St. Patrick’s Day has very little (in fact, nothing) to do with drinking. According to legend, St. Patrick was responsible for ridding Ireland of bothersome snakes. One can’t believe everything one hears, but St. Patrick is in fact the patron saint of Ireland. His feast day, March 17th, has been celebrated by the Irish for centuries but the first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in New York City during the year 1762.
Even though the origins of the holiday have little to do with the U.S., it’s nice to celebrate the rich culture of the Irish and in the process, have a few Irish drinks. Porters and stouts, while they pack a lot of flavor, contain large amounts of calories. The very nature of Irish beer is the exact opposite of light. Irish style drinks are delicious, and certainly essential to your St. Patrick’s Day festivities, but watch out. Alcohol has a way of packing on the pounds so indulge carefully and as always, drink responsibly.
I’ve hunted down the most popular Irish beers and listed them in order, from the least caloric to the highest. The following nutritional information is approximate and is based on 12- ounce serving sizes:
Guiness Draught: 125 calories
Harp: 142 calories
Beamish Irish Cream Stout: 146 calories
Guiness Extra Stout: 153 calories
Killian’s Irish Red: 163 calories
Murphy’s: 171 calories
Jameson Irish Whiskey: 69 calories per one ounce serving
Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur: 94 calories per one ounce serving
Creme de Menthe: 125 calories per one ounce serving
Irish Car Bomb: 237 calories per 12 ounces
If you’re not worried about the authenticity of your drink, then you can always pop a couple drops of green food coloring into just about anything. Get yourself 12 ounces of Beck’s Premier Light, weighing in at 64 calories, and turn it green for some festive flair. Any light beer of your choice will work just as well. You can also substitute the sugar in most mixed drinks for a low calorie sweetener and add some green garnish. Mint, lime, olives and melon balls could all be good ideas.
March 8th, 2011