I am tired of going to parties and not understanding half of what’s being said. So I’m going the other way this year. I’ve decided to get us all so inebriated that communication won’t matter, everyone will just have to use sign language and forget the lip reading. At least the craic will be in the nineties!
I’ve gone and bought a bottle of poitín (pronunciation). It’s Irish fire water, which used to be illegal to distill and sell. It’s illegal because it’s very easy to turn it into poison. It’s called poitín because it used to be distributed in little pots (pota = pot, ín = something small). I am absolutely tickled that I’ve managed to get a 90% ABV!! (180 US proof) bottle to celebrate the New Year. And no, it didn’t fall off the back of a lorry going round the M25. I went up town and actually bought it. Aye. You can get it by
male mail order as well. Although the 90% ABV strength will no longer be produced as, under new EU regulations 15902/5, it will be illegal to produce any spirit drink above 80% ABV. Stocks of this are only available until they run out.
You COULD make your own – but I’m not advising this. To check drinkability, set a wee bit on fire, and if it burns purple, it’s ok. If it burns red, bin it.
* Boil 5 gallons of water and pour it over a mix of ten pounds of rolled oats (unflavored oatmeal) that has had a pound of 6 row barley (ground) and mixed in to it
* Allow this to sit until it is cool enough to add yeast, then add a dry ale yeast and 15 drops of liquid beano (or three of the pills). When you add the yeast/Beano enzyme to the cooled mash the stuff may be thick – like stiff oatmeal – don’t worry. The yeast breaks it down with the beano as it is fermenting. Within a day it will be a liquid with grain floating in it.
* Ferment until dry
* Double distill in a potstill
* Don’t age drink it white
I had to laugh when I read the information on the bottle…
Poteen or poitín, has been brewed as Irish strong moonshine for several centuries being a potato or malt and grain based spirit. Knockeen Hills Gold Extra-Strength Irish Poteen is a quadruple distilled grain spirit with a strong smooth delicate flavour and should always be drunk with mixers and the pleasant aftertaste will linger on.
Butler’s Irish book published in 1660 claimed that ‘It enlightened ye heart, casts off melancholy, keeps back old age and breaketh ye wind’. Irish folklore maintains those properties still exist today. In addition the versatility of poteen as a lightly sweet cocktail base, infuses a legendary flavour into contemporary drinks.
Well well. So it’s cocktails. We’re going to try the following (from cocktail.co.uk)
* Donegal Cooler
poitín 1 measure, cranberry juice 1 measure, orange juice 2 measures
* Irish blue shock
poitín 1 measure, Aftershock 1 measure, Red Bull 1 can
Followed by, of course, my well-loved Irish coffee.
Having noted the mail order site says **Only 2 x 5cl measures to be taken in any 24 hour period** I asked the spirit merchant for a spirit measurer. He said ‘Oh you only need a wee bit’. Oh yesh! I’ll not worry, then! I won’t be stumbling over my syllables after drinking this, I’ll be scribbling notes! We’ll be drinking this one VERY carefully – not like your run of the mill vodka shot. Oh no. It’s a sip, a pause, and let’s enjoy the aftertaste of both sides of the fine line between alcohol and perfume.
And guess what. You can now buy poitín at Heathrow Airport – Terminal 3 and The Irish Shop, and at Stanstead Airport – Terminal 1 and The Irish Shop. Oh happy holidays!
Dad – can ye get out your guitar and sing!
Let the grasses grow and the waters flow,
In a free and easy way,
But give me enough of that rare old stuff,
That’s made near Galway Bay.
Come policemen all from Donegal,
Sligo and Leitrim too,
And we’ll give you the slip as we take a sip,
Of the rare old mountain dew.
At the foot of the hill there’s a neat little still,
Where the smoke curls up to the sky;
By the whiff of the smell you can plainly tell
There’s poitin boys nearby.
For it fills the air, with a perfume rare,
That betwixt both me and you,
And as on we roll, we’ll drink a bowl,
Or a bucketfull of mountain dew.
Now learned men who use the pen
Have wrote the praises high;
Of the sweet poitin from Ireland green,
Distilled with wheat and rye.
Forget your pills,it will cure all ills
Of the Pagan, Christian or Jew,
Take off your coat and wet your throat
With the rare old mountain dew.
– Happy Hazmat New Year everyone. Dia Dhuit / God be with you