St Patrick’s Day: the good and the goofy
March 17th, 2012
11:00 AM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

March Madness! No, not the omnipresent NCAA basketball brackets. I’m speaking of St. Patrick’s Day and the green shamrocks that are decorating the windows of just about every bar in America right now. You might be a St. Patrick’s Day purist who thinks it's the best day to celebrate Ireland’s underrated food and especially their drink; alternately, you might think March 17th is the best excuse to get absolutely wasted on food-coloring-tinted beer. Following are some places to celebrate, whether or not it's with green beer.

Even more Irish Whiskey, per a partly Irish fellow
March 17th, 2012
12:15 AM ET
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Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.

As an at least partly Irish sort of fellow (my mother’s father’s family), it’s heartening that Americans finally seem to have caught on to the appeal of Irish whiskey. Not to insult Scotch or Bourbon, but Irish has a mellow sweetness that’s awfully hard to resist—or it certainly seems that it’s hard to resist, given we’re drinking about two-thirds more of it than we were a mere five years ago.
What makes Irish whiskey distinctive (I can hear my ancestors saying besides the fact it comes from Ireland, ya big eejit?) is that it’s typically a blend of mixed-grain and single-malt whiskies, like a blended Scotch, but is usually distilled three times rather than two; also, the malted barley used for Irish is dried in kilns rather than over peat smoke, so it lacks the smoky, sometimes iodine-y character of many Scotches.

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