The bait? Areas with two pubs per street. Nuff’ Said.
6. Sydney, Australia
In the land down under, once a British penal colony, that great brewski clambake will have you seeing koalas, kangaroos and the cast of Crocodile Dundee through tinted shades of IPA haze. The spirit of those prison pioneers taking hold of your sold and guiding you to the nearest alehouse in search of your fortune, a proper jig and saucy lass willing to play with your shamrock. Sidney goes nuclear whenever St. Patty comes through town. The saintly figure slushed out of his mind, bearing gifts of Chinese knock-off blarney stone, Gaelic past their sell-by-date gold and the obligatory sturdy walking stick. The man, and his motley crew, standing vigilant next to the green tainted Sidney Opera House ready to dispense Hugh Jackman like justice to the unfortunate fool who dares to weasel himself between their goal; a trek through Australia’s golden mile haberdasheries.
The parade itself is one of the largest in the world, and the only one organized and sponsored by the Irish Community and Government.
7. Auckland, New Zealand
Middle Earth has the honor, there I say the privilege and duty, of being this blotto’s blowout first showboating vanguard. Celebrating, due to the Earth's rotation, Saint Patty before the rest. From the lowliest crack-den in Mordor to the highest watering hole in the Shire, Auckland aims to come to the battle full tilt. Wage war - against sobriety - with a keg under each arm, one of those wacky can holding construction helmets, and a utility belt sporting liquor napalm filled flasks strapped like bandoleer across its hairy chest. Bonkers is just the springboard for the rest of the day
Irish immigrants arrived, during the Great Famine, in this fantastic island way back in the years of yore. The lads bringing into sheep country their bagpipe melodies and strong fortitude for fermented grains.
8. London, England
Never shying away from an excuse to wrangle tourist and locals into their taverns and tying them down to their sticky stools, London - Harry Potter’s cubbyhole - blows the top of its St. Patrick’s celebration. The grand dame, no doubt spurred on by the Illuminati, mixes and matches all sorts of public events (films, marching bands, music festival, food markets, fashion shows, all somehow having a cameo appearances by Benedict Cumberbatch) and then in a most gentlemanly fashion bootstraps the unsuspecting - Chamber of Commerce bullseye - patsy into the nearest den of libations; each round Hoover cleaning their pockets clean with merry abandonment.