The Republic of Ireland is a neighboring country to Britain. The country located in the north, of course, has a cold climate.
This influenced the local Irish drinking tradition. Apart from the warm whiskey, there are also various other interesting drinks.
So, here are the 21 most popular Irish Drinks you should try.
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- 21. Sheridan’s
- 20. Club
- 19. Irish Breakfast Tea
- 18. Smithwick’s
- 17. Carolans
- 16. Irish Cider
- 15. Cidona
- 14. Redbreast
- 13. Kilkenny
- 12. Murphy’s Irish Stout
- 11. Poitin
- 10. Dingle Original Gin
- 9. Tanora
- 8. MiWadi
- 7. Irish Mist
- 6. Baileys Irish Cream
- 5. Tullamore DEW
- 4. Jameson
- 3. Irish Whiskey
- 2. Guinness
- 1. Irish Coffee
Sheridan’s is an Irish liquor coffee that was first introduced in 1994. The drink is produced in Dublin by Thomas Sheridan & Sons. The bottle consists of two separate parts, the contents of which are black liquor and white liquor.
The two contents are separated by glass but stick together, making it unique. The black liqueur has a coffee and whiskey flavor, while the whites consist of milk and white chocolate. Sheridan’s has an alcohol content of 17% by volume.
Currently, Sheridan’s is distributed by the company Diageo. Sheridan’s original idea started in the 1980s when Pat Rigney, Bailey’s director of development and research, tried to add another product to the company, so he created Sheridan’s.
Production began in 1989, but the company could not find a glass bottle manufacturer in Ireland, so the original bottles were made in Italy. Today the bottles are made in France and England. Sheridan appeared on the market in 1994.
Another unique feature of the glass bottle used in Sheridan’s is that the flavors can be combined or poured separately. It gives it a distinct flavor intensity and sweetness. The bottle pack has a volume of about 500 mL.
The club is a brand name for Irish carbonated soft drinks manufactured by Britvic Ireland. Previously the brand was owned by Cantrell & Cochrane (C&C).
The club includes Club Orange, Club Lemon, Club Rock Shandy, and Club Apple.
The product that appeared first was Club Orange, the first citrus-flavored carbonated drink on the Irish market. It was launched in the late 1930s with a formula that has survived to the present day. The name of the Club comes from Kildare Street Club in Dublin, Ireland.
In the 1960s, Club Lemon was introduced, and later in the 2000s, several other Club flavors were added to the product; even a Club diet version existed. In 2003 the Club also released its Club Energizer product, which is an isotonic drink.
The Club’s uniqueness is the presence of vesicle juice in its ingredients, that is, the pulp or “bit” that is left in the package. Besides, other materials used are such as carbonated water, sugar, vitamins, and other ingredients. The taste is fresh, sweet, and fruity.
The Club is marketed with the slogan “The bits inside make it come alive,” which emphasizes the Club’s uniqueness, that is, the presence of vesicle juice. Since 2009, the slogan changed to “Some bits are crucial” and 2011 to “The Best Bits in the World.”
19. Irish Breakfast Tea
Irish Breakfast Tea is a mixture of several black teas, often made from Assam tea and Ceylon tea.
Irish Breakfast Tea is the most popular and common tea blend in Irish tea culture. This tea was introduced in the 18th century in China.
Due to its strong taste, Irish Breakfast Tea is usually served with milk but can also be consumed directly with sugar or honey. The color of Irish Breakfast Tea is red and contains high caffeine. The tea leaves come from areas in India, Rwanda, and Kenya.
Actually, Irish Breakfast Tea does not have a standard formula for making it. However, most blends have common characteristics that define Irish Breakfast Tea as distinguishing it from typical British tea. The main ingredient is Assam tea from India.
Assam tea has a dark color and a strong taste. As for the mixture, usually using tea from Africa, such as from Rwanda and Kenya, has a refreshing taste. One popular type of African tea is Kenyan Broken Pekoe.
The majority of Irish Breakfast Tea is sold in teabag packs. Brands being sold are like Barry’s, Bewley’s, and Lyons. When brewed, the color of the tea varies from dark red to brown. Irish Breakfast Tea is also usually made from mashed leaves.
