By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Mar 16, 2016 at 1:01 PM

"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee is back for another round, brought to you by Great Northern Distilling: grain to glass spirits, handmade in Wisconsin. The whole month of March, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun articles on bars and clubs – including guides, the latest trends, bar reviews, the results of our Best of Bars readers poll and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!

St. Patrick’s Day is almost here. Maybe you’ll be slugging down Guinness to celebrate. Or you might slug back a bit of Irish whiskey.

But, if you’re looking for something a bit different, we’ve curated a number of great cocktail recipes that will help you to celebrate with a bit of panache.

And before you down that Irish-themed beverage, here’s how to make a proper Irish toast, according to Irishman and Tullamore D.E.W. brand ambassador, Tim Herlihy.

"First, you have to stand up to make the toast," he says. "The purpose of that is to reveal any weapons you might be carrying. And then, since most people are right handed, you toast with your right hand; your fighting hand becomes your drinking hand instead."

"It’s said that you raise your glass to the sky to have your spirit blessed by the gods. And when you bring your glasses together and clink, that also gets rid of bad spirits or poisons."

"There’s also a legend that if you clink hard enough the liquids splash into each others’ glasses. So, if enemies – or warring kings – came together, one couldn’t poison the other because their beverages had co-mingled during the toast."

Photo: Great Lakes Distillery

Where’s the Beef?

No one is likely to associate pumpkin with St Patrick's day; but Great Lakes Distillery’s Pumpkin Seasonal Spirit has the flavor profile of a lightly spiced malt whiskey, which makes it an ideal canvas for the spice flavors that go into corned beef. They’ve boosted the spice flavor of the Pumpkin  with Kummel – a cumin and caraway liqueur – and angostura bitters to make a sour that will pair well with traditional St Patrick's Day fare.

2 oz Pumpkin seasonal spirit
.75 oz lemon juice
.75 oz simple syrup
Barspoon Combier Kummel
Dash angostura bitters

Shake ingredients and strain into a cocktail glass.  Garnish with a bay leaf.

Photo: Tullamore D.E.W.

The Irish Coffee

Tullamore D.E.W. brand ambassador Timothy Herlihy says, "The Irish Coffee has the four major food groups of caffeine, alcohol, sugar and fat." He continues, "A signature of Irish Whiskey and St. Patrick’s Day, the original Irish Coffee is a great start to the morning and your St. Patrick’s Day."

1.5 oz Tullamore D.E.W. 
1 oz brown sugar
hot brewed coffee
unsweetened cream, lightly whipped 
orange peel, for garnish

Combine Tullamore D.E.W. with brown sugar and hot coffee. Stir to combine. Top with whipped cream and garnish with orange peel.

Photo: Great Northern Distilling

Liquid Luck

Essentially an adult Shamrock Shake, Liquid Luck is the creation of Great Northern Distilling's bar manager, Steve Woodward.  "I remembered it was shamrock shake season, which is my favorite dessert. I wondered out loud if we could make our own version in cocktail form." He workshopped the drink and a couple of weeks later it was perfected and on the tasting room menu at Great Northern Distilling in Plover, WI.

1 oz. Great Northern Opportunity Rum
1 oz. Great Northern Herbalist Gin
1 oz. milk
½ oz. mint syrup
3 drops mint extract

Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake and strain into chilled glass. Top with mint whipped cream (optional) and garnish with a cherry. If you’d like some color a few drops of green food coloring before shaking.

For the mint syrup:
1 1/2 cups packed mint leaves
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Chop mint. In a saucepan bring sugar, water and mint to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Simmer syrup, undisturbed, 2 minutes. Pour syrup through a fine sieve, pressing hard on solids, and cool. Syrup keeps, covered and chilled, 2 weeks.

For the mint whipped cream:
1 3/4 cups chilled whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon mint extract

Beat cream, sugar and peppermint extract in large bowl until stiff peaks form.

Photo: Franki Ludwig

The Milwaukee Car Bomb

The "Milwaukee Car Bomb" is the perfect amount of delicious for St. Patrick’s Day in Milwaukee.  It essentially blends three Walker’s Point Businesses – Central Standard Craft Distillery, Milwaukee Brewing Co. and Anodyne Coffee – into a enjoyably boozy drink that you can enjoy quickly or sip and savor.

1 pint Milwaukee Brewing Company Polish Moon
1 shot Central Standard Coffee Vodka

Drop the shot into the pint of beer. Enjoy.

The Montserrat

The Caribbean island of Montserrat is the only country outside of Ireland to celebrate St.Patrick’s Day as a national holiday.

This drink is named after this other "Emerald Isle" and celebrates the unlikely relationship between Ireland and the Caribbean.

2 oz of Tullamore D.E.W. Original
½ oz simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes orange bitters
¼ oz apple juice

Fill glass with ice and stir quickly until cold. Be careful not to over dilute. Strain into an ice filled rocks glass. Float apple juice on top and garnish with an orange twist.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.