It will come to you, this love of the land. There’s no getting away from it if you’re Irish.

With St. Patrick’s day coming up on March 17th, now is the perfect time to plan a quick-and-easy dinner party to celebrate the Feast of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Here, we answer your questions about how to throw a festive, Irish fête that will ensure your guests have a craic (that’s Irish slang for a great time).

What are your thoughts on green cocktails?

Shamrock-green cocktails can be fun, but they aren’t always inviting, so we suggest opting instead for an on-theme drink, like Pot o’ Gold, that’s delicious and pretty. Who can resist the edible gold? For a classic touch, you can also offer your guests glasses of dry stout and Irish whiskey, served neat at room temperature or over ice.

Any thoughts on what to serve for dinner?

We like serving Irish stew on St. Patrick’s Day—there’s just nothing more delicious and quintessentially Irish. It’s also relatively easy to make. Here‘s a recipe we love that uses lamb instead of the classic mutton. For a classic Irish dessert, you can serve your guests a traditional Irish Trifle or try your hand at making renowned Irish chef Kevin Dundon’s famous éclairs. Click here for tips on how to make classic Irish Coffee.

What’s a great way to toast my dinner guests?

Sláinte, which is pronounced like this and means “to your health”, is the basic drinking toast in Irish Gaelic. For a longer toast before dinner, try a traditional Irish blessing. Click here for lots of options, including our favorite: May you have all the happiness and luck that life can hold and, at the end of all your rainbows, may you find a pot of gold.

What are some ideas for a floral centerpiece?

For the dinner table, a low green or green-and-white arrangement always looks good, or try one that includes Spring Squill, a blue, star-shaped flower that is native to Ireland. In the powder room, opt for a fragrant Easter Lily or two—they’re a symbol of peace and remembrance for those who fought and died for Ireland.

What are some other easy and inexpensive décor elements that I can add to communicate the theme?

Vintage Irish linens are always a nice way to celebrate the Emerald Isle. You can also place copies of Ulysses by Irish author James Joyce, Gulliver’s Travels by Irish author Jonathan Swift, and The Picture of Dorian Gray, which has been called “an Irish national tale”, on your coffee table along with clusters of festive green votive candles.

What about attire? What are some ways to communicate the theme that go beyond wearing green clothing?

You can opt for a “Blarney Stone” of your very own in the form of this Kendra Scott necklace in green, don any of these splurge-worthy emerald earrings, or try stashing one of these green pocket squares in your jacket pocket to show your Irish style.

I’m not sure I want to play traditional Irish music at my party, but I want the playlist to be thematic. Do you have any suggestions?

Give our ShamRock ‘n’ Roll Playlist a spin. It features great, on-theme tunes from artists ranging from Bing Crosby and Elton John to John Mayer and Coldplay. You can download it here.

Any thoughts on a creative party favor that I can send my guests home with?

One idea is to set up an interactive make-and-take whiskey station and let your guests take their hooch home in one of these cute mini-flasks. Or you can send your guests on their way with the chance to create their own luck by giving them one of these four-leaf-clover kits. We also love gifting these little chocolate shamrocks.

St. Patrick’s Day Party Ideas

Welcome Photo and Quote Mashup

Welcome photo: June Haver
Welcome quote: Gone with the Wind, 1939

Photos: Jojotastic, Pinterest, Martha Stewart

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