A Brief History of Drinking on St. Patrick’s Day

Written by Damian O’Keeffe on February 25, 2016
St. Patrick's Day - Hornblower Cruises

 

Let’s be honest, a big part of St. Patrick’s Day in NYC, in fact, anywhere, is about having a drink. It’s definitely the best excuse for the non-Irish to participate in the day and, apart from the Irish being lovely people, it’s a clever way of getting others to join in their national day.

What is it about St. Patrick’s Day and drinking? Well, for starters, the Irish have some iconic drinks, whether it’s Jameson’s Irish whisky, or, of course the St. Patrick’s Day favorite, Guinness.

But beyond the Irish enjoying a good drink, there are historical reasons for drinking on St. Patrick’s Day.

As many may know, St. Patrick is credited with introducing Christianity to Ireland and the day was originally held in honor of St. Patrick on the anniversary of his death; an important part of these celebrations was that for this one day during lent, Irish Christians could partake in the things they had given up during the period, which included alcohol. This is one of the reasons drinking became so important to the day.

There’s also the fact Ireland’s first pub dates back to 1198 and it is believed people in the region of Ireland have been drinking beer since the bronze age. So, it’s easy to see why the small island of Ireland might have a culture strongly linked to a tipple.

As the Irish population spread around the globe, the day became a wider celebration of all things Irish. The world’s first St. Patrick’s Day Parade happened in New York City in 1762, and we’ve been celebrating the day ever since.

Hornblower is happy to take part in the fine tradition of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with a special Alive After Five on the Day itself, so head down to Pier 15 after the parade for a one-off Paddy’s Day happy hour on the harbor.

Can’t celebrate on St. Patrick’s Day? You’re in luck, some might say the luck of the Irish. You’ll be able to jump aboard special St. Patrick’s Day Alive After Five and Rock the Yacht! cruise Saturday, March 19th! Make your friends green with envy… or invite them along!

In the spirit of the day we’ll be decked out in green and have a special St. Patrick’s Day drink, a Green Apple Martini, or you can grab a green bottled beer (Heineken or Stella.)

Book your cruise today.

PS. Sadly, it’s untrue that St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland. There were no snakes there to begin with! But it’s a good story, so we won’t tell anyone if you don’t.

Want to know what sort of St. Patrick’s Day cocktail you are? Try the quiz!