Potin alcoholic drink: description and culture of use - Alcohol and Tradition

Potin alcoholic drink: description and culture of use

фото алкогольного напитка потин

Potin (variants of the original spelling-poitin, potcheen, poteen, potheen) – Irish moonshine with a strength of 40-90%, made by repeated distillations, due to this, the fortress increases. The name comes from the word pota (English pot) – “VAT”, “cauldron” and is a diminutive form of the noun, that is, the name of the drink can be translated as”pot”. The fact is that traditional technology prescribes to make Potin not in ordinary, but in special small moonshine cubes (still pots). Raw materials can be grain, sugar beet, molasses and potatoes.

In 2008, the drink received the status of GI (Geographical Indicative), that is, protection by origin, now the real Potin can only be Irish.

Interesting fact: “hangover” in Gaelic would be “poit”.


Initially, poteen was driven in remote villages, so there were no official rules. First, the raw materials were ground and fermented, then the Braga was subjected to distillation. Alembics were often located not in the house, but “on neutral territory” — somewhere on the street, so they were considered collective property. The fire was melted with peat. To prevent the drink from getting a “smoked” taste, we tried to choose windy and rainy weather: then the smoke crept along the ground and did not affect the moonshine.

фото древнего производства потина

It was impossible to get high quality on primitive farming equipment

Previously, poteen was made on the basis of malted barley, like whiskey. Today, this raw material is considered too expensive for such an “ignoble” drink, molasses, corn, and potatoes are often used instead.


Pothin’s strength ranges from 40 to 90 degrees, but rarely falls below 60%. The number of distillations depends on the manufacturer: weaker versions are subjected to single distillation, strong – triple-quadruple. Fractional distillation with the division into “heads”, “body” and “tails” is usually not used, as a result of which a lot of acetone, methyl alcohol, fusel oils and other impurities remain in the drink. Also, Potin is not aged in barrels (with rare exceptions), but is drunk immediately after distillation.

The drink has a sharp and rough taste with a powerful “fusel” spirit. Often in the bouquet you can feel the tones of acetone, while you can distinguish notes of green apples, white pepper, smoke,” earthy ” taste. In General, the characteristics of Potin completely depend on the manufacturer, the products of two different brands may not have anything in common at all.

Well-known brand

Glendalough-the company’s website claims that Glendalough monastery has been producing strong grain distillate since 584.

потин Glendalough

Glendalough — the most famous poteen producer

Other famous producers include Bunratty Winery, Knockeen Hills, Cooley’s, Ban Poitin, Micil, John O’connell, Spirit of Dublin.

фото ирландского потина

Poteen’s industrial designs are more reminiscent of vodka than the classic Irish moonshine for poor peasants

How to drink Potin

It is almost impossible to drink Potin in its pure form because of its high strength, it is usually added to cocktails instead of vodka or gin to give classic recipes a new sound, or diluted with juices, lemonade, soda, or ordinary water.

However, true connoisseurs still drink Potin in its pure form in small SIPS, adding an ice cube to the glass. You can also knock down a shot of Potin in one gulp (once the Irish did it, getting drunk quickly and cheaply). As a snack, any unsweetened dishes are suitable.

фото как правильно пить потин

Best appetizer

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