8 ways to have an authentic St. Patrick’s Day

Have some Bushmills Irish Whisky. Bushmills is the oldest licensed distillery in the world. Made from malted barley, Bushmills has a lighter character than Scotch whisky and is delicious straight-up.

Source: Phyzome

Don’t knock yourself out looking for a four-leaf clover. Sure, it would be nice, but you’ll have to sift through 10,000 clovers to find your special mutant. And they’re only lucky if you find them by accident. Sounds like time best spent at the pub.

Guinness is good for you. Even if its “Irishness” is a relic of a less cosmopolitan past when all Guinness was brewed in Dublin, Guinness contains antioxidants, plus it’s heart-healthy. New research shows a pint of Guinness a day may be as beneficial as low-dose aspirin for those concerned about arterial plaques. It’s surprisingly low-cal too.

Give the green dye a miss. It already enters our diet in a multitude of insidious ways. You can’t even consume a tin of peas without ingesting green dye. Rest assured, very few people are tinting their beer green in Ireland today.

Do not order an Irish Car Bomb. At least not at a bar in Ireland. The drink is virtually unheard-of there, and those who do know of it find the reference to Ireland’s Troubles shocking and callous. Even worse, the Irish Car Bomb turns three delectable ingredients—Guinness, Irish whisky, and Irish cream—into a fizzing, curdled mess you have to chug quickly before the clots make you throw up. It’s a disgusting stunt drink and it won’t win you any friends at a true Irish bar.

Water your plants. What a nice gift to them for St. Paddy’s Day—at least that’s what I told my mum, who has been abusing the same oxalis plant for 15 years. This poor false shamrock, which probably has Stockholm Syndrome, flourishes despite lack of water and a cramped pot.

Chase some snakes. Round up a bunch of snakes in an enclosure and chase them out. Not that St. Patrick actually did this; in all likelihood snakes have never lived in Ireland—cold, and bounded by water, it doesn’t appeal to heat-seeking reptiles. The snake-chasing myth probably uses snakes as an analogy for pagans, whose way of life he “chased out” with Christianity. And given his family’s slave-trading background, he probably chased more slaves than snakes. Uh, why do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day again?

Give your animals alcohol. You may have a bear of your own who needs a drink. Be kind.