A St. Patrick's Day Tradition - Green Beer
To Beer or Not to Beer on St. Patrick's Day
While looking for something funny to write about for St. Patrick's Day, I came across a laugh out loud beer hat. So I decided to search for green beer to see where it originated and why people drink it. I found much more than I bargained for and so I am passing on this important knowledge for anyone considering a night of celebration with green beer.
When Did Beer Turn Green
How Green Is My Beer
Whatever I tell you about the origins of green beer is pure folklore and must be taken with a grain of hops. The consensus is that this custom started in America. Boston or New York seem to be the favored birthplaces. It could have been the nineteenth century but certainly by the twentieth century America was in full green drinking mode. An early documented account occurred around 1914 at a New York social club where green beer was served at a St. Patrick's Day dinner.
Who would have invented something like green beer? Would you believe Dr. Curtin, a coroner, has the dubious distinction of being named the creator of this exotic drink?
Photo: Stock Photos
Do You Really Want to Know How Green Beer is Made
Well, You Should Have Said No
Green beer, it is said, is the combination of an unspecified amount of blue dye in an unspecified amount of beer. Don't worry there are lots of recipes that will suggest what that mixture should be, but the original concoction remains a well guarded family secret. Today almost all recipes use green food coloring and light beer. Blue was the original dye used, since way back in time blue was the color associated with St. Patrick.
Here is one of many recipes I found in my very careful search for the origins and uses of green beer.
Start with light colored beer and add three to six drops of green food coloring per 12 to 16 ounces of beer. Stir. Can anything be more simple to do?
Photo: Image is clickable to original site
Why Is Everything Green
Something to Do With Ireland
As I said the original color for St. Patrick's Day was blue. But green came into vogue as early as the seventeenth century as the color of choice to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Green became a symbol of Ireland because it so rainy in this lovely country that everything is always green. In fact, Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle. So whenever one wears green it is a tribute to the lush Irish landscape. If you wear green on St. Patrick's Day you will have the Luck of the Irish, which I assume is good.
Photo: Wallpaper, image is clickable to original site.
A Word of Caution
Watch the Green in Your Beer
So here we are with our great green beer hat and our filled mug of green beer ready to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Before you put that mug of green to your lips may I spoil your fun for just a moment. When was the last time you had your teeth professionally cleaned? None of my business you say. Well, I am only trying to protect those pearly whites.
If your teeth are not pearly white, then you may have to rethink that glass of green beer or you will have green stuck to your teeth. The green dyes adhere to plaque like they were made for each other, so perhaps a trip to the dentist for a professional clean should be considered if you want to enjoy your green beer without the after effects.
Don't fret, there is a cheaper way to help ward off green morning teeth. Brush well and use mouthwash before you go to bed. What you do for your morning hangover is another story.
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day
Oh My Everything is Green
Of course, you are going to wear your funniest, favorite, brightest green outfit and sing all the Irish songs you know. If you are in New York, watch the Empire State Building turn green. How about if you live in Chicago? Look for the Chicago River in all its green glory.
You could go green for the whole day by eating naturally green foods, forget the dye green beer is enough, buy an eco-friendly product, tell your neighbor to brush his teeth before your party - maybe not!
St. Patrick's Day is a Day for Wearing Green
So many holidays, so much fun. Is St. Patrick's Day a fun day for you?
Do You Wear Green on St. Patrick's Day