Irish eyes will be smiling on you if you throw this great St. Paddy’s Day party.
Step 1: Send out invitations Send out invitations a few weeks in advance. Decorate them with shamrocks, leprechauns, rainbows, and/or pots of gold. Or simply print them on green paper.
Step 2: Plan the main menu Plan the menu. Corned beef and cabbage is traditional, but feel free to serve something else, like a hearty Irish stew (made with lamb, not beef) or fish and chips (chips being french fries).
TIP: Include some crowd-pleasing appetizers that happen to be green, like guacamole, green salsa, and spinach dip.
Step 3: Plan dessert Make Irish soda bread, or bake a four-leaf clover cake by using four heart-shaped pans. Put out bowls of green M&Ms and/or green jelly beans.
Step 4: Decorate The Irish flag is green, white, and orange, so keep those colors in mind when you pick up paper goods, candles, balloons, streamers, etc. Float some green and orange tea candles in glass bowls of water or, for an unusual look, in martini glasses.
TIP: A bowl of oranges and Granny Smith apples makes a nice—and practical—centerpiece.
Step 5: Offer green cocktails Make green beer by adding a few drops of green food coloring to a pale-colored brew. Make apple martinis for non-beer drinkers using sour apple schnapps, vodka, sweet and sour mix, and apple slice garnishes.
Step 6: Play Irish music Play music by Irish artists, like The Chieftains, U2, Enya, The Corrs, and Van Morrison.
Step 7: Have a dance contest Pop in a CD or DVD of Riverdance and hold an Irish step dancing contest. Present a rabbit’s foot—a symbol of good luck in Ireland—to the winner.
Step 8: Serve Irish coffee Serve everyone an Irish coffee (coffee with whiskey and topped with whipped cream) before they leave.
FACT: The oldest official St. Patrick’s Day parade is the one held in New York City, which started in 1762.