There’s plenty you can do with that emerald dye.

Green beer is a colorful staple for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, which means it’s time to brush up on beer-tinting basics.

Six is the magic number. As in six drops of McCormick green food color per 12 ounces of brew.

But there’s plenty more you can do with that emerald dye. A hint of green and some McCormick peppermint extract make for a lovely and luscious milkshake. The same combination also works well in Green With Envy Cheesecake Bars. Contrasting layers of green, white and chocolaty brown are perfect hues for the holiday.

Emerald Mint Milkshake

1 pint (2 cups) vanilla ice cream
1 cup milk
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/4 teaspoon green food color
Whipped cream and green sprinkles (optional)

Place ice cream, milk, peppermint extract and green food color in blender container; cover. Blend on high speed until smooth. Pour into glasses. Top with whipped cream and sprinkles, if desired.  Makes three shakes.

Green with Envy Cheesecake Bars

1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (about 30 cookies)
1/3 cup butter, melted
3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon green food color
3 eggs
2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cookie crumbs and butter. Press firmly onto bottom of foil-lined 9-inch-square baking pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream and peppermint extract; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour 1/2 of the batter over crust. Tint remaining batter green with food color. Pour over batter in pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely on wire rack.

Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Lift out of pan onto cutting board. Cut into bars. Drizzle bars with melted chocolate. Store leftover bars in refrigerator. Makes 24 servings.

-- McCormick