Smithwick’s is a red beer-style or known as ale. Smithwick’s is the most consumed ale product in Ireland. The factory was founded in Kilkenny in 1710 and is run by the John Smithwick family.
In 1965, it was acquired by Guinness, which is now part of the Diageo company. However, in 2013, Smithwick’s factory in Kilkenny, including the Kilkenny brand, was closed and moved to Dublin. The original factory is now becoming a tourist destination.
There are several variants of the Smithwick brand, such as the Smithwick Draft, an ale made of red ale and made with roasted hops and barley. Then there’s Smithwick’s Pale Ale, made with Smithwick’s traditional blanched ale and yeast.
Smithwick’s has a clear, dark yellow to ruby-red look. The aroma is predominantly roasted malt; besides that, the character also feels nutty with the right sweet caramel taste. The taste itself tends to be sweet with little hops.
Currently, Smithwick’s is part of Guinness & Co. and has a sizable market share. The combination of the traditional recipes now held by Peter Smitchwick of the Smitchwik family with Guinness sales techniques has been a hit.
Carolans is an Irish alcoholic beverage made from a mixture of cream, Irish whiskey, other Irish liqueurs, and honey.
Carolans have an alcohol content of 17%. The drink is made in Clonmel, County Tipperary, in the Republic of Ireland.
Carolans was created in 1978 and were first sold for export to the UK in July 1979. In 2017, the Heaven Hill company purchased Carolans from the Campari Group, which owns the previous brand. William Grant and the C&C Group have also owned the Carolans brand.
Carolans is Ireland’s largest cream brand, having a dark brown color like caramel, with a lactic flavor and a whiskey character. Therefore, Carolans tend to have a sweet taste. Carolans comes from the name of the legendary 17th-century harpist Turlough O’Carolan.
Carolans can be used as an ingredient in various cocktails, such as Bonded Irishman, Carolans John E. Palmer, Carolans Mudslide, Nutty Irishman Shot, and Carolans Latte, Carolans Cold Brew, Carolans & Coffee, Carolans Over Ice, Salted Caramel Over Ice, and others.
Carolans can also be drunk directly or as a seasoning for desserts. European Union regulations state that Irish Cream is a protected product based on geographic boundaries so that Carolans can only be produced in Ireland like the Baileys brand.
16. Irish Cider
Cider is an alcoholic drink made from apples and is widely available in Ireland or what is often known as the Irish Cider.
In Irish, the drink of apple cider beer is called LeAnn Ull or Ceirtlis, which comes from the old Irish term Ceirt for the apple tree.
Apples have been consumed for a long time in Ireland since 3000 BC, with the original variety being the Malus sylvestris or European crab apple found at the County Meath site. Meanwhile, apple production areas are in Armagh, Kilkenny, Tipperary, and Waterford.
Monks around Christian monasteries in Ireland raise most apples. The manufacture of apple cider is first mentioned in Irish texts in a 12th-century document in Ulster. In 1155 a Chieftain of Mac Cana was praised for the quality of his Cider.
After that, apple cider production became one of the main industries from the 16th century on. Immigration from the Huguenots and the Palatine region brought the skills of apple cider making to Ireland. One of the famous Irish Cider brands is Magners.
Magners, which was produced under the name Bulmers Irish Cider, is owned by the C&C Group. The apple cider is made from 17 different apples and is fermented for up to two years. The apple taste is powerful with a character that is not too dry and also sweet.
Cidona is an Irish apple soft drink that has been on sale since 1955. Cidona is very popular in Ireland and even has a market in the UK.
The Bulmers company of C&C produced Cidona in its signature green bottle before Britvic owned it.
You will immediately feel the taste of fizzy and sour apples when you drink Cidona. Besides, the character is a bit dry and bitter but leaves a sweet taste on the tongue. Cidona is made from carbonated water, apple juice, and other ingredients such as preservatives and sweeteners.
The taste of the apple produced is purely from apple juice and does not come from artificial flavors and without additional coloring. This makes it taste very classic and iconic, and it’s no wonder that Cidona is widely available in pubs, restaurants, or shopping centers in Ireland.
