THROW A ST. PATRICK’S DAY HAPPY HOUR in 5 easy steps!

IMG_7621Hello, hello my lovely little leprechauns! Are you all gearing up for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations? Here is Chicago we take St. Patrick’s Day very, very seriously. If you aren’t Irish in Chicago, you are Chi-rish. This weekend is all about parades, parties, and the infamous green beer.

If, on the off chance, you are looking to class-up your St. Patrick’s Day celebration, might we suggest a fun happy hour with friends? The bars & restaurants are always packed, so bring the party home and celebrate from the comfort of your own living room. Not sure how to plan a shamrock-ing party? We can help!
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STEP ONE: Get the word out!

Send an email, mass text, write a note, or give your friends a call & put the word out that the real luck of the Irish is at your place this year. If you are nervous about having people over (which, you shouldn’t be, we’ve been over this, your place is amazing!) then ask you friends to bring their favorite beer or libation & that way everyone has a stake in the party.

Think you’ve got it handled (way to go! We are so proud of that party throwing confidence), we’ve got everything you’ll need.

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STEP TWO: Booze, baby!

It’s almost sacrilegious to not have a sip of Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day, but, I prefer to eat my Guinness rather than drink it…more on that later. So, if you guests aren’t big green beer people, it’s nice to have some other festive libations to consume!

Whip up a pot of coffee, throw some Bailey’s in there & voila – Irish Coffee!

Throw some food coloring in with a cup of refined sugar & rim your cocktail glasses in green or gold.

Really, if you whip up a gin & tonic, throw a clover or shamrock in there, you’ve basically warranted the right to re-name it in whatever St. Patrick’s Day saying of your choosing. Here are some of our favorites – the Erin Go Bourbon, Pot of Gold tonic, and Luck of the Irish Margarita. See? Easy!

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STEP THREE: Skip the green food!

As cute as green food is, it’s also mostly terrifying. So, let’s just skip it all together & have something that’s still festive, just not dripping with food coloring.

We talked about those of us who would rather eat their Guinness rather than drink it, so for all of my fellow St. Patrick’s Day rule breakers, this Guinness Cheese Dip with Soft Pretzels is so absolutely worth it. Hello, beer dip & warm carbs, what could be better?! Ooh, and did I mention it takes literally 5 minutes to make?

Prefer something a bit sweeter? How about this Chocolate Cake with Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting? Everyone loves a good boozy dessert & this one is even better than you could imagine. Pressed for time? Buy an unfrosted cake at the store and whip up the icing at home. Technically, you made part of it, so I think you get full credit for the whole cake. *high five*

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STEP FOUR: Set the table up for success

As much as you love running around and serving people, it’s nice to be able to hang out and mingle at your own party. The key to being a happy host is having the table do all the work for you.

When you are setting up your party make sure that you’ve got all the food in a central spot that isn’t difficult to get to and won’t congest the flow of traffic if people linger. People always congregate at the food table (I mean, I always do), so tuck in a room that has a lot of entry & exit points and you’ll be perfect.

Now the actual set-up of the table is key. Grab napkins, silverware, plates, anything someone might need to enjoy your delicious food (that you whipped up all by yourself because you are superwoman), and put in on the table. Do not run back and forth to your kitchen because people need salt or pepper, get all that back and forth business out of the way & have it all out and ready for people to use.

Booze table! I love setting up a bar because it let’s people go at their own pace. Make sure you have lots of cups (depending on the crowd, plastic is a great option), have a bucket full of ice, and extra bottle openers. How come those things are always disappearing?

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STEP FIVE: Celebrate!

Step five is key & many people don’t realize it. If you aren’t having fun at your own party, what makes you think anyone else will? Have a glass of wine (or weird green beer if you are into that) while you are setting up, put on your favorite record, and get excited. Who cares if the guest bathroom doesn’t have a candle in it or if you haven’t mopped the floors before your guests arrive. No one cares & neither should you.

You’ve got all your friends in one place, so have a freaking blast! The dishes & clean-up can wait until the morning. Just make sure you talk to your guests, help with refills, and ensure you have enough food & you’ll be hosting St. Patrick’s Day every year!

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lauren and sylvia