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35 festive cocktails to get your St. Paddy's Day off to a shamrockin' start

Heather Barnett is a freelance writer and foodie whose work has been featured in blogs, websites, magazines, and TV and radio ads. She spends her free time relaxing with her soulmate, Keith; her dog, Mosby "The Fly Slayer;" and Felix th...

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St. Patrick's Day sips

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St. Patrick's Day sips

Get in the St. Patrick's Day frame of mind with these Irish-inspired cocktails and shots.

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Baileys afternoon delight

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Baileys afternoon delight

Caramel vodka and Kahlúa take this tasty twist on Irish coffee over the top.

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Guinness Jell-O shots

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Guinness Jell-O shots

Out of all the ways to have a mug of Guinness on St. Paddy’s Day, this is definitely the cutest.

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Hotel d’Alsace

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Hotel d’Alsace

This sophisticated Oscar Wilde-inspired cocktail blends Irish whiskey with two fine French liqueurs.

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Irish bling

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Irish bling

Mini ice cubes flash like diamonds in this delicious two-liquor cocktail.

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Leprechaun's lunch cocktail

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Leprechaun's lunch cocktail

The leprechaun's lunch cocktail reminds us that it's always 5 p.m. somewhere. Sláinte!

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Irish cocktail

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Irish cocktail

Not feeling the plastic cups and shamrock beads? The Irish cocktail might be your drink of choice.

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Irish coffee

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Irish coffee

Ease into the day’s festivities by slowly sipping on this steamy Irish staple, famous the world over.

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Iced Irish coffee with coffee ice cubes

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Iced Irish coffee with coffee ice cubes

Clever coffee ice cubes keep this iced Irish coffee as full flavored and satisfying as the traditional version.

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Irish cola

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Irish cola

What better day to try an unusual cocktail like this, which mixes Irish whiskey, Irish cream and cola?

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Irish flag

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Irish flag

For the best chance of success, you may want to practice layering this fun shot a bit earlier in the evening.

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Green fizz

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Green fizz

The Green Fizz might just become your superhero alter ego if you drink too many of these fun cocktails.

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Irish maiden

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Irish maiden

Grapefruit juice, ginger ale and honey simple syrup give this fresh cocktail a distinctive flavor.

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Behind-the-times cocktail

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Behind-the-times cocktail

This nuanced cocktail, made with Irish whiskey, is a sophisticated alternative to the rivers of green beer.

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Zucchini and sea salt vodka soda

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Zucchini and sea salt vodka soda

Zucchini and sea salt vodka soda gets is vibrant color and fresh flavor from freshly squeezed juice.

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Irish hammer

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Irish hammer

Mix up a pitcher of Irish hammer to get that party off to a great start.

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Leprechaun cooler

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Leprechaun cooler

If spring is starting to feel a lot like summer, try a leprechaun cooler

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Irish whiskey affogato

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Irish whiskey affogato

Espresso and Irish whiskey are poured over vanilla bean ice cream for an elegant affogato at home.

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Boozy shamrock shake

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Boozy shamrock shake

Even if it's still a bit nippy outside, a boozy shamrock shake is totally worth it.

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Honey Irish mojito

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Honey Irish mojito

Need to smooth out that Irish whiskey a bit? Try this honey Irish mojito.

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The nutty Irishman

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The nutty Irishman

Don’t forget the sprinkles on this perennial Irish-inspired favorite.

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Guinness and pear cider cocktail

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Guinness and pear cider cocktail

This gorgeous pairing of Guinness and pear cider is almost too pretty to drink... almost.

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Irish sundae cocktail

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Irish sundae cocktail

After the traditional corned beef and cabbage, this minty Irish sundae cocktail can double as dessert.

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Shamrock cocktail

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Shamrock cocktail

Green Chartreuse and mint bitters make this improved shamrock cocktail much more deserving of the name.

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Irish Kahlúa summer cocktail

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Irish Kahlúa summer cocktail

Get out your blowtorch! The sugar rim on the Irish Kahlúa cocktail isn't going to caramelize itself.

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Green whiskey smash

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Green whiskey smash

Inspired by a vintage cocktail, the green whiskey smash is a delight by the bowl or glass.

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Irish kiss

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Irish kiss

"Kiss me, I'm Irish," beckon the clover honey and ginger beer in this Irish whiskey cocktail.

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The chilly Irishman

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The chilly Irishman

Try the chilly Irishman for a hardcore punch of espresso. 

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Iced green tea mojito

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Iced green tea mojito

Spearmint and arugula give the iced green tea mojito a surprising kick.

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Irish mojito

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Irish mojito

Or if you prefer a more traditional flavor with an Irish spin, how 'bout the Irish mojito?

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Big ginger

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Big ginger

The big ginger gets its punch from a ginger whiskey made in Ireland.

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Green margarita

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Green margarita

That healthy green juice gets a St. Paddy's Day makeover in these green margaritas.

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Black velvet

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Black velvet

Black velvet in that slow, Irish style.

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Minty St. Paddy's Day iced coffee

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Minty St. Paddy's Day iced coffee

Mint makes this little iced coffee special. Booze makes it something you should skip at breakfast.

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Guinness ice cream float

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Guinness ice cream float

Adding Guinness to anything automagically makes it better — just like this Guinness float.

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Image: Greg Vote/Fuse/Getty Images; Graphic: Terese Condella/SheKnows
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You'll want these festive cocktails handy this time next year.

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