What is Poitín
Poitín is a traditional Irish distilled spirit made from a variety of ingredients including potatoes, barley, sugar beets, or grains. It has a long history in Ireland, dating back to the 6th century, and was once a staple in rural areas where other forms of alcohol were not readily available. Poitín was made in small pot stills and was often consumed in its unaged form, giving it a raw and potent flavor.
The making of Poitín involves fermenting the chosen base ingredients and then distilling the fermented mixture to produce a high-proof spirit. The final product is typically bottled at around 40-90% alcohol by volume, making it much stronger than other spirits like whiskey or gin.
Some interesting facts about Poitín include:
- It was illegal to produce or sell Poitín in Ireland from 1661 until 1997, making it a symbol of Irish resistance against British rule.
- The production and sale of Poitín was once a highly secretive operation, with many families passing down the art of distillation from generation to generation.The traditional method of making Poitín involves the use of a small pot still, a technique that has largely been replaced by larger column stills in commercial production.
- In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in Poitín, with many new distilleries popping up and producing high-quality, aged versions of the spirit.
- Poitín has a unique flavor profile that is often described as earthy, spicy, and sometimes medicinal, making it a popular choice for cocktails and sipping neat.
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