illustrated by Ricky Michiels

How Not To Be An Asshole On St. Patrick’s Day

take it from the bartender

Every March, it comes around, and every March, bartenders everywhere are afraid. Yes, St. Paddy’s Day, whether we actually regard this day as an actual holiday or not, is the national day to get wasted (well, except for NYE and Halloween). And, as someone who has spent 10-plus years behind the bar, I can attest: the people don't hold back. Throwing back pint after pint followed by shot after shot in the name of a heritage that is not yours is, well, an American pastime that I, as a bartender, try my damnedest not to loathe. Am I right or wrong? Doesn't matter, this is just one drink slinger's opinion on how to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in the most considerate way possible... and without annoying your fellow revelers. 

1. Don’t drink the green beer.

Especially starting from the moment when you wake up. There’s plenty of time to celebrate. Just take your time and be conscious to the general public around you. Some folks are headed to their respected workplaces or have obligations to take care of. And let's be honest. Beer dyed with food coloring is just gross. (Maybe I am biased, however, since my city of Chicago insists on doing the same thing to our entire main waterway.)

2.

Don't wear stupid hats. 

I have no real reason for saying this except for selfishness. But, like, I don't know what is Irish about a giant hat with glitter exploding from the top. Am I missing something? I must be missing something. Wearing green is just an obnoxious way to follow the herd. You can celebrate the holiday without roping yourself in with the rest of the crowd trying to put themselves under before the clock even strikes 

noon

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3. Don't order Irish Car Bombs.

Sometimes it's astonishing how little Americans know about The Troubles, an era that had families torn when Northern Ireland was set against its United Kingdom-friendly South, and that still haunts the streets of Belfast to this day. In Ireland, car bombs were a real thing to fear—they took many lives. Here, it's a fun type of shot, devoid of any historical meaning or significance other than the fact that it contains Guinness, Baileys Irish Cream, and Irish Whiskey. It's actually a really shitty way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

4.

Skip the Jameson for a night.

To be honest, you can do better than a Jameson shot. Jameson shots are for every day, so why not up your Irish whiskey intake with something special? Try Redbreast, or spread your wings with a low-key Irish whiskey called Powers. If you want to step your Irish whiskey game up even more, try Bushmills or the even classier Redbreast 12, which has super tasty notes of sweet brown sugar, root beer, and black licorice.

5. And last, but not least, if you really want to celebrate this joyous holiday, have a Guinness. Everyone freaking loves Guinness. Or just come and give me your money. Either way, it'll be a shit show.

Just remember to be safe out there, and for goodness sakes treat your bartenders with respect, and yourselves with dignity.