Raise your wee glass to St. Patrick
This St. Patrick’s Day, celebrate as the Irish do with one of these authentic liquors.
You know why Irish eyes are smiling? It’s because they have a cool brew in their hands or a steaming mug of Irish coffee.
The Emerald Isle has lots of liquid delights available the world over. Best known include: Irish whiskey, ale and lager beers (stout included here) and Irish cream liqueurs.
Sadly, wine is not produced because of the poor climate and mineral content of the soil.
Many styles of tipple are produced in Ireland, including lagers, ales and red ales, draughts and porters.
When it comes to liqueurs, most Americans are familiar with Bailey’s Irish Cream brand, but even more authentic is Saint Brendan’s brand (highlighted below), made with aged Irish whiskey and fine spirits and fresh dairy cream.
Remember to ask friends this snappy Irish question: “Are you going for a swalley?” That translates as, “Would you join me for a refreshing drink?”
Just what makes Irish whiskey Irish?
Irish whiskey differs from Scotch whiskey mainly in the production process.
With Irish whiskey, no peat is used in the kilns, so you’ll find a lack of pungent smokiness that most Scotch has.
Most significantly, Irish whiskey goes through a triple distillation using copper pot stills and is usually a blend of malted and grain whiskeys.
And by law, the whiskey must be cask-aged for a minimum of three years. Irish whiskey is generally a little lighter in flavor than Scotch whiskey, but this often depends on individual producers.
Little known to many is a form of Irish whiskey called poteen (pronounced “poh-cheen”). It’s basically moonshine Irish whiskey with high alcohol content and flavors that are hard to detect over the alcohol.