Quick, what color do you think of when you think of Ireland? Unless you’re colorblind, you probably said green. The color green is basically synonymous with all things Irish. So maybe green tea should be the national drink of Ireland, just like it is in Japan or China. I know, I know the national drink is whiskey and that will never change, although beer seems pretty popular too, but hear me out. I know what I’m going to write next will probably not go over well and it got me laughed out of a meeting of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in Danbury, Connecticut, but I’m hoping the online community is a little more receptive to new (and perhaps a bit crazy) ideas.
When I was living in Shanghai, one of my favorite bars served a whiskey with green tea cocktail. It was pretty good, but I thought the whiskey overpowered the tea. They made the drink by using standard bottled green tea and whiskey. In this case cheap whiskey. And of course cheap tea.
This got me thinking: if it tastes good but the problem is that the tea is not strong enough, then it makes sense to use stronger tea. I would actually suggest using matcha green tea powder. As anyone who reads this website knows, this is my favorite type of tea and I not only like to drink it in the traditional style of the Japanese tea ceremony, but I also love sprinkling it on all kinds of foods and adding it to various drinks. So why not add it to whiskey?
Let me get this out of the way immediately: I have never tried this and there is a good chance it will be horrible. On the other hand, there is also a chance it will be great. I think what we would have to do to have the greatest chance of this concoction tasting good, is to make a cup of matcha tea the standard way and to add whiskey to that. In this way the tea will be brewed correctly and we’ll have the strong taste we are accustomed to, meaning it should be able to hold up to the whiskey. If you simply sprinkle the green tea powder into a glass of whiskey, I’m pretty sure the drink will turn out pretty bad.
So there’s my idea for mixing tea with the traditional Irish drink to make a new Irish drink. More importantly, it’s a green Irish drink. Not only is the drink green, but the matcha powder itself is a bright green color and would be a great representation for Ireland. I mean, the Irish—and especially the Irish living in America—love all things green. Since they don’t yet have a green drink, apart from the weird green beer you see on St. Patrick’s Day, adopting matcha makes perfect sense to me, despite what the Danbury Hibernians seem to think of my idea.
Of course, there’s one more big advantage to this: it can make the Irish healthier. We Irish are not known as bastions of health—we don’t eat the healthiest foods and many of us probably drink too much alcohol, so adding one of the world’s healthiest drinks to our diets probably won’t hurt. Quite the opposite: it will help us lead healthier lives.
So, if you don’t think I’m completely insane and you think my idea could be pretty good, jump on my bandwagon. Convince any Irish person you know, be they family members or friends or just a horde of people at your annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. Get them to try matcha and maybe we’ll get them on board with the idea of adopting it as a national drink. Then write to any Irish organization you can think of, like the Ancient Order of Hibernians. You might get a bad reaction like I did in Danbury, or maybe you’ll get a great reaction. Maybe you’ll be the start of a new movement; a movement to spread matcha around the world one culture at a time, starting with the culture that worships all things green.