Top of the morning to you!
For St Patrick’s Day this year, let’s locate a leprechaun.
Before you start arguing that you only find leprechauns in Ireland, consider that there are more Irish natives living in New York City than there are in Ireland. Naturally leprechauns will have emigrated along with the people and their fellow other-worldly creatures.
Pookas and banshees prefer to stay in the countryside, but leprechauns enjoy bright lights, drinking, dancing and laughter – this means that they are as likely to be based in Shoreditch as Dublin.
To attract leprechauns to you in order that you may engage in a battle of wits with them and perhaps win the fabled pot of gold, provide an agreeable environment for them.
Decorate your house with gold and green, and close all the windows. Leave one open just a crack, as leprechauns prefer to slip in by a secret way, rather than walking in through the door.Wear the green.
They will often enter the house through a catflap, and become quite irate when encountering the kind with magnetic or infra-red sensors.
Hide all your shoes, as a vital difference between brownies and leprechauns is that brownies or house-hobs will see grubby or unpolished shoes as a duty or a challenge, often getting down to work immediately – whereas leprechauns, despite their reputation as cobblers, will only hold you in contempt at the sight of them.
Even if your shoes are in tip-top shape, leprechauns really have insanely high standards for footwear, associating high quality shoes with power and status, much like the ancient Romans.
Safer to keep everything out of sight, unless you have some extra high-class items like Jimmy Choos in your collection, in which case leave them standing neatly in a corner to impress the little fellow.
Lively music and conversation with plenty of dark corners will be tempting to the leprechaun, who loves nothing more than the céilí and the craic, but requires a hidden spot to observe from.
These drinks, designed especially for the occasion, will be very tempting for him. When you are indulging, make sure to leave one, as if by accident, on a window ledge or low corner table.
The Pot of Gold
1 shot pineapple vodka
1 dash pineapple shrub
1 dash pineapple, lemon, rose petal and lemongrass simple syrup
Lemon jelly made with half water and half pineapple juice & a dash of dry sherry- set with gold edible sparkles
Some preparations are needed for this, which is appropriate for Creideamh Sí (offerings to the beings which can travel between planes of perceived reality at will).
Shrub is made by combining vinegar (I used white wine vinegar), sugar and the flavour of your choice, here sliced pineapple. Simply crush together, leave to infuse overnight, crush again and strain.
Simple syrup is made by combining sugar, water, and the flavouring of your choice- heat on the stove until sugar is dissolved, leave to cool, then strain before it becomes too dense if you don’t want to leave bits in it.
Make the jelly and let it jell, mixing the gold sparkle after it begins to set – otherwise it just floats on top. You can use the juice from the pineapple you used for the shrub and syrup.
Shake the shrub, syrup and vodka in a chilled shaker. Spoon the jelly into a chilled glass and pour the other ingredients over it. The jelly will melt into the drink slowly, so drink through a straw, and mix as you suck.
The Lucky Shamrock
Green beer (simply add a couple of drops of food colour to chilled lager beer)
1 shot Pear brandy
1/2 shot Canton Ginger Liqueur
1/2 shot Cointreau
Combine the brandy and liqueurs in a chilled glass, top up with beer and add green colour to your taste. Agitate with a glass swizzle stick.
If you can locate a shamrock leaf, place the “hardworking” leaf at the bottom of the glass before the liquid is added, allowing it to be covered with alcohol. This is the ancient ritual of “wetting the shamrock”, where the workers are rewarded with celebratory alcohol.
I wouldn’t personally recommend attempting to capture your visitor, which is why I have not covered Leprechaun Traps here.
He is very unlikely to grant you any wishes by force, and is far more likely to trick you into being worse off than you were originally.
If you honour him and show him a good time, he may offer you a wish at the end of the evening to thank you for your hospitality. If he does appear, be extremely careful how you speak to him, especially if he challenges you to a contest.
Bear in mind that they are able to shapeshift into cats, so if any strays enter during the evening, treat them with respect and affection.
Even if you haven’t spotted him, that does not mean he hasn’t been staying concealed and enjoying himself.
After the last guest has left, drink a toast “To my friend the leprechaun” and speak your wish out loud.
He may well grant it, especially if it relates to financial matters, as this is one of his strengths. You could end up with the modern version of a pot of gold.