Last night Aunt Colleen brought home this seasonal Chicago treat and suggested Grandma Rosie and I might like to make little dinner cocktails with it. They were the perfect drink to toast St. Patrick’s Day eve.
WHALE OIL BEEF HOOKED!
I had my first bottle of Green River at the old Bear Trap Hot Springs in Montana, outside of Bozeman. As I remember it, Bear Trap’s dingy back-bar was lined with the most exotic pops and beers in existence. My dad spotted a bottle of Green River, ordered a round for my sister and I and told us of the age-old and firmly Ozian tradition of dying the Chicago River in honor of St. Patrick, who is well known for hating all other colors of river.
My dad also told us the literally unbelievable true fact (see also: metaphorical middle finger) that the dye goes into the river a vibrant orange:
If you were watching this for the first time you would think this is a mistake or a bad joke. You see the dye is orange and its initial color on the surface of the river is orange and you would think to yourself what heathen would do something like this. After a moment or two you then see the true color magically appear.
I didn’t see the river go green this year. They dump the dye on parade day, which was this past Saturday. My excuses are boring though. I was apartment hunting, it was cold and I was reluctant to follow the tottering pub crawlers. But getting to taste just holding the bottle more than made up for missing the other real green river.
Sláinte to you, wherever you end up tonight!