8 Irish drinks that aren’t Guinness
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We all know that the Irish enjoy having a good time and are renowned for their love of Guinness. Don’t get us wrong, it is a brilliant drink. But if you’re not much of a Guinness fan, you can still get into the spirit of all things Irish this weekend by trying these drinks…
Before you start wondering how on earth it got its name, the name of the brewery and its first beer was decided by an online competition. The Galway Hooker Brewery, which are based in Oranmore in County Galway, was founded just 11 years ago and have since put Irish Stout, Amber Lager and Sixty Knots IPA in pubs across Ireland. However, their Irish Pale Ale is the brewery’s flagship product and it boasts a caramel taste and is made from pear and crystal malt with Saaz and Cascade hops.
Black Castle Drinks
If you would prefer to kick back with a soft drink, there are a range from Ireland that you are bound to love. Black Castle, created by husband and wife team from Wicklow, launched three Irish soft drinks in 2015. Their flavours include Spiced Red Lemonade, Fiery Ginger Beer and a Berry Bramble Sting.
Created at a micro-distillery in West Waterford, Blackwater Distillery’s selection of gins include Irish Gin, Juniper Cask Gin, Strawberry Gin and Hedgerow Gin. Each bottle contains 12 botanicals, from juniper, coriander and lemongrass to cinnamon quills, bitter almond and orris root. The one you have to try is the Juniper Cask Gin though, which provides a sweet and smokey taste.
Produced in County Down in Northern Ireland, Bán Poitín has grown in popularity over the past 20 years, after it was outlawed for 300 years as it was seen as illegal moonshine. Bán Poitín is one of the strongest drinks on the planet, with a strength of 40 – 90% ABV, so it is probably best to not enjoy yourself too much with the taste.
Wicklow Way Wines
Wicklow Way Wines are Ireland’s first fruit winery based in the meadows of County Wicklow. The company are behind the range of Móinéir wines, which are made from 100% Irish fruit. Their flagship bottle is their Móinéir Strawberry Wine, which is created from hand-picked Irish strawberries, with around 150 in each bottle. Not a fan of strawberries? The company recently released their Móinéir Blackberry Wine with Wild Elderberries.
O’Hara’s Pale Ale
O’Hara’s Brewery, part of the Irish family owned business Carlow Brewing Company, have been creating a range of ale’s for over 20 years. Based in the Barrow Valley, the company boasts a selection from Irish Stout’s and a selection of IPA beers to a draught and barrel aged selection. Their Irish Pale Ale, is a contemporary style IPA with a zesty taste, a copper toned body and dry hops.
The RubyBlue Spirits team, who are based in County Antrim, are Ireland’s first potato distilled spirits company. Their RubyBlue Vodka offers subtle hints of vanilla and apple, making it the perfect drink for those who like neat vodka but want a bit more flavour. The company also offer their own range of liqueurs as well as cask-aged premium vodka.
Often seen as much of an institution as Guinness, Jameson whiskey is created in Cork and is the best-selling Irish whiskey in the world. The company may have been around since 1810, but their Irish whiskey is still as delicious as ever. It is triple-distilled and aged for four years, creating a bend of pot still and fine grain. If you have enjoyed too much of their Irish whiskey over the years, you can always try their other options, including Jameson Caskmates, Black Barrel or Gold Reserve.