Traditional Drink of Irish Poítín

Poitin, Poteen, Mountain Dew, Mountain Tea, these are just some of the names given to this once illegal drink.

Brewed in the mountains this drink was distilled using just 1 pot and variations of this recipe have been handed down through generations of families and still is in some parts a closely guarded secret. I will give you a warning here Poitin has the kick of a mule and should be drank with caution.

Ingredients for making Poteen

  • 2 lb potatoes, scrubbed well
  • 2 lb raisins, washed in hot water and chopped
  • 4 lb brown sugar
  • 1 pint fresh wheat, husks removed
  • 6 pints water
  • Wine yeast
  • Campden tablet

Sprinkle the yeast granules into a cup of boiled tepid water, cover with Clingfilm and leave to stand for about half an hour. Grate the potatoes into a fermentation bin then stir in the raisins, sugar and wheat. Bring the water to the boil, pour over the ingredients and stir well until all the sugar has dissolved. Cover and leave to cool. When cool, add the activated yeast, cover loosely and keep in a cool place for 3 weeks, stirring at regular intervals. Strain the liquid into a demi-john topping up to 1 gallon with cold boiled water, if required. Fit an airlock and leave to ferment. When fermentation has ceased, siphon the wine into a clean demi-john and add 1 crushed Campden tablet. Bung tight and store for at least 6 months. Finally, siphon into sterilised bottles, seal tightly and then, don’t forget to check the potency of the brew before drinking!

Note: Sometimes, different things can be added to the Poitin to flavour the drink such as;

  • Plums
  • Mint sweets
  • Brandy flavoured sweets such as Brandy Balls

Just about anything can be added, so you could experiment with your own flavourings and come up with your very own family recipe.


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