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St. Patrick's Day has passed. But let's keep the festivities going!

Don’t have any Irish ancestors? That's okay. We'll share ours!


Patrick's Day began as a Catholic Feast Day.


However, the holiday was brought to the U.S. by Irish immigrants. It morphed into a show of Irish-American pride and worldwide celebration of Irish culture. Wearing green and shamrocks.


Irish Step Dancing shows by the local dance schools. The jigs and reels playing in the background. Drinking.... You don't need to be Irish celebrate. You can also continue the fun for the whole month!


With that, let’s get started with the drink for this month. You know the usual beverage options for this time of year:



There’s the tried and true pour of Bushmills, Redbreast, or Tullamore Dew. You could pop open a can of Guinness, or even a Magners if you like cider… 


…but now, you can serve up this super simple, sweetly complex mead and whiskey cocktail to really impress your guests.


Mead is a delectable twist on your standard St. Patrick’s Day glass of Irish whiskey! And mead is a longstanding Irish traditional drink itself, dating back to the 5th century. 


Which mead to use as your cocktail base? We recommend two: Ladon, our apple mead, is a great one. It’s refreshingly crisp, like the fruit we brew it with. You can also use Fafnir, our traditional honey mead that goes well with practically anything. 


Both mead options are lightly sweet, and they both blend well with the oakiness, and smoothly sweet notes of Irish whiskey. 


Next, pick your whiskey! This one is up to you- the classics we’ve suggested above work great. If you know your way around an Irish whiskey, then by all means, use your own favorite!


Here’s how to make this incredibly easy cocktail.



Ingredients:

3 oz Fafnir or Ladon Mead

1 oz Irish whiskey


Directions:


  1. Pour three ounces of mead into a shaker.

  2. Add one ounce of your whiskey of choice.

  3. Shake with ice.

  4. Pour your beautifully cold drink into a rocks glass, straining the ice out.


Enjoy yourself, or hand the drink to a very lucky friend :).


Is that not the easiest St. Paddy’s Day cocktail you’ve ever heard of? And it’s gorgeously flavored! You can try experimenting with different ratios of mead to whiskey, too. Maybe you like a splash of whiskey in your whole glass of mead… and maybe you just want a little topper of mead on your glass of whiskey!


Or if you're like us - pour them both directly into your cup, measuring with your heart. Ice? No ice? Again, follow your heart! This is honestly one of our favorite cocktails that we drink year round, but it doesn't have a name.


We'd love for you to help us name this cocktail! Head over to our Facebook or Instagram feed to share your suggestions!


 

Now that you’ve got your thirst quenched, it’s time for the meal of the day: Irish Nachos


Why do we eat corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day?


This isn’t actually a meal that Irish people associate especially with St. Patrick’s Day! It’s much more an Irish-American tradition to eat corned beef to celebrate the holiday. 


Corned beef was still a huge Irish export for many centuries! It’s a beef brisket that’s been cured in salt. 


The term “corned,” by the way, likely refers to the large grains of salt, or “corns” of salt, that were used to cure the beef. 


The curing process makes the beef hardy and safe from spoilage on long sea journeys.


Who needed to take non-spoiling food on long sea journeys? The English, of course!


Over the ages of English control of Ireland, Irish corned beef became one of the major sources of food for English sailing expeditions, keeping sailors alive for months. Corned beef made it overseas to feed local English colonists and those they had enslaved. 


Corned beef remained an important source of military food even up through World War I and II, when it was rationed in tins. 


In the 1800s and early 1900s, Irish immigrants in America would eat corned beef because, unlike in Ireland, it was very cheap and stood in for bacon. This is probably where the Irish-American association of corned beef with St. Patrick’s Day, the day they’d get to celebrate their heritage, came from. 


Anyway, lots of history, now we’re hungry, on to the recipe!


Instead of the classic corned beef recipe, we're sharing one for Irish Nachos instead. This is a great way to use up your leftovers after St. Patrick's Day. It's also an excellent spin on the traditional dish that's fun and easy to share with friends and family.


A quick little note about the spices you need– corned beef from the store or even deli will often come with a pre-made spice blend. 


These are the spices you’re going to add to the water for boiling the beef. If you really want  to make your own spice blend, you’ll have it include things like mustard seed, whole black peppercorns, thyme, bay leaves, and garlic. 



Ingredients

CORNED BEEF

  • 2 to 3 lb. brisket

  • 1/3 c. Dijon mustard

  • 2 tbsp. light brown sugar

  • 1 (12-oz.) bottle Guinness

NACHOS

  • 4 lb. medium Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2"-thick rounds

  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tsp. dried oregano

  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 c. shredded yellow cheddar, divided

  • 1 c. shredded white cheddar, divided

  • 1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed, drained, divided

  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced, divided

  • 1/2 c. sour cream

  • 1 tbsp. store-bought horseradish

  • Pickled jalapeños and sliced chives, for serving


Directions

CORNED BEEF

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. In a large pot, cover brisket with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Drain and repeat once more. Drain again and transfer to a large baking dish.

  2. In a small bowl, combine mustard and brown sugar. Spread all over brisket, then pour in Guinness around brisket. Cover with foil.

  3. Bake 2 hours, then uncover and continue to bake until fork-tender, 45 to 60 minutes more.

  4. Transfer brisket to a cutting board. Let rest 10 minutes before shredding.


NACHOS

  1. Increase oven temperature to 425°. In a large pot, cover potatoes with water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until just starting to get tender and a knife inserted into the center meets a little resistance, about 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.

  2. Line 2 large baking sheets with foil. Divide potatoes between sheets, spreading in an even layer. Drizzle with oil. Add oregano and garlic powder; season with salt and pepper, then gently toss to coat.

  3. Bake potatoes until golden brown and crisp, about 30 minutes.

  4. On one sheet, pile potatoes in the center, slightly overlapping so they're close together. Sprinkle about half of yellow cheddar and half of white cheddar over. Top with half of shredded corned beef, half of beans, and half of onion. Arrange potatoes from second sheet over top, then top with remaining cheese, beef, beans, and onion.

  5. Return to oven and bake nachos until cheese is melty, about 5 minutes.

  6. In a small bowl, combine sour cream and horseradish. Top nachos with dollops of sour cream, pickled jalapeños, and chives.



Enjoy with a mead of your choice, like Fafnir or Ladon from the cocktail. Or pick a totally different one and tell us about it!


Slàinte from Dragonfire Meadery! Shoot us a message and let us know how the recipes turn out.


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