St Patrick cross in Rock of Cashel, Ireland. For more pictures click here
To celebrate St Patrick's Day, I decided to put down a recipe here to make one of my favorite drinks, i.e. Hot Whiskey. My very own leprechaun gave me the recipe. In fact he often makes this drink for us to enjoy together. It's allegedly a very traditional Irish drink that they like to take on cold days, which could be almost the whole year if you're in Ireland (no wonder it's quite famous of its drinkers!).
My leprechaun told me too that this is a very good medicine to take when you have a cold. I don't usually take his words on medical things just like that, because this is a guy who thinks that watching Michael Flatley and his troop dancing from the comfort of a sofa can actually burn as much calorie as if you're doing the Irish dance yourself. However I have to admit that when you're feeling miserable from the cold, sore throat and runny nose, the drink does help. Most probably it's the alcohol getting into your head giving you a false feeling of comfort (and health and invincibleness), but the warmth does feel nice on a sore throat.
Since my leprechaun is an Irish through and through, of course he recommends a real Irish whiskey for this drink. I'm not an expert on whiskey or any kind of alcoholic drink, but allegedly Jameson is the best.
So here's a list of things you need:
a whiskey tumbler
whiskey, preferably Jameson
a teaspoon of sugar
a teaspoon of honey
a glass of plain water
a slice of lemon
four or five cloves
And here's how you make it:
1. Boil the water
2. While water is boiling away, put sugar and honey in the tumbler
3. Pour whiskey over it, usually about a quarter of the glass, or you can make it stronger if you want, but not too much
4. Pour the hot water over it to fill the tumbler
5. Stick the cloves into the slice of lemon and put them into the drink
6. Stir and enjoy sipping it slowly letting the warmth spread through your body
I'm not sure St. Patrick would have agreed with the way I celebrate St Patrick's Day by downing alcohol, but I'm sure in Ireland it will be celebrated with much more alcohol than my one (or was it two, or three? errr... maybe four?) glass(es) of Hot Whiskey.
And hey it seems that everyone has his or her own way to celebrate it so why not put your own interpretation of the festival. Just last week we watched a Singaporean version of the St Patrick's Day Parade. The parade is properly full of things green and with pictures of shamrocks. However you also had some red Chinese dragon dancing around complete with the deafening percussion accompaniment, some Malay ladies dancing away with fans in their hands, and a group of Star Wars costume clad people strutting about. Guinness were offered by dainty Singaporean girls wearing skimpy black costume with furry froth on their chest - wouldn't you want to drink them... the Guinness, I mean.
It's a colourful parade, not only for the Irish people. In fact there seemed to be more non Irish in the parade than Irish people. But, St Patrick himself seems to be enjoying the whole colourful thing, although I'm not sure this is the same St Patrick who banished all snakes from Ireland - this one looks suspiciously Chinese underneath the robe and mitre. Well, as my leprechaun said, everyone wants to be Irish. Happy St Patrick's Day!
Singapore, 16 March 2007 (a day before St Patrick's Day)
mitre = bishop's cap
more information for those of you who don't know leprechaun or St Patrick:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick about St Patrick
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick's_Day about St Patrick's Day
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leprechaun about leprechaun
http://www.st-patricks-day.com/index.asp about Irish culture