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Posted by on Dec 28, 2011 in Audio & Video, Culture & Customs, Food, Galway, History, West | 7 comments

Poitín: Irish Moonshine – VIDEO

Irish Moonshine from Richard Bangs on Vimeo.

Richard Bangs has a very nice series of Irish segments that are worth a viewing. This one gives us a taste of poitín!

It reminds me of this day from our Irish-American Roadtrip… which includes our friend Bit telling us the connection between cowboy music and Irish music…

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7 Comments

  1. I have always wanted to taste poitin. I know it can be very potent, but its something I have always wanted to try.

    • I wouldn’t say you would “taste” poitin… you kind of just feel the burn.

  2. I saw Samantha Brown have poitin on one of her Passport to Europe Ireland shows. It was soooooooo funny…strong stuff!

    • I saw that episode too… loved her reaction to it.

  3. I used to stay at a fantastic B&B where they brewed their own poitin. They served a shot of it with breakfast. Boy, could that stuff clear out your sinuses! Too bad they retired. ;-)

    • Wow. Breakfast.

      A lot of Irish old-timers swear it cures arthritis… both ingested and as a rub.

  4. The word Poitín in Irish means, “little pot.” The most expensive part of the still is the coil of copper tubing that collects the alcohol vapor. In fermentation lingo that is called the condenser, but in local circles it is called “the worm”. The whole process of making poitín takes several days, and you have to keep a constant flame under it. Poitín also has a very distinct odor when it is being made. All the pieces of the still are meant to be fit together and disassembled quickly, (for reasons I will explain in a moment.) I am told they use porridge as a kind of glue to fasten the parts of the still together. It hardens when it heats up and makes a good seal.

    By the way, it should be pointed out that making Poitín is very illegal. I’m sure there are some people who think everyone in Ireland lives in a thatched roof cottage and makes whiskey in their spare time. Sorry, but Ireland is not anything like The Quiet Man. Let’s get that settled right here.

    I was talking to a Connemara gentleman who mentioned that the Gardai drive around looking for folks making illegal liquor in the rural areas (such as Connemara). One good sign is that a garden shed has had smoke coming out of it for days. This fellow told me that when the Gardai were coming to make a bust, the locals would sound the alarm and folks would throw the copper “worm” into the sea. The other parts of the still are fairly inconspicuous, but the copper coil is a dead giveaway. After the gardai leave, the locals would row into the sea and fish out their worm. If you are a Poitín maker, you really dread a garda officer who is a good boatsman. heh heh They will back up and circle around, looking for the worm you threw into the sea behind your house. It’s all fun and games until someone gets caught.

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