Wednesday 20 November 2013

Alcohol update: the new poitín (poteen) subcategory

How poitín went from illegal moonshine to being sold in Tesco Ireland

Intensive catchup briefing for NAMs:
  1. It is one of the most strongly alcoholic drinks on the planet. Homemade poitín can be anywhere between 50 and 90% alcohol by volume vs. average beer 4 to 6% and whiskey 40%. 
  2. The first record of it is from the 6th century but it was illegal in Ireland for 300 years and was only legalised in 1997.
  3. Purists may not like it but poitín is shedding its reputation as illegal moonshine and is for sale (legally) in shops and pubs around Ireland.
For those without DIY facilities, there are at least five companies in Ireland now selling poitín which can be bought in pubs and off-licences, while London cocktail bar Shebeen is selling eight different types of poitín, including one version made from potatoes in San Francisco. Irish company Coomara Irish Spirits recently made the biggest ever legal shipment of poitín to supermarket chain Tesco, which began stocking the spirit earlier this year.

NB. For those determined to try, the legal version of poitín is 40% and has been granted Geographical Indicative Status by the EU. As you know, this means that in the same way that champagne has to come from a certain area of France and Parmesan cheese can only come from a particular part of Italy, poitín can only come from Ireland.

NAM advice: i.e. Do read the label before you cannot.....
(For more exotic tastes, try Asian Snake Whiskey)

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