Deciding if you should throw a Saint Patrick’s Day party are you? That sounds great! March 17th has a special way of bringing people together. For one day a year everyone is Irish. People are gathering across the world for parades and pub crawls. Let 2016 be your year to surprise people with a very classy and somewhat alternative Saint Patrick’s Day party.
Brew yourself a delicious mint white hot chocolate (or perhaps something a little stronger) to get yourself in the planning mood.
Invite your guests
First things first. You need to invite your guests! This is your first chance to be different. Send out this terrier e-card by Paperless Post to your buddies announcing your party details. Have your guests get involved early on by suggesting that although top hats are optional, they will need a beard for entry (or something hilarious of that nature).
You are probably already delighted by your cunning, but there are more ways of setting your party apart to come.
Embrace an alternative colour scheme
This may surprise you, but you do not have to go green for Saint Patrick’s Day! That’s right! Instead of drowning in a sea of lime and viridian, you could borrow some rainbows from the leprechauns to inspire your decor.
Try some pale pinks for the salmon farmed in County Galway, deep velvety wines for a settling pint of stout, or golds for the elusive pot. Did you know that the traditional colour of Saint Patrick is actually a shade of blue? The world is your saltwater oyster (also from Galway).
Keep green in the colour palette, by all means, but it does not need to be all green all the time. Throw the most vibrant party you can dream up!
Diversify your Irish soundtrack
Once everyone has arrived and is admiring each other’s beards (some fluffy, some made of craft paper, some attached to a wonky green top hat which shouts ‘Top O the Morning’) make sure your Irish playlist is ready to go. Although Sinead O’Connor and Bono provide a source of some debate, you could include some chart toppers like Hozier or Kodaline to balance things out. How about a little of the Corrs to reminisce to? Dare I argue for some 1D? They were one fifth Irish.
Serve the perfect themed menu
Now that your decor has been arranged and your mood music is wafting, you need to ensure you have enough food and drink to satisfy your hungry guests!
Pay particular attention to the beverage requirement. We’re throwing a classy party, remember? Although you should absolutely serve the requisite case of Guinness, make sure your cocktail list is up to scratch. Irish Apple Sours, Mojitos, emerald Martinis, and Midori Cosmopolitans can stand along side your Irish Coffee and Black Velvet champagne!
March is still cold in Ireland and not much is in season. If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere pack your menu with a hearty beef casserole, bangers (sausages) and celeriac soup with soda bread. Ensure you have laid out a cheese and deli smoked salmon board for the grazers and think carefully about your dessert table.
It will be hard to whittle that down to the top sugary treats; particularly since cupcakes now come in every flavour imaginable. Must have essentials include Bailey’s chocolate mousse, bread & butter pudding and Apple Tart!
Enjoy the best of Irish culture
Saint Patricks’s day is all about spending time with your friends and having a bit of craic (fun). As my Irish mammy-in-law would say, “to good food and good company”. If you have both, then you are more than half way to a great party.
As the night progresses on, people will be feeling more confident. If you have a yard (preferably a very large one) you could try your hand at some hurling. With the music still inspiring everyone, one or two might be confident enough for some impromptu Irish dancing! If it occurs, turn this in to an all out dance off.
But if you are anything like my friends and I, we like nothing better than to sit down after a meal, to a drink and a very serious session of board games. At some point, someone will pull out a guitar (where were they keeping that?) and we will descend into a traditional music session. Better brush up on the lyrics to Molly Malone and Whiskey in a Jar, just in case.