Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Food and beverages, Business and Management., *training, Anthropology, Law, History, Arts

Publication Details

3rd Dublin Gastronomy Symposium (DGS) May 31st – June 1st 2016, DIT, Cathal Brugha Street, Dublin.

Gastronomy forms an important part of our everyday life and the Dublin Gastronomy Symposium (DGS) provides a forum for those interested in gastronomy research to come together, network and engage in academic discourse regarding “all things food”. While academic rigour is crucial for successful outcomes, in an event such as this the DGS Symposium places equal emphasis on providing opportunities for interested gastronomes to interact with each other outside of formal presentations. Informal engagement is an integral part of the Symposium’s ethos, delegates are given the opportunity to engage in convivial gastronomic experiences as part of the symposium. Through both formal and informal interaction among the gastronomic community the DGS committee believe that a true research agenda can be achieved.


Abstract: Poitín is Ireland’s most ancient spirit distilled in rural locations for many centuries, its dark and chequered history continues to intrigue tourists and people alike, often referred to as Ireland’s Mescal, Cachaca or Grappa. This drink which preserved many rural communities and saved them from falling into poverty, driven underground for over 300 years it is making a significant comeback. This paper will explore the evolution of this ancient Irish spirit from its earliest mentions to its modern day popularity in the world of distilled spirits. Poitín is history in a bottle it is inextricably woven into the fabric of Ireland and its development over the centuries has been closely linked with the story of the Irish distilling industry. Poitín was demonised for so long by the Church, corrupted by the licensed whiskey distillers and actively witch hunted by the excise and tax men, many people gave their lives to protect this beverage. Everyone has a story or song to tell surrounding poitín which in part probably explains why it is still around today. Although a very small amount of individuals continue to produce it illegally, legally produced poitín today enjoys official government recognition and regulation in Ireland, poitín was also accorded the Geographical Indicative Status by the EU Council and Parliament to protect its name and heritage as a product of Ireland. The future looks bring for poitín it has given a new lease of life by a new breed of Irish and international creatives including some of the world’s top mixologists and chefs. It continues to gain international awards and a growing interest by high-end and small independent craft distillers eager to