St. Patrick’s Day is a major holiday in Chicago. People here gear up for it and there are weeks of festivities leading up to it. There are numerous parades and pub crawls heading into March 17th. Heck, we even dye the Chicago River green to celebrate it! Now that just screams commitment to a holiday.
Most people celebrate the holiday with Guinness, Jameson Whiskey, Bailey’s Irish Cream and corned beef and cabbage. Since i have a house full of little ones though my pub crawl days are long since gone. So instead I have done some quick and easy St. Patrick’s Day recipes using a classic Chicago favorite as the base.
If you are from Chicago, have lived here or maybe even visited then you are familiar with Green River Soda. It is a green, lime soda that came into existence at the start of prohibition. During the days of soda fountains in the Midwest it was second only to Coca-Cola. Today, I have made a slush drink and cupcakes with it.
I made a Green River slush for the kids. Complete of course, with mustache straws. This can also be made into an adult drink my adding a shot of alcohol.
Green River Slush
1 c. ice
2 scoops lime sherbert
1 scoop pineapple sherbert
3/4 c. – 1 c. Green River Soda
Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until slushy. Serve in a glass/cup with a straw.
Now onto the cupcakes. Although it is hard to tell the frosting does have a light green color to it. You can always add food coloring if you would like a stronger color.
Green River Cupcakes
1 box of yellow cake mix
3 large eggs
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 c. Green River Soda
Green food coloring
Preheat oven to 350° and line two cupcake pans with liners.
Combine all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix on low until combined. Increase speed to medium and mix for two minutes. This will be a very fluffy batter.
Fill liners 2/3 of the way full and bake for 18-22 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.
Green River Lime Buttercream
1/2 c. Green River Soda reduced down to 1/4 c.
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
4 c. powdered sugar, sifted
1 tbsp. half & half
zest from 1 lime, may use half to reduce flavor
In a small saucepan pour the 1/2 c. Green River Soda and bring to a low boil. Continue the low boil until it has been reduced to 1/4 c. of liquid and the carbonation is gone. This will take about 15 minutes. Pour into a heat safe bowl and place in freezer to cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Stir in half of the powdered sugar until combined. Add in the rest of the powdered sugar and stir until combined. With the mixer on low pour in the reduced Green River Soda. Beat for 30 seconds on medium speed. Add in the half & half and beat on medium-high for a minutes. At this point the frosting will have a very mild citrus flavor to it. You can leave it as is or add the lime zest in pinches and mix until you reach the desired lime strength.
Use to frost cupcakes.
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