Give me the Guinness: A St. Patrick's Day Bar

St. Patrick's day is almost here!! I can't believe how fast this year is going. How are we already to mid-March? I think that old adage that times goes faster as you get older might really be true!

As a holiday enthusiast, I try to celebrate even the smaller holidays with a little festive fun. You might remember last year's St. Patrick's Day mantel and tips for decorating with apothecary jars or the Shamrock Drink Station with the recipe for "Pinch Me Punch." These still make excellent ideas, but I enjoy trying new things, too!

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This year's theme was inspired by a thoughtful gift from a good friend of mine, Lauren and her husband, who are currently living abroad in Wexford, Ireland. Lauren and I met in college and are sorority sisters. When my husband and I got married in October 2016, I was thrilled that Lauren was able to fly back and attend the wedding. As a part of our wedding gift, they included a handmade Guinness sign straight from Ireland for our bar area. As I was passing by the bar earlier this month, I thought it would make a great centerpiece for a St. Patrick's Day bar. Lauren is documenting their Irish journey on her blog and I've got some fun links out to other ideas for you to check out below!

 
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To setup the bar, I used a black tablecloth that I have on-hand from Target. Next, I added the hand painted Guinness sign front and center as the focal point. Now, if you don't happen to have a Guinness sign on hand, you can find some on Etsy or just add any festive backdrop. Check out this shamrock plate backdrop I made last year for just a few dollars. 

 
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To add something a little extra, I designed this banner. You can download the PDF here for FREE and use it to decorate for your own festivities. I printed it on a heavier cardstock and used 6 cards. You can certainly print more or mix the cards in with a tassel banner, similar to the one I made for a Girl Scout Cookie & Wine Pairing event. Just clip on the cards to any string or ribbon with mini-clothespins. 

 
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I also love decorating with things on-hand. A few years ago I acquired some whisky jugs, which have been re-purposed here as Guinness jugs! I styled some bottles of Guinness on a thrifted wood tray I also had on hand and then cut out the logos from the cardboard 6-pack box to add to the jugs. Double-sided tape will do the trick and they are easy to remove. If you recall, one of the jugs also made an appearance on this Woodland Winter Warm Up Bar earlier this year.

 
 

Now for the best part, the treats! I did a little research on Guinness floats and found a few different recipes online. They used varied types of ice cream and some had chocolate, some had caramel, and some even added Bailey's Irish Cream to the mix. Here's what I went with:

 
 
  • 2-3 Scoops Trader Joe's Coffee Bean Blast Ice Cream

  • Chocolate Syrup (drizzle over ice cream to your liking)

  • 6-pack Guinness

  • Whipped Topping

  • Beer Mugs

  • Irish Flags added to Toothpicks (Free download from Hey Let's Make Stuff)

Start by scooping the ice cream into a chilled beer mug or large glass. Drizzle over the chocolate syrup. Next, slowly pour over the Guinness. It's going to get fizzy, so you'll have to make a few pours to get it filled up. With the size of my glasses, one beer made two floats. Add some whipped topping and top with an Irish flag!

 
 

You can also download this FREE printable Guinness floats sign I designed to create your own dessert station!

 
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Want to add in another delicious party treat? Head to my friend Lauren's blog to learn how to make a Guinness cake! She's also been sharing other Irish-inspired recipes including the recipes for a traditional St. Patrick's Day Feast of Pork Chops with Cider Sauce and Sautéed CabbageIrish Beef & Guinness Stew, and Traditional Irish Brown Bread. She is an amazing cook, so you won't want to miss these!

 Cheers and luck 'o the Irish to ya!