Headed to Ireland and want to impress the locals? Perhaps wanting to impress your friends or a bonnie lass this Saint Patrick’s Day? There’s no better way than showing off your impressive language skills than boning up on Gaelic names for your favorite drinks.
Looking to knock back a few cold ones at the pub? Then the word you’re looking for is “beoir” (pronunciation: be-ah-irr). More specifically, if you want a draft (or draught) beer, then try telling your bartender you want a “beoir bhairille” (pronunciation: be-ah-irr wah-irr-leh).
You can also try and use the word “léann” (pronunciation: lay-ahn). This is pseudo-slang for “ale,” or in some areas the masculine form for “beer.”
Of course, the Irish are more known for their whiskey than for beer. So if you’re out at O’Shay’s for Saint Patrick’s Day and want to tip back some liquid gold, you would ask for “uisce beatha” (uh-iss-keh beh-ah-hah). To show how important whiskey was to the Irish, the name literally means “water of life”! And in case you were wondering what drinking and a saint’s day have in common, keep in mind that this name was given to the drink by the Irish monks who originally brewed it.
Instead of using the long form, you can also just say “beatha.”
Prefer your whiskey opened up? You can say “uisce bheatha a chaoladh” (pronunciation: uh-iss-keh veh-ah-hah ah chah-awl-ahch) to add a little water to it. It literally means “add water to whiskey.” Rather have frozen water? Say “le hoighear” (pronunciation: leh haw-i-yeh-ahr) at the end of the order (for any drink) to say “on the rocks.”
Here is a list of some other drinks you can order in Gaelic. Some of these aren’t directly translatable, but they should get the idea. If anything, like most people in other countries, they’ll at least appreciate the effort to speak in their language! (though you may get a hard time for not drinking their drink)
* Cocktail: manglam (pronunciation: mahn-glahm)
* Scotch: uisce beatha na hAlban (pronunciation: uh-iss-keh beh-ah-hah nah hahl-bahn)
* Vodka: vodca (pronunciation: vawd-kah. Awfully similar; you have a good head start!)
* Gin: jin (pronunciation: gin. Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?)
* Screwdriver: scriúire (pronunciation: skri-ooi-reh) (note: they may hand you an actual screwdriver)