International Poitín Day is set to place this Sunday, November 18th, with events happening in five cities across Ireland and the UK.
The Irish Spirits Association (ISA), which is sponsoring this year’s International Poitín Day, said that while sales remain low, it is working with producers and Bord Bia to grow sales in 2019.
There will be a variety of special poitín cocktails available in various bars across London, Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Galway to mark the day.
Belfast’s One Goose Entry will have Bán Poitín taking centre stage in their cocktails. Dublin’s Jimmy Rabitte’s have paired with Glendalough for theirs. Cork’s Cask will have Mad March Hare at the helm, while the Micil Distillery in Galway will have cocktails with its own Micil Poitín. Meanwhile, the Sun Tavern in London will have one cocktail devoted to each brand.
According to the ISA, there has been increased production of poitín in recent years, but this has yet to be matched with a revival in consumption. The association said in a press release that there is increasing evidence that poitín is becoming more popular among mixologists as a cocktail component, in Ireland and major European cities such as London and Paris, and there is scope for future positioning and growth in this area.
Like Irish whiskey and Irish cream liqueur, poitín is protected by geographical indication (GI), which means it must be made on the island of Ireland in line with certain production standards.
Patricia Callan, Director of Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI), the umbrella group of which the Irish Spirts Association is a member, said: “There are many globally-universal white spirits such as vodka. However not many countries can boast their own indigenous, authentic white spirit. Poitín is ours. It forms an important part of Ireland’s rich heritage of sprit making. Poitín has a unique taste profile and is a prefect component for cocktail-making.
“Earlier this year, the Irish Spirits Association hosted the Poitín Roundtable which brought together producers, Government and state agencies to consider the future of this unique and protected spirits category.”
Dave Mulligan, the founder of Bán Poitin said: “International Poitín Day was established at The Sun Tavern three years ago in association with Bán Poitín, to honour the rebellious souls who kept the spirit alive during the dark days of its illegality. This year we’re delighted that Poitín Day has expanded its reach to Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Galway, and we are delighted that is backed by the ISA.”