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Toast With Vegan Drinks This St. Patrick’s Day!

This article was written by PETA intern Abby Ryan, who is an Irish native.

As a native Irish person celebrating my very first St. Patrick’s Day in America, I have no doubt that it will be an exciting experience. America’s fixation with all things Irish has long been an interesting, if not amusing, accolade to Irish people who live abroad.

In preparation for the holiday, I did a little research on vegan alcohols. How could I pass up the perfect opportunity to express my own national pride and spread some good cheer while also encouraging the consumption of animal-friendly beverages?

You may be wondering, “What’s not vegan about alcohol?” Well, some alcohol is produced with isinglass, a substance derived from fish bladders that is used to remove the yeast from the alcohol and further the process of fermentation. Hmmm … I don’t know about you, but the idea of fish-filtered alcohol doesn’t sound very appealing to me!

Luckily, there are plenty of vegan choices. Check out Barnivore for lists of fish-friendly beers, wines, and liquors. Has all this talk about alcohol made you thirsty? This recipe for vegan Irish cream, adapted from Candice L. Collins’ recipe on, is the perfect way to give an animal-friendly salute to good ol’ St. Patrick himself. Now, where did I put my “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” shirt?

Vegan Irish Cream
4 tsp. cornstarch or tapioca starch
4 tsp. water
1 cup chocolate almond milk
2 13.5-oz. cans coconut milk (definitely NOT the light version)
1 shot freshly brewed espresso (or a bit of espresso powder)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (firmly packed)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1-2 cups Irish whiskey (depending upon how strong you like it!)

  • Mix the cornstarch and water until smooth (but not pasty).
  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together the almond milk, coconut milk, espresso, brown sugar, vanilla, and cocoa powder. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally.
  • Slowly add the cornstarch mixture and whisk vigorously. Simmer for approximately 2 minutes and remove from heat.
  • Cool, then put through a fine-mesh sieve to remove all the particles. Add the Irish whiskey and shake well before each serving.

Makes approximately 4 cups