Cidona’s carbonated drink brand is iconic and is closely tied to Ireland. Even Cidona became the No. 1 in the trade license. To enjoy Cidona, it is usually poured in a tall glass so that the carbonated water feels full.
Besides, some Cidona consumers also often serve it in a glass filled with refreshing ice. Cidona has become a favorite non-alcoholic soft drink for Irish citizens, especially for adults, since it was first launched in 1955.
Redbreast is a single pot styled Irish whiskey brand and becomes the best-selling single pot whiskey brand to date.
Redbreast was introduced in around 1903 and was produced by Gilbey’s before Irish Distillers purchased it in the 1980s.
W&A Gilbey was founded in London in 1857, and then in 1861, the company opened a branch in what is now O’Connell Street in Dublin. At that time, it was common for wineries to sell their produce to wine merchants or “bonders.”
So in the 1870s, Gilbey’s, a wine importer and distiller at the time, owned nearly 300,000 gallons of Dublin distillery. In 1903, there was an old whiskey belonging to Gilbey’s named Redbreast, after the name of a bird.
In 1985 Gilbey’s discontinued Redbreast production and sold it to the Irish Distillers in 1986. Redbreast was later relaunched as a Redbreast 12-Year-Old variant in 1991 after several years of absence on the Irish market.
Today Redbreast is back in popularity and winning whiskey awards. Redbreast is made in Midleton and is made from malted and unmalted barley. It tastes rich and tends to be spicy, oily, with strong nut, herbal, and fruit characters.
Kilkenny is an Irish ale brewed from the Kilkenny region. The brand is managed and produced by the Diageo company. Available in a bottle and can. The character is a bit like the hop finish and nitrogenous like Guinness style.
Initially, Kilkenny was produced at the St brewery, Francis Abbey, the oldest brewery operating until it closed in 2013. After that, Kilkenny was made at the Brewery St. James’s Gate, Dublin, with Irish red ale style.
Kilkenny is usually made in a way that resembles Guinness because it uses nitrogen. The ingredients used are water, malted barley, roasted malted barley, hops, and yeast.
Formerly the Kilkenny was produced as a robust version of Smithwick for the European and Canadian markets.
Today, apart from being famous in Ireland, Kilkenny is also widely available in Australian and New Zealand bars and pubs. Apart from these two countries, Kilkenny is also very popular in Canada, especially in Irish pubs in Montreal, and even its sales have continued to increase since 2013.
Kilkenny contains about 4.2% alcohol and has a ruby red color with a creamy, malt, and caramel flavor with a fair amount of foam. At the same time, the aftertaste is a little dry and light. Kilkenny is packaged in glass bottles as well as cans.
12. Murphy’s Irish Stout
Besides Guinness, a popular beer in Ireland is Murphy’s. This brand is owned and distributed by the Dutch brewer Heineken International.
Murphy’s is a typical Irish dry stout beer, with a dark color and taste similar to caramel and malt.
Murphy’s Irish Stout is Guinness’s main competitor in the market. To distinguish it from Guinness beer, Murphy’s makes for a less heavy and bitter taste. It tastes like a distant relative of chocolate milk, and another difference is that Murphy’s is not carbonated.
After several years just being a local company, Murphy’s was acquired by Heineken in 1983. Consequently, Murphy’s was distributed and commercialized in the global market. Apart from being packaged in a small barrel, Murphy’s is also sold in cans.
Murphy’s global sales peaked in the mid-1990s, and domestic sales peaked in 2000. Murphy’s did not sell well outside of the Cork, Ireland area, but controls 28% of Cork’s market, where it originated.
Murphy’s had an interesting commercial in 1997 in an anime concept created by Production I.G, the studio for the anime series Ghost in the Shell. Also, Murphy’s is the main sponsor of the football association, the Cork Athletic Union League.
Poitin is a traditional Irish liquor that is made by distilling in a small saucepan. The name Poitin may have come from the Irish word pota, meaning pot, or póit, meaning drunk.
Poitin can only be made from cereals, whole grains, sugar beets, molasses, and potatoes.
