If there’s one cocktail-related thing that does not get the GrogDog’s tail wagging, it’s the force-fit themed cocktail. As you may remember from my Valentine’s Day post, putting colored sweet stuff into a glass just to fit a particular holiday is not my idea of celebratory drinking. (I promise a really good post on how to create your own everyday themed celebration with cocktails is coming soon!)

Classic green goodness

Classic green goodness

But this week is, of course, St. Patrick’s Day, when for some inexplicable reason Americans want to be “a little Irish” and celebrate the saint’s day as they imagine the Irish do (or more accurately, as they don’t care that the Irish don’t).

If you really want to celebrate like the Irish do, indulge in a good-quality Irish whiskey or a Guinness on tap. (And if you don’t want to be pegged as a “weekend Irish“, do not ask the bartender to draw a shammy on it…)

For those of you looking for a way to tip your glass to the beauty of the Emerald Isle without bacchanalean over-indulgence in (shudder) green beer, I offer the Gimlet and its variations.

The basic Gimlet is 3-4 parts London dry gin and 1 part sweetened lime juice (aka lime cordial). Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a thin lime wheel or twist.

A classic variation is the Gimblet (note the “b”), which uses straight-up fresh-squeezed lime juice instead of the sweetened version, and lightens up the astringent cocktail with a splash of club soda. (Stir gin and juice in a short glass with ice; top with soda.)

For the continental drinker, I offer the French Gimlet: 2 oz London dry gin, 1 oz St-Germain, and 1/2 oz fresh lime juice, shaken with ice and strained into a cocktail glass.

If you’d rather be drinking on the beach, there’s the Jamaican Gimlet (a GrogDog creation), which marries lime and ginger flavors into a more mellow drinking experience: 2 oz London dry gin, 1/2 oz lime cordial, 1/2 oz ginger syrup, 1 oz fresh lime juice.

Image credit: Dogtipper.com

Image credit: Dogtipper.com

These cocktails look light and refreshing, but beware! They’ll sneak up on you like the banished snakes of Erin.

The GrogDog leaves you to celebrate the greenest of spring holidays with this wish:

May your day be touched by a bit of Irish luck,
Brightened by a song in your heart,
And warmed by the smiles of the people you love.

Slainte!