Poteen, which is also known as Poitin or Potcheen in Ireland is a triple or quadruple distilled alcoholic drink traditionally considered to be Irish Moonshine. Poteen is a clear drink which is most commonly known thanks to its high alcoholic with an alcohol volume of between 60% and 95% depending on the type!
The Poteen drink has enjoyed a significantly interesting history over the last 300 years and was even made illegal in Ireland in the 1600s and remaining so until 1997. Since the legal status of Poteen was changed in 1996 Poteen has now gained acceptance across the world as a leading Irish alcoholic drink and a potentially to whiskeys. However, even though it is produced in the Republic of Ireland and then exported to various countries across the world Poteen is still holds its illegal status in Northern Ireland.
Poteen is now only produced by two licenced distilleries and both of which are located in the Republic of Ireland. These authentic Irish producers are Knockeen Hills and the Bunratty Mead and Liqueur Company and the both produce a range of Poteen with different alcoholic volumes all of which have their own unique style when it comes to the taste. The Bunratty Mead and Liqueur Company types of Poteen have a significantly lower alcoholic volume compared to the more traditional formulas from history and those from Knockeen Hills.
Irish Poteen has a distinct taste which is what attracts so many of the fans. Upon initial drink you will first experience the strong, peppery “bite” which is unique in the way that the following sweeter tastes then develop. Such sweet tastes include the likes of melon, raspberry, boiled sweets and grape fruit.
The actual ingredients and recipe for Irish Poteen is one of Ireland’s finest secrets and closely guarded by many over the last 400 years which could of course result in differences between the various types of Poteen from the two licenced distilleries.
Unlike other strong alcoholic drinks Poteen can be considered surprisingly easy to drink and rather refreshing. There are a huge variety of options available when it comes to drinking Poteen depending on your own personal preferences. It is recommended that Poteen is mixed with water to result in a refreshing alcoholic drink which gives you the opportunity to take full advantage of the unique combination of flavours which are included especially the variety of fruits. Alongside water Poteen can also create an interesting drink when used with other mixers such as fruit juices.
Although it is a popular option to do so you do not always need to drink Poteen with water or mixers; responsibly Poteen can be drunk as a shot or slowly on the rocks where you will get to experience the intense initial peppery shock followed by a fruity taste which slowly develops.
The great combination of flavours and high alcoholic content results in Poteen being an exciting alternative to the traditional cocktail bases such as vodka, whiskey and gin and you can simply replace such bases in recipes for your favoured type of Poteen for an exciting twist away from the norm! But if you are looking for something that enhances the Poteen there are lots of cocktail recipes available which are tailored to the tastes and ingredients which are found in Poteen, especially created to get the best out of the drink and mixers used. Such cocktails tend to have a traditionally Irish theme with other Irish spirits such as Moonshine Morning with the Leprechauns which is a mix of Poteen, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Cherry Brandy, coffee and crushed ice. Or there is the Emerald Isle which is of course suitably green in colour to represent Ireland! This particular cocktail includes Bailey’s Irish Cream, Brandy, Crème de Menthe, Tia Maria and Ice all shaken together.