Drink Green on St. Patty's Day without Ingesting FD&C; Green No.3

St Patricks Day Drinks

Photo: Jayce Giddens

Let’s get this out of the way first: I’ve never celebrated St. Patrick’s day. It’s nothing personal – I look terrible in a shamrock headband. But I thought in the spirit of this oh holiest day of imbibing, I would finally succumb and herald the occasion with a couple ways to booze (responsibly, folks) TreeHugger style.If you are a mixed-drinks kinda person:
Veev. Created by the only certified carbon neutral spirits company in the world, VeeV is a spirit made from Acai berries (you know, those things that no one has ever actually seen in berry form but are supposedly the new super fruit – gogi berries are so last year). One dollar from every bottle sold is donated to the Sustainable Acai Project, and a special distillation process uses 200% less energy than traditional methods. The drink tastes like mix of vodka with a splash or two of berry winecooler. This Saturday, friends and I drank it over ice with club soda (which also happens to be low calorie). Check the VeeV Web site for bars that have it in stock – it’s becoming easier and easier to find locally.

If you are a beer kind of person:
As fellow Hugger Jacob pointed out to me, isn’t simply drinking a beer in a pint as opposed to a bottle a green way to imbibe? So, when you can, choose tap. If you must also try an organic beer, Peak Organic is a good option from a little brewery in Maine. Better yet – look for your local beer on the menu. Imports are good, but there’s a hefty environmental fee paid to schlep that Heffenwiesen to your corner pub. As a New Yorker, I like Brooklyn Lager from right over the Brooklyn Bridge – but wherever I am, I always try to drink both on tap and locally.

If you must drink something that is literally green in color
This is a toughie, because food coloring isn’t exactly the most natural of items on the planet. If you must fulfill the urge to dye your beer, try Chefmaster’s natural food coloring, with beta carotene and cabbage color. A few drops into a light beer or some organic vodka, and congratulations, you now have festive green teeth.

If you like to shake it up at home:
My idea of a good St. Patrick’s day is drinking at home with friends, some music, and a good tequila (nothing personal, Guinness, but I’m tequila faithful, even in leprechaun times). I’ll be mixing an Agave Shamrock, with the natural tequila Herradura Silver (1.5 oz), aloe vera drink(2 oz), agave (half ounce), and a splash of lime. Serve on the rocks with a shamrock straw, if you must.

If you are planning on a pub crawl:
Nothing makes me more sad that a troupe of pub crawler’s buried underneath a pile of disposable plastic cups. Ok, maybe a few things. But the amount of waste generated in a typical pub crawl is huge. So be smart about how many cups you use, or even take your own mug on the road (it works for Snoop Dog and his pimp cup.)

If you are planning on overdoing it:
It happens to the best of us, so recuperate TreeHugger style with our guide to green hangover remedies.

And remember, take the bus or train home. It's eco-friendly, but also safest after a few (green) drinks.

For more on green booze:

Green Drinks - Should You Shop For Organic Spirits?
Green Glossary: Eco-Vodka
How to Go Green: Cocktails

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