Generally, Poitin is produced in remote rural areas far from legal interference. Old style Poitin distillery made from ground malted wheat as in single malt whiskey. But lately, many manufacturers choose to use malt barley.
Poitin has been produced since the 1600s, and currently, its production is done both legally and illegally. Poitin has a rough, oily taste. Poitin of poor quality tastes very bad, and the alcohol is volatile and poisonous.
The transition of this material was carried out for reasons of cost and supply. Still, it actually made the quality and character of Poitin decline at the end of the 20th century. The quality of Poitin determines the home manufacturer’s reputation, and it can end up being famous or even bankrupt.
As a traditional drink, Poitin is featured in various literary works and folk songs. Like the songs The Hills of Connemara and The rare Old Mountain Dew, which discuss Poitin. There is also in the literature by Frank McCourt in a book called ‘Tis.
Other European drinks:
10. Dingle Original Gin
Dingle Original Gin is a gin type liquor brand made by Dingle Distillery. The distillery is located in Dingle, Gaeltacht, in the southwest region of Ireland. The taste of Gin is sweet and juicy, with strong fresh berries and herbs.
The ingredients and herbs used to make Dingle Original Gin originate from the Dingle area and its surroundings. Some of them are rowan berry, fuchsia, bog myrtle, hawthorn, and heather. This reflects the environment around the Distillery.
The cool climate around Dingle Distillery gives an advantage to its production. In 2019, Dingle Original Gin was awarded the title of best Gin in the world. Besides, Dingle Original Gin is also very popular. In 2017 alone, it sold 100,000 bottles per year.
The Dingle distillery was initiated by Oliver Hughes, a founder of the Porterhouse brewery and restaurant group. Previously, the mill was the Fitzgerald sawmill area, before it was converted into a refinery in 2012.
The gin distillation process is carried out using the pot or pan method. Dingle Original Gin has the London dry gin style and comes in a 700 ml glass bottle with an alcohol content of 42.5%. Usually served cold with large ice cubes.
Tanora is a citrus-flavored carbonated drink sold in Ireland, particularly in the Munster area.
Tanora was introduced by John Daly & Co, maker of bottled mineral water in Cork City. The Tanora brand is owned by Coca-Cola Bottlers Ireland, a Coca Cola Hellenic subsidiary.
In April 2011, Tanora was reformulated with new flavors, including carrot and blackcurrant. Besides, new packaging with the term “A Cork Legend” was introduced. However, the new taste was unpopular and was eventually dropped from the market.
Tanora appeared on the Irish carbonated drink market for the first time in the 1930s. The drink became popular and even had its own impression on Irish people, such as Stephen Barret when he was a child, and Denis Irwin was still playing at Manchester United.
The composition of Tanora is almost similar to other carbonated drinks. Materials used, such as carbonated water, sugar, and other ingredients. One special recipe is tangerine juice, which has a total concentration of around 2.6% per bottle.
Tanora is also a relatively healthy choice of carbonated drinks. Because unlike other carbonated drinks, Tanora contains more vitamins and minerals. Tanora is packaged in 500 ml bottles with a sweet and fresh taste.
MiWadi is an Irish soft drink brand owned by the Britvic company, previously owned by Cantrell & Cochrane (C&C).
MiWadi is packaged using bottles from those produced in Dublin, Cork, and Belfast. MiWadi was introduced in 1927.
MiWadi is derived from the initial two letters in the name of the predecessor company Mineral Water Distributors, formed in 1927. MiWadi’s famous slogan is “It’s not your Wadi, it’s MiWadi” which can be seen on bottled bottles and commercial displays.
During the 1990s, MiWadi experienced a decline in sales by only gaining about 16.4% in 1995. In the 21st century, it started to rise again and accounted for 37% of fruit squash products sold in the Irish market in 2005.
In 2016, MiWadi launched its new product variant, MiWadi MINI, which is packaged in pocket size, in 250 ml packaging. MiWadi has many squash flavors, such as black currant, lemon, lime, and seasonal flavors like peppermint.
MiWadi products can also be differentiated based on their shape and composition, including Regular MiWadi, MiWadi Double Concentrate, MiWadi No Added Sugar, MiWadi 0% Sugar, and MINI. Apart from water, fruit juices, and other ingredients, MiWadi also contains vitamins and minerals.
7. Irish Mist
Irish Mist is the name of the chocolate liquor whiskey that is produced in Dublin, Ireland.
The drink is made from aged Irish whiskey, heather, honey clover, aromatic herbs, and other alcoholic beverages. Currently, Irish Mist is owned by the Campari Group company.
Irish Mist was the first liquor produced in Ireland when commercial production began in 1947 in Tullamore, County Offaly. The original owners of Irish Mist were the Williams family, who lived in Tullamore. Furthermore, history begins with the Tullamore Distillery.
In 1829, Tullamore’s whiskey production was high, and the surplus was used to create alternative alcoholic drinks. Especially in the mid-1940s when Desmond E. Williams decided to make heather wine.
Until finally, in 1985, the Cantrell & Cochrane Group (C&C) bought the Irish Mist company from the Williams family. Then in 2010, they sold it to the Campari Group. The most popular Irish Mist recipe is Irish Mist with Cola and Lime.
Irish Mist is usually served directly on the ice, but it goes great with coffee, vodka, or cranberry juice. Irish Mist has a gentle character with honey and natural spices, although the taste is not too strong and contains 35% alcohol.
6. Baileys Irish Cream
Baileys Irish Cream is an Irish cream liqueur made from Irish cream, chocolate, and whiskey.
Diage makes Baileys Irish Cream in Nangor Road, Dublin, Republic of Ireland, and in Mallusk, Northern Ireland. The drink contains 17% alcohol.
The history of Baileys Irish Cream began when Tom Jago from Gilbeys of Ireland created a division for International Distillers & Vintners. The division was created aimed at making products to be introduced to international markets. Product research began in 1971.
Baileys’ formulation was motivated by the availability of alcohol from a bankrupt distillery, possibly the property of W&A Gilbey. Besides, there is a surplus of cream from other businesses owned by Grand Metropolitan, and the popularity of semi-skimmed milk are other reasons.
Apart from these two formulas, Nesquik chocolate milk powder produced by Nestle is also used. Then, in 1974, Baileys was first introduced on the market. The name of John Chesterman’s restaurant, Baileys, was also allowed to become a brand name.
Baileys is made with an emulsifier containing vegetable oil and no preservatives. There are various flavors of Baileys Irish Cream, from original, red velvet, to coffee. The taste of Baileys Irish Cream tends to be sweet, creamy, with a bitter after taste.
5. Tullamore DEW
Tullamore DEW is the second best-selling Irish whiskey brand in the world manufactured by William Grant & Sons.
Like its name, Tullamore DEW was originally produced in Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland, at a distillery founded in 1829.
Meanwhile, the name DEW itself is an acronym for the name of a manager and owner of the original distillery, namely Daniel E. Williams (DEW). However, in 1954, the distillery closed, and the brand was sold to John Powers & Son in 1960.
Therefore in 1970, the distillery was moved from Tullamore to Midleton, County Cork. In 1994 the Tullamore DEW brand was sold to the C&C Group and subsequently acquired by William Grant & Sons and establishing a new still in Tullamore.
Eventually, whiskey production returned to its hometown, where the new Tullamore distillery also had the capability to produce malt whiskey and pot stills. At least eight whiskey brands are being sold, namely the Original or Phoenix variants.
Tullamore DEW contains an average alcohol content of about 40%, with the highest alcohol content of 55% in the Phoenix variant. Tullamore DEW is a mixed style of Irish whiskey and is made by three distills for a smooth and creamy character.
Jameson is the world’s best-selling Irish grain whiskey and a single pot producer. This subsidiary of Pernod Ricard was originally one of six major whiskey producers in Dublin, Ireland. Jameson is distilled and produced at the New Midleton Distillery.
Jameson’s founder is a lawyer from Alloa, Scotland, named John Jameson. In 1774 John Jameson joined Convivial Lodge No. 202, Dublin. Then in 1780, he started his first Irish whiskey distillery on Bow Street.
In the 19th century, Dublin became one of the world’s centers of whiskey production, and Jameson became the number one whiskey in 1805. However, whiskey production was hampered by the Irish War of Independence and was rivaled by Scottish whiskey when Column Still was used in production.
Jameson, together with Cork Distillers and John Powers, who persisted in using traditional pot production techniques, finally formed the Irish Distillers Group in 1966. Since then, a new distillery has been opened in New Midleton Distillery.
In 1988, Irish Distillers, including the Jameson brand, were purchased by the French conglomerate, Pernod Ricard. Jameson is available in various variants, such as original, Crested, Signature, 18 Years, and others, with a smooth, rich, and aromatic whiskey character.
3. Irish Whiskey
Irish Whiskey is a distilled liqueur made on the island of Ireland. The word whiskey itself comes from Irish or Gaelic, Uisce Beatha, which means water of life. Irish whiskey is one of the earliest distilled drinks in Europe.
The first appearance of Irish Whiskey dates back to around the 12th century. Many believe that Irish religious leaders from their travels brought the distillation technique to the Mediterranean region. The Irish then modified the distillation technique and made liquor.
Although both are called whiskey, whiskey products in ancient times and today were very different. At that time, whiskey was not as old as wine and was flavored with aromatic ingredients like mint. Also, records of whiskey production in ancient times were very minimal.
Irish whiskey has a finer character than the smoky Scottish whiskey. Ireland’s first licensed whiskey distillation took place in 1608, after King James I licensed Sir Thomas Phillips, owner of the land in Bushmills, County Antrim.
Since then, the production of Irish whiskey has had a long history and experienced its fall to revival as it is today. Irish Whiskey comes in various shapes and styles: single malt whiskey, single pot whiskey, wheat whiskey, and blended whiskey.
Guinness is the most successful alcohol brand worldwide and is well known among Irish people.
Guinness has the distinctive flavor of malted barley and roasted unmalted barley. Also, Guinness is a dark beer with a thick and soft character.
Arthur Guinness began brewing ale in 1759 at St James’s Gate Brewery, Dublin, Ireland. Then in 1759, Guinness signed a lease for an unused brewery. Then in 1778, Guinness started selling dark beer.
Guinness has only produced three variants of beer, porter or single stout, double or extra, and foreign stout for foreign markets throughout its history. Stout originally referred to the strength of the beer but changed and became a reference to the beer’s composition and color.
Guinness is produced from water, barley, roasted malt extract, hops, and brewer’s yeast. The use of roasted malt extract makes it dark in color and has a distinctive taste.
Until the 1950s to the 1960s, Guinness used wooden barrels and replaced them with aluminum barrels.
The biggest change in Guinness that changed its texture and taste was the initiation of nitrogen bubbles. Unlike carbon dioxide, nitrogen allows the beer to be under high pressure without turning it into fizzy beer.
1. Irish Coffee
Irish Coffee is made from hot coffee, whiskey, and sugar, which is stirred and given cream.
The Irish cocktail is served in a special hot coffee mug. Irish Coffee is one of the coffee cocktail variants that has been developing for a long time.
It is said that Irish Coffee, which has become famous, started with Joseph Jackson from the Jackson hotel in Ballybofey County Donegal. Initially, the coffee mixed with whiskey was made to keep himself and his colleagues up all night during World War II.
However, Irish Coffee was first discovered by Joe Sheridan, a head chef in 1942, with a recipe in Irish whiskey, black coffee, brown sugar, and whipped cream. Then it spread throughout the world, especially in the USA, thanks to the author Stantin Delaplane.
To make Irish Coffee, Irish whiskey and at least a teaspoon of sugar is poured over the black coffee and then stirred until completely combined. After that, the heavy cream is carefully poured into the back of the spoon above the coffee’s surface.
Even though Irish Coffee is actually made from simple ingredients, it also has variations such as americano coffee, spray can cream, served without stirring, and canned packaging. Irish Coffee feels soft and gives a prime sensation.
Let’s make a closing…
Irish traditional drink implies a strong Irish identity. The country, which is nicknamed “Emerald Isle,” managed to offer the uniqueness of the drink produced.
Even some of the brands are the most famous in the world.