You can't salute St Patrick without a glass or two of the black stuff. But why not give your Guinness a little twist?
It's St Patrick's Day tomorrow and therefore time for Guinness. The first time I celebrated this event seriously was in New York in the 80s. Being young, I went off a little fast. My memory of the evening consists mostly of the flash of a camera, as my friends photographed me snoozing in unlikely positions in bars around the city - a sort of early precursor to today's planking phenomenon. At a time when cameras required film, this represented a serious investment in my humiliation that I realise now was a sign of true friendship. Thank you, Paddy and Simon.
The only other thing I remember is standing in front of a disused shop window in Alphabet City watching a man inside playing a Stratocaster in a full-size catsuit. Someone next to us said he used to do it most nights. To this day, that's what I see when I drink Guinness. Here are three ways to enjoy the black stuff.
St Patrick's Day flip
30ml Bushmills Irish whiskey
60ml condensed milk
1 Place the first four ingredients in a cocktail shaker and mix well. Alternatively, blend together using a stick blender or liquidiser.
2 Add ice and Guinness and shake gently to combine. Strain into a hi-ball glass and top with grated nutmeg.
Purple velvet, AKA velvet pussy
1 pint Guinness
1 Pour port into a pint glass; top up with Guinness.
A dash of gin (optional)
1 Pour the Guinness carefully into a champagne glass and allow to settle.
2 Slowly pour the sparkling wine over a spoon into the glass. For extra kick, add a splash of gin.
Sparkling stout: A trio of black velvets. Photograph: Jill Mead for the Guardian