Nurturing the Irish spirit

The poitín market is growing and while it was once a spirit that had to be hidden due to its illegal status, it is now very much a staple of the Irish spirits market. Drinks Industry Ireland looks at some of the most prominent poitín brands that are enjoying front and centre positions on some of the most prestigious bars in the country and beyond

The old style of poitín distilling involved using a malted barley base for the mash, the same as single malt whiskey or pure pot still whiskey distilled in Ireland. Since the 15th century, Irish farmers would often retain a portion of their crop to ferment and distil and these crops could have been any combination of cereals, potatoes and beets.
In 2008, Irish poitín was accorded Geographical Indicative Status by the EU Council and Parliament and in 2016, the Irish government went further by outlining the production methods that must be used in order for a spirit to be called Irish Poitín. This includes the base materials, distillation methods and cask storage, blending, bottling and labelling. This protects poitín against imitation and provides reassurances to customers regarding the quality of the product purchased. The quality of poitín has risen accordingly and it is now a product loved by bar tenders and punters alike.

Incredible character

Mad March Hare embodies the essence of Irish craftsmanship and our shared pride in our collective heritage. As Ireland’s – and the world’s – leading poitín brand, the multi-award winning Mad March Hare has earned a reputation for its uncompromising commitment to quality and authenticity. Crafted with locally sourced malted barley and cut with pure Irish spring water, this poitín is distilled three times in small copper pot stills to produce a flavourful spirit that’s exceptionally smooth yet retains incredible character.
Mad March Hare is on a mission to resurrect the poitín category. Its goal is to ensure that the spirit of Ireland remains alive and thriving for generations to come, around the world but first and foremost of course, across Ireland.
The undeniable upswing in the presence of this storied category across the country has been fuelled by Irish mixologists embracing poitín’s unique flavour characteristics, versatility and of course its undeniably real Irishness! After 300 years of existing in the shadows, it’s wonderful to see poitín increasingly take centre stage on cocktail menus and mixed drinks across the country!

Mad March Hare has been at the forefront of that recent revival, injecting poitín into the 2024 St Patrick’s Day celebrations, collaborating with Britivic’s iconic Red Lemonade to create a limited edition Red Hare RTD and preparing for a busy summer festival program! Core to the revival however has been re-engaging the on trade via bartender training, cocktail competitions and menu placements in iconic venues across Ireland including Bar 1661, Cafe en Seine and Temple Bar in Dublin, Buddha Bar in Galway and Costigans, Clancy’s and Cask in Cork. Whilst in the five star hotel sector, Mad March Hare Poitín is now a mainstay on the cocktail menus of The Cashel Palace Hotel and Mount Juliet.
Whether sipped solo, mixed or shaken into a cocktail, Mad March Hare captures perfectly the character and charm of the Irish spirit! Try it as an Irish Margarita, a Mad March Mule, Mad March Sour and even as a shot alongside a pint of Irish stout. For more information visit

Blazing a trail in poitín

Little & Green is a flavorful expression of contemporary Irish culture. A celebration of what it is to be Irish, ready for a good time, any time. Little & Green embraces the past to inform the future, providing the opportunity for a new generation to experience, to share and to love poitín.
A range of premium, ready to drink canned cocktails offering flavorful, modern twists on infamous Irish classics in a convenient format.
Made with two of Ireland’s leading poitín brands, Mad March Hare and Bán, with recipes created by the mixology team at Bar 1661 – Ireland’s 2023 Bar of the Year – the range launched in 2023 with a pair of sparkling cocktails. Sneaky Orchard is a refreshing take on the Collins, a harvest festival of ripe pear, crisp apple, and elderflower. Shady Bramble is inspired by Ireland’s deep, dense hedgerows, bursting with flavours of wild juicy blackberry, raspberry, and violet.
Distributed by Intrepid Spirits, Little & Green is available at select independent retailers across Ireland, Carry Out
off licenses and launching in all Tesco Republic of Ireland stores this coming June. For more details check out and follow @littleandgreen.ie__
on Instagram

Crafted in county Down

Shortcross Irish Poitín is crafted in the heart of County Down at Rademon Estate Distillery, made from 100% Irish grains and is brewed from a unique mash bill one third malted barley, one third malted wheat, and one third malted rye. Fermented for over 160 hours to allow secondary fermentation to occur to maximise flavours of the grains. It is distilled to this unique mash bill in their bespoke 1071 litre copper pot-column still that contains two ten plate enrichment columns. This combination of pot still and column leads to the creation of very flavoursome spirit.
Shortcross Irish Poitín is mashed, fermented, distilled and bottled on the 500 acre Rademon Estate using water from their aquifer that runs beneath the distillery.
Aromas of sugar coated pear drops on the nose with orchard fruits on the palate. The finish is long, smooth and clean. Shortcross Irish Poitín is beloved by mixologists worldwide and is the preferred poitín of choice for the Belfast Irish Coffee cocktail in the renowned Dead Rabbit in New York City, a poitín sour in Rattlebag in Belfast and is also available in the Shelbourne Bar in Cork, the Fitzpatrick Hotel in Dublin and Brickyard in Dundrum.

The taste of Connemara

Micil Distillery is named in honour of the owners great-great-great grandfather, Micil Mac Chearra, who began distilling poitín in the mid 19th century on a Connemara hillside. For six generations and over 170 years the family have preserved the craft, distilling extraordinary spirits made using family recipes, craft knowledge and time-honoured techniques.
Micil has two core poitín products in its range. The Heritage Poitín is a mash bill of malted barley and oats, both are peated. The classic poitín’s mash bill is unpeated and made from barley. Both poitíns are distilled with wild Connemara bogbean botanical that the family harvest on their own land. Micil also release single casks of their poitíns each year that are rested in distinct casks in each release.

Hello Boys!

Straw Boys Irish Poitín is handcrafted in copper pot stills at the Connacht distillery using malted barley as the base ingredient. This is a great tasting poitín that can be served straight, with a mixer or in many cocktails. It has won numerous gold medals and awards including being named the best poitín in Ireland at the 2023 Irish whiskey awards in Dublin. It previously won gold medals at this event in 2017 and 2019.
The company has seen increasing interest from bartenders in the product given that it is inherently mixable and works really well in cocktails. Straw Boys Irish Poitín is very fruity on the nose, and you then get the grain and malt influence on the palate. Overall, it is surprisingly sweet and easy to drink as it is bottled at 45% ABV. Straw Boys Irish Poitín is available for purchase at the distillery, on the distillery website and has distribution in America as well.

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