St. Patrick’s Day: Exploring Traditional Irish Drinks

St. Patrick’s Day is this weekend and there’s no better time to delve into the rich and vibrant world of traditional Irish drinks. From hearty stouts to smooth whiskies, Ireland boasts a diverse array of beverages that have captured the hearts of drinkers worldwide. Here’s a short run-through of some of Ireland’s most beloved drinks.

Guinness Stout

This icon, with its creamy texture and rich flavour profile, has become synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Served straight or in creative cocktails, Guinness offers something completely unique.

The perfect pour for Guinness is an art form, requiring precision and patience. It begins with holding the glass at a 45-degree angle under the tap and pouring slowly to fill the glass halfway, allowing the beer to settle for about a minute. Then, topping off the pint with a second pour while tilting the glass slightly forward to create a creamy, dome-shaped head.

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Irish Whiskey

Irish whiskey holds a special place in the world of spirits, known for its smoothness, complexity, and centuries-old heritage. To truly appreciate Irish whiskey, it’s essential to understand its key characteristics.

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Unlike Scotch whisky, which is typically distilled twice, Irish whiskey often undergoes a third distillation, resulting in a smoother and lighter spirit. It is often made from a blend of malted and unmalted barley, along with other grains such as corn or wheat, contributing to its unique flavour profile. Whilst single malt Irish whiskey is made exclusively from malted barley in a pot still, pot still whiskey combines both malted and unmalted barley and is distilled in traditional copper pot stills.

Serve it neat or with a single large ice cube or sphere to chill the drink without diluting it too quickly. Or combine it with hot coffee, sugar, and a generous dollop of whipped cream to make Irish coffee.


For adventurous souls looking to explore the more obscure corners of Irish drinking culture, there’s Poitín. Often referred to as “Irish moonshine,” Poitín is a high-proof spirit with a long and storied history. Traditionally distilled in small batches from grains, potatoes, or even whey, Poitín packs a punch and is not for the faint of heart. While its production and sale were once illegal in Ireland, Poitín has experienced a resurgence in recent years, with craft distillers putting their own modern twist on this ancient spirit.


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