Don’t bother looking for that pot of gold. Instead, search out a glassful of green this St. Patrick’s Day. These emerald-hued cocktails get their bright colors not from food coloring, but from delicious fresh ingredients like melon, herbs, green tea and avocado. Here, the 10 best green cocktails to make this St. Paddy’s.
10 Gorgeous Green Cocktails for St. Patrick’s Day
The Midori Sour gets its signature sour flavor from a one-two punch of lemon and lime juices, but it’s the Midori that makes your highball glass glow like an iridescent Scooby Doo villain. And just like the cartoon, the cocktail will easily fulfill any retro cravings. Just don’t go unmasking the ingredients behind the liqueur if you want the green coloring to remain a happy mystery.
Fresh Lemon Juice
This Prohibition-era recipe was only recently revived in 2004, but the green drink pantheon is better for it. The herbal green Chartreuse includes 130 ingredients, which gives the liqueur its natural green tint.
To mint chocolate chip lovers, the color green signals sweet minty satisfaction. The Grasshopper delivers just that, providing a creamy, chocolaty base for crème de menthe to shine.
white crème de cacao
green crème de menthe
The typical apple liqueur in the drink, Apple Pucker, is more machine than fruit, giving the -tini a disturbing shade of green. But you’re much better off with a quality, natural apple liqueur, one that’ll make you feel like you’re sipping your way through boxes of green apples at the farmer’s market.
Between the avocado, matcha powder, lime juice and “green agave” mezcal, the I Dream of Greenie is a true verdant fantasy. The flavor is complex—silky, citrusy and fruity—but the color is simply green.
You can garnish your Melon Ball cocktail with spheres of any colored melon of your choosing, from cantaloupe to watermelon, but it’s green Midori that dominates the drink itself. While the color may make the drink indistinguishable from a Midori Sour, the Melon Ball is sweeter and more rounded thanks to orange juice.
Fresh squeezed orange juice
The smooth, frothy Pisco Sour is the perfect vehicle for matcha tea. It not only highlights the tea’s powerful umami depth, but also its vibrant green color. Be sure to take care when brewing your tea for this drink, though. That green can quickly turn to muddy brown and bitter, just like anyone to whom you serve a less than vibrant failure of a matcha cocktail.
matcha tea syrup
About the closest thing you can get to a salad in a cocktail, this gin cocktail gets its dramatic green coloring from muddled arugula. Between the greens and the gin there is a garden freshness to the drink that makes it an irresistible spring treat.
Heavy, earthy matcha can weigh down a cocktail if it isn’t balanced the right way. Here though, the effervescence of the soda topper and the brightness of the oleo saccharum (concentrated citrus syrup) make this a fantastic briny, grassy twist on a spritz.
Bison Grass Vodka
Cold Brew Matcha
If you like dessert in a glass, this rich avocado cocktail from Morgan Schick of San Francisco’s Trick Dog is for you. Schick designed the drink with aged rum as a base, but if you want to make it a little more Irish you can swap the rum for an Irish whiskey like Teeling Small Batch, which is aged in ex-rum barrels.
Don Q Anejo Rum