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In college it doesn’t matter if you’re Irish or not: You are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. It’s an excuse to wake up at the crack of dawn, blast that song from “The Departed,” and drink way too much alcohol all in the name of your ancestors. They would be so proud.

St. Patrick’s Day this year is on Thursday, the 17th, so you have the next few days to prepare for your party, your pregame, or your afterparty now. I’ve put together some fun recipes and tips to make your St. Patty’s full of booze and all things green.

1. Beer

What would St. Patrick’s Day be if you weren’t drinking green beer? Instead of quenching your thirst with normal yellow light beer and dark ales, this is the day to change things up a bit. Since you can’t buy green beer in a case or a keg of green beer, you need to take matters into your own hands.

First off, you need to buy some food coloring. Since beer is already yellow, blue food coloring is what you need if you want to make a true Kelly green colored beer. Just add a few drops to your cup, and then add your beer. This will eliminate the need to mix anything, and get you doing an Irish jig quicker than you could have imagined. If you have already bought green food coloring, this will work too, your beer will just have more of a lime green color to it.

Now, I have no experience in dying a whole keg of beer green, but I know that for college students, it is a priority on this fantastic drinking day. After a little research and help from WikiHow, I learned you can make a green keg of beer, but it will take time and a possible food coloring explosion.

From WikiHow:

  1. Dismantle the pump portion of the hand pump (the plastic pony pump style work the best for this).
  2. Once the pump portion has been opened by unscrewing the top, add green food coloring into the pump diaphragm. Replace the pump top and tap the keg.
  3. Then pump the keg as if trying to dispense the beer (without opening the pouring spout). This will put/pump the food coloring into the keg.
  4. Untap the pump. Take the keg and set it on its side to roll it around for a few. This will mix the food coloring into the beer.
  5. Let beer settle for a while and enjoy your green beer.

The recommended amount of food coloring for one keg is 10 tbsps.

2. Shots

In addition to green beer, treating yourself to a green cocktail on St. Patty’s Day will get you singing “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling”  before you know it (and you aren’t even Irish!).  A few traditional green drinks you can make are an Appletini or a Sex with an Alligator shot. But if you’re looking for a special Irish drink this Thursday, here’s a few recipes. And remember you can never go wrong with a shot of Jameson chased by a Guinness.

Irish Car Bomb

The classic St. Patty’s Day shooter that tastes like something out of Starbucks if you do it right. But remember, drink it fast or it will turn into a lumpy mess in your glass.

Fill a cup about halfway with Guinness. Pour ½ shot of Bailey’s and ½ shot of Jameson into a shot glass. Drop the shot glass into the Guinness and chug.

Irish Cactus Shot

If you find yourself on St. Patrick’s Day with a bottle of Bailey’s but no Jameson, have no fear. As a college student, you most likely have a bottle of tequila somewhere in your apartment from that one crazy night, or it’s just begging to be opened to make St. Patty’s that crazy night.

Fill a shot glass with half Bailey’s and half tequila. Shoot it back.

The Bailey’s should help with the sting of the tequila, and get you and your friends extra rowdy.

Irish Flag Shot

This shot is all about layering the alcohol to make it look like the Irish flag. The flavor combination might not wow you, but the look of the shot is worth it.

1 part green Creme de Menth

1 part Bailey’s

1 part Grand Marnier

Pour the Creme de Menth in the shot glass, then carefully float on top the Bailey’s, then Grand Marnier.

3. Food

Having green food is the perfect excuse to invite your friends over for kegs and eggs on March 17. Simply add a few drops of food coloring to your scrambled eggs,  or anything else you can mix. Leftover mashed potatoes? On St. Patty’s they can turn into green pillows of leprechaun love!

And if you’re really Irish or just love to cook, take some time to plan ahead this year and make a Shepherd’s Pie for your party. It’s a traditional English dish, but with a topping of mashed potatoes you can dye green, it will be the perfect dinner item for your party.

Recipe from Simply Recipes


  • 1 1/2 lbs ground round beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1-2 cups vegetables – chopped carrots, corn, peas
  • 1 1/2 – 2 lbs potatoes (3 big ones)
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt, pepper, other seasonings of choice


  1. Peel and quarter potatoes, boil in salted water until tender (about 20 minutes).
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, melt 4 Tablespoons butter (1/2 a stick) in large frying pan.
  3. Sauté onions in butter until tender over medium heat (10 mins). If you are adding vegetables, add them according to cooking time. Put any carrots in with the onions. Add corn or peas either at the end of the cooking of the onions, or after the meat has initially cooked.
  4. Add ground beef and sauté until no longer pink. Add salt and pepper. Add worcesterchire sauce. Add half a cup of beef broth and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 10 minutes, adding more beef broth as necessary to keep moist.
  5. Mash potatoes in bowl with remainder of butter, season to taste.
  6. Place beef and onions in baking dish. Distribute mashed potatoes on top. Rough up with a fork so that there are peaks that will brown nicely. You can use the fork to make some designs in the potatoes as well.
  7. Cook in 400 degree oven until bubbling and brown (about 30 minutes). Broil for last few minutes if necessary to brown.

4. And Finally, Your Roommate

Just wait for him/her to be passed out early from the 7 AM Irish Car Bombs, take a green sharpie, and decorate. Easy, fun, and inexpensive!

Tags : Green Beergreen foodgreen kegKegs and EggsSt Patty's DaySt. Patrick's Day

The author Kathrina

Kathrina is an enthusiast of all-things college lifestyle. She's the expert!

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