In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, pop in for a pint — or a cocktail — at one of these Irish bars.
Erin Rose is legendary for its delicious frozen Irish Coffees, affordable drinks and jammin’ jukebox. “We are open 21 hours per day, and we welcome visitors and locals with equal enthusiasm,” says Rhiannon Enlil, assistant manager. “We are also the official stop on the annual Jim Monaghan’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.” Hungry? Don’t miss drink-inspired eats from Killer Poboys in back (particularly the Jameson grilled cheese). 811 Conti St., (504) 522-3573, erinrosebar.com
The Irish House
Want to immerse yourself in Irish culture? In addition to enjoying classic Irish beers like Guinness, Murphy’s Irish Stout and Harp Lager, imbibers can get a taste of traditional Irish music live each Monday night at 7 p.m. (no amateur river dancing, please). If whiskey is more your style, ask head bartender Jeb McGovern for advice: He’s been manning the bar at The Irish House for the past two and a half years, presiding over a stunning selection of 60 Irish whiskeys. Aficionados should also note that there’s an Irish whiskey tasting on the third Monday of each month; call for details. 1432 Saint Charles Ave., (504) 595-6755, theirishhouseneworleans.com
If you’re doing a double take, read on: This storied drinking den — now most famous for its branded Hurricane mix and dueling piano players — may not self-identify as an Irish bar, but its original cofounder, Pat O’Brien, was of Irish descent. Not to mention, he was also a bootlegger and a speakeasy operator (of Mr. O’Brien’s Club Tipperary, pre-1933). Today, Pat O’s has the signature pink drink, the requisite Guinness and a handful of Irish whiskies, but guests can also opt for a light-hearted tipple in honor of the bar’s Irish ties. The Fuzzy Leprechaun is made with vodka, blue curaçao, peach schnapps and juices. 718 Saint Peter St., (504) 525-4823, patobriens.com
Finn McCool’s Irish Pub
If you intend on partying hard this St. Paddy’s Day, look no further than this Mid-City institution — it’s a favorite watering hole for soccer fans and beer lovers — which reopened after Hurricane Katrina on St. Patrick’s Day, 2006. No matter what day of the week the holiday falls on, Finn’s gets approval for street closures — meaning it’s one serious Irish block party, complete with a short-story contest, cabbage bowling and Guinness endurance contests. So, how long can you hold a pitcher of Guinness? Head to Finn’s to find out. 3701 Banks St., (504) 486-9080, finnmccools.com
Spirit of the Month
The Pour: 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey
The Palate: 2 Gingers, named for the creator’s red-headed mother and aunt, is now the United States’ fastest-growing Irish whiskey brand. Aged four years, and reportedly crafted in the last independently owned distillery in Ireland, this whiskey is light and sweet at the start, with black pepper and ginger on the mid-palate, making it a go-to for guilt-free mixing in cocktails.
The Place: The Irish House offers a shot of 2 Gingers for $7, or in Irish coffee format (hot or frozen) for $8.50