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Drinks make it easy to be green
Color your libations with a little luck o' the Irish this St. Patrick's Day
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If you’re planning a St. Patrick’s Day party, make sure to serve up some green-hued drinks, too. Options include (clockwise form left) a margarita, a sour apple milkshake or martini or green beer. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

Adding a shade of green to most anything on St. Patrick’s Day just makes everything a little more fun.

Having a green beer, cocktail or even a green-hued milkshake is the perfect way to celebrate Irish heritage today.

“Everybody gets into the spirit, everybody loves St. Patrick’s Day,” said Heather White, a longtime bartender at Luna’s Restaurant on the downtown Gainesville square. “The people that come out love to be with their friends and just enjoy each other. They just love the green; (they) come in with their crazy hats and blinking pins. It’s just a lot of fun.”

White said for St. Patrick’s Day at Luna’s she will feature a couple green drinks, like sour apple martinis and margaritas.

“We use vodka, sour apple liqueur (and) a splash of sour mix,” White said about the sour apple martini. “Everyone makes it a little bit different. Shake it and strain it and throw a little cherry in it.”

For a Luna’s margarita, White starts off with Jose Cuervo tequila.

“We like to use a little Gran Mariner, sour mix, a few squeezes of fresh lime juice — that’s a big key ... and shake it all together and it is so yummy,” White said.

A St. Patrick’s Day tradition for some is green beer. But how does that bright green beer get to your table?

Jana Marie English, a bartender at Wild Wing Cafe in Gainesville, says the secret is in a little food coloring.

“You can make everything green,” she said. “Generally, you can buy some beer that is green, especially for St. Patrick’s Day, but generally it’s green food coloring.

“You will see me for the next four days with green hands.”

English also suggested ordering an Irish Car Bomb from your bartender, which is a shot of Irish Whiskey and Bailey’s Irish Creme dropped into a pint of Guiness and then chugged at one time. But that drink isn’t specifically green.

If those drinks are just a little to over the top for you, maybe a low-ley green milkshake is perfect.

At Brad’s Grill in Gainesville, cashier Madisen Yates said they have a Green Apple Jolly Rancher-flavored milkshake that is delicious.

“You just put ice cream in a cup and then you put the Jolly Rancher on top of the ice cream, and then you put milk on it and then you put more ice cream and then you mix it up in the mixer,” Yates said. “It actually tastes really good and it doesn’t taste sour or tart. It’s a really good ice cream mixer, actually.”

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