I am a 3rd generation proud Canadian with a soft spot for St. Paddy’s Day. My mother’s family hailed from county Armagh, in Northern Ireland.  For St. Patrick’s Day, I want to pay homage to my Irish roots by celebrating with a Crown Float Cocktail. Guinness Stout is considered a national treasure in Ireland. It dates back to 1759 when Arthur Guinness decided to brew a beer containing roasted barley, which gave it a very dark, rich colour. His full-bodied style of beer became known as a stout porter.

The widget inside the can of Guinness draft has always fascinated me. It is a small plastic ball with a minute hole. It is inserted into the can prior to it being filled with C02/nitrogen.  Once the can is filled, a small amount of liquid nitrogen is then added before the can is sealed.  Opening of the stout at 3-4 degrees Celsius forces the stout in the widget to spray out thus creating the “foam” head. Did you know that it is the nitrogen that gives Guinness its creamy head?

The Crown Float cocktail was created in Ireland. A Crown Float is made of ½ Strongbow cider and ½ Guinness stout. First, pour the Strongbow cider in the glass and then slowly top it off with the Guinness stout. It’s important for the Guinness to float. I’m not sure if this is fact or myth, but supposedly when it was created, it was considered a political statement. A kind of protest in a glass. Slainte!