Reuben Square

Saint Patrick’s Day Happy Hour: Home Sweet Home

Thinking back on all of my Adventures I don’t believe I have had an actual Happy Hour revolve around a specific Holiday. The closest I have come was when I created a Halloween-themed drink called the Purple People Eater. But that was only one part of the Adventure but with this Adventure, we are going all out with two drinks and one appetizer all Saint Patrick’s Day themed.

Corned Beef

One essential dish that you find at any Irish restaurant or Saint Patrick’s day party is of course corned beef. I never really knew much about corned beef so I decided to do a little more research on what exactly it is. Corned beef brisket is a chunk of brisket that has been cured in large-grained rock salt is often referred to as “corns” of salt. Thus the term corned beef. Another interesting fact is that corned beef didn’t become a staple at Saint Pattrick’s day gatherings until Irish Immigrants moved to the United States. That is because the beef was more plentiful here compared to it being a luxury staple in Ireland. Given all of this info, I just knew I had to utilize corned beef for this Adventure. 

Green Ingredients

As always before we get to the rest of the food let’s whip up a cocktail! I know typical Irish drinks revolve around beer and whiskey but on Saint Patrick’s Day, it is all about the green. One green ingredient that immediately popped into my mind was Midori. I know Midori is a Japanese liqueur so you may be thinking does it have any business being used on an Irish-themed holiday. Well, I say yes because when Midori is translated from Japanese to English it is green. Anything green deserves a chance to experience what Saint Patrick’s Day has to offer.

Midori Sour

  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Midori
  • 0.5 oz lime juice
  • 0.5 oz lemon juice
  • Topped off with Seltzer water
Midori Sour

There you have a Midori Sour! The perfect bright neon color makes it the ideal drink to be sipping on to celebrate the holiday. The very first sip I took was one just of seltzer water since that was the only thing at the top of the drink. After using a straw to mix the seltzer water into the other ingredients it was a little better. The sour in Midori Sour is what pushes through but that is what one should expect when using two types of sour citrus fruits in this cocktail. The Midori is what helps bring on some sweetness to the drink. Midori is a liqueur made with musk-melon for the fruitiness, sugar for the sweetness, and the green dye is what gives it that iconic green color. I don’t think a Midori Sour is my drink of choice but I do want to see what other possibilities Midori can bring.

No Alcohol?

I know Saint Patrick’s Day has become a big drinking holiday but I know not everyone drinks alcohol. To include everyone, I found a non-alcoholic drink to try out. These are all ingredients that are very common to find in cocktails but there is one that stands out. You may be thinking that basil in a drink would be a very odd experience but I have had some excellent drinks with basil. I remember this amazing strawberry basil lemonade that I had at Slapfish. However, that drink did not have any green coloring whatsoever. This drink will be quite different.

Basil Lemon Daiquiri

  • 4 Basil leaves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp of water
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • Ice
Basil Lemon Daiquiri

Look at that green slush just calling your name for you to sip and be refreshed on a warm day. Daiquiris are typically made with lime, simple syrup, and rum. Since this is a mocktail there isn’t any rum but the other difference is that we are using lemon juice instead of lime juice. Even with all of these differences, this was one fabulous drink! It was the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness but it was the basil that a unique dimension to this mocktail. The basil had such a great herbaceousness which made it, unlike any other drink that I’ve had before on my Adventures. I did end up making it a second time but the second time I did end up adding 1.5 ounces of rum to make it a cocktail instead of a mocktail.

Ingredients

It’s important to have food in your stomach while having drinks so let’s get the food started. Is there a possibility that I took a couple of pieces of the corned beef to hold me off before the main appetizer, possibly? Typically on Saint Patrick’s Day, I just see corned beef with cabbage on the side but I wanted to utilize it differently. Reuben sandwiches are known for their use of corned beef but we aren’t making a simple sandwich we are making them more appetizer-worthy with Reuben Squares. After slow cooking the corned beef in the oven for a couple of hours you can finally start the main process of putting the squares together.

Layering the Ingredients

The first step is taking a roll of crescent roll dough and pinch the seams to make it into one sheet of dough instead of divided. Bake that in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Now we can start layering the sheet with the corned beef, swiss cheese, and sauerkraut. You can’t have a Reuben without swiss cheese and sauerkraut!

Butter it Up

Now we put the second roll of crescent roll dough to cover everything up. To make sure we get the perfect golden brown color and richness it is important to lather it with some melted butter. Then it is back into the oven for another toasty 30 minutes of heat.

One Reuben Square

Look at this in all of its amazing glory! However, these are Reuben Square”s”, not Reuben Square so it is time to cut these so you can share them with others. Yet something is missing that is another key ingredient in Reubens. Any guesses?

Sauce Ingredients

If you guessed Russian Dressing then you have made the correct assumption. I did not realize how many ingredients went into the making of Russian Dressing. Luckily most of them are pretty common household pantry items. The most unique ingredients would have to be the Horseradish and Worcestershire sauce. So you may need to run to the store for those items.

Russian Dressing

After a good amount of mixing you have officially incorporated all of your ingredients together. This will make for one perfect dipping sauce for our Reuben Squares.

Reuben Squares

Honestly, I felt that there isn’t a lot of work that goes into making these. It may be very time-consuming for the amount of time you are waiting for things to be done in the oven but overall relatively easy. Since it is Saint Patrick’s Day I had to break out the green plate that I first purchased at the convenience store on the campus at college. Now that they are in squares it is a lot easier to see the inner workings of all the deliciousness happening inside. The eyes just get drawn to the iconic red coloring of the corned beef. The lighter colors of the swiss cheese and sauerkraut help ease into the golden-brown of the crust sandwiching in all the fillings.

Dip Pic

The buttery crust is what hits your taste buds first before getting into the meat of it. The corned beef had some inconsistencies throughout the squares. In some parts, it was a little chewy while others were perfectly cooked but luckily all of it had the perfect salted meat flavor. The sauerkraut was very helpful in bringing pops of acidity for each bite while the swiss cheese brought in the creaminess. Let’s not forget to take a dip into that Russian Dressing. The dressing was creamy and sweet with a kick from the horseradish. It was the ideal accompaniment for each Reuben Square. However, there was a little grittiness to it which perhaps came from the sugar. Which honestly I’d leave the sugar out next time because I think the ketchup brings enough sweetness to the sauce.

Virtual Happy Hour

Something that I haven’t been able to do lately is being able to enjoy Happy Hours with others. Thanks to some wonderful people at work we had a virtual happy hour together on Saint Patrick’s Day. They asked me to do a mixology demonstration which is why I had two drinks to share with you for this Adventure. What made this Virtual Happy Hour very memorable was being able to play games altogether. We did a scavenger hunt where we had to hunt Saint Patrick’s Day items. Then we did an Irish accent contest which I won but don’t ask me to do it because it was awful. Then we did a word unscramble to finish things off after a couple of drinks. Overall being able to do this Happy Hour with others made this one of the most memorable Happy Hour Adventures in a while.

Website: Midori Sour, Lemon Basil Daiquiri, Reuben Squares

Rating

Drink: (5 without the Midori Sour)

Food:

Price:

Work Level:

Overall:

Do you have a Saint Patrick’s Day Tradition? What do you eat and drink?

Let me know down below in the comments and be sure to share with friends and family that would enjoy this Happy Hour.

May the adventures continue! Cheers!

Sources: Corned Beef

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