How do they celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Mexico? The same way we do — with drinks.

The Cantina at El Rayo, 101 York St., Portland, is serving up Mexican-influenced St. Patrick’s Day cocktails this week. Or, as the holiday is known in Mexico, Dia de San Patricio.

Norine Kotts, co-owner of the restaurant, said that when the Irish immigrated to the United States during the potato famine, they weren’t exactly welcomed. So when the U.S. declared war on Mexico, many of them crossed the border to fight alongside Mexican Catholics.

So this year, make a Mexican-Irish cocktail and toast to better times.


In a shot glass, add:

1 ounce Kahlua

Float a thin layer of chilled heavy cream over the top to act as a barrier, and then gently add 1 bar spoon Bailey’s Irish Cream.

Garnish with grated Mexican Chocolate.


In a rocks glass filled with ice, add:

2 ounces Jameson Irish Whiskey

1 ounce Maine Honeymaker Semi-Sweet Mead

¼ ounce DeKuyper Triple Sec

¼ ounce Mexican Agavero Orange Liqueur

½ ounce anisette-infused honey syrup (see below)

Stir to combine, garnish with a twist of orange.

To make anisette infused honey syrup:

¼ cup maine wildflower honey

½ cup cold water

4 star anise pods

Combine in a non-reactive sauce pan and gently heat until mixture just begins to simmer. Remove from heat, allow to marry for a few hours, strain, discard pods. Honey syrup can be left in the fridge indefinitely.