This Tuesday will see everybody turning Irish to celebrate St. Patrick Day, 24 hours of celebration that encourages people to drink like I do every day. Being well practiced in the art of surviving self-inflicted liver punishment, I thought I would share a few hints on how to (safely) enjoy your party.
And, in case you don’t know already, always remember to drink responsibly.
1. Never on an empty stomach
That’s right, if there is one thing the Irish know it is how to cook mouthwatering but heavy food. From champ to soda farls, these starchy munchables will ensure your belly is ready for almost anything you can throw at it.
If you don’t know what these delicious dishes are, or how to make them, then Evernote Food (Android | iOS) is on hand to help. While it may not offer all the recipes you are after in-app (this one for champ is good), it does let you easily create notes to refer back to while you are shopping and cooking.
Great, now I’m hungry.
2. Meeting up
There is no fun in drinking alone, and figuring out where to meeting up can often be a chore – especially when St. Patrick’s Day is on a weekday and people are planning to join you at different times after work. This is when Citymaps (Android | iOS) comes into its own.
This map app will let you see all of the points of interest around your current location. More importantly, it allows you to filter out unwanted noise – removing restaurants, shops, and gyms in order to focus on bars. You can also crate maps and routes that can be shared with friends who are logged in, helping you easily meet up without having to constantly explain which bars you are intending to visit.
3. Waiting alone
If you have the day free, you may find yourself with some time to burn while waiting for others to find you. Once you have fully exhausted all your bar man’s stories, Ku: Shroud of the Morrigan (Android | iOS) is the game to keep you entertained.
I am sure you have plenty of games on your phone already, so why am I suggesting you get another – especially one you have to pay for (you may notice that this is the only app on this list that demands you part with drinking money). Well, there are two reasons. The first that it is set in Ireland and based around Celtic mythology, all of which is shown in a beautiful watercolor style. The second, and perhaps more importantly, is that it will support the Irish game development studio bitSimth continue to do fantastic work.
4. The beer
Clearly an important part of the day will be beering yourself into blissful intoxication. But, if you don’t feel like filling up on the Guinness for the whole day (and as big of a fan as I am off the black stuff I struggle after four), you may want to start looking for other places to find a good bevy.
While it may not be perfect, a great starting place for this is Untappd (Android | iOS). This social network of beer drinkers lets you search for nearby beers and bars, and see what others think of them. As it is community driven, your area will dictated the success of the app for you. For example, I am currently still struggling to find Wild Beer’s Madness IPA in the local area, but in London I could find what I was after every time.
5. When it hits “that time” of the evening
Once my Irish uncle starts singing Danny Boy (a troublingly accurate stereotype) I know the time for beer is done. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean an end to the drinking, simply a shift in gear. Next on the agenda is of course whisky.
Whisky drinkers will no doubt know their favorite tipple, but those looking for a recommendation could do worse than having a look at Distiller (Android | iOS). The search function on this app asks you some simple questions to work out your tastes, including your level of knowledge, the nationality of whisky you want, where you intend to enjoy it, and price.
Oddly, I filled in everything to see where it would take me and it took me to my favorite whisky – the Japanese 12 year old Hibiki (I know, not very Irish) – so I guess there is something to it.
If you just want a taste of Ireland though, just go for Bushmills – the oldest Pot Still on the Emerald Isle.
6. Get home safe
Okay, I know it’s a boring one, but as I said at the start drink responsibly and get home safe. For this, I recommend Uber (Android | iOS), the private car / taxi app. This simple app lets you quickly and easily book a ride home for yourself (or a friend) even if you have no money left in your pocket because all payments are made through the app.
Uber isn’t in every city at the moment, but a great many are served. Check if you are, and if not make alternate plans for your return journey – even if that is just having the number of a local taxi firm.
Bottom line, don’t be tempted to drink and drive.
7. The morning after
Finally the morning after, and if you have been following my advice up to this point I hope you have taken the day off.
You do have a few options here, and staying in bed with a good dose of painkillers is certainly one of them. However, if you want to continue enjoying yourself then you could always try a little hair of the dog. Cocktail Flow (Android | iOS) is a good free cocktail recipe app to reveal the mystical healing properties of a Bloody Mary.
This tomato and vodka based drink is actually far more present than it sounds, and can be made as spicy as you like. Usually the heat is added with a chilly sauce, but I prefer to use horseradish which adds a far more palatable kick when you are feeling fragile.
Alternately you could revisit step one. Soda farls, bacon, and fried eggs will cure most hangovers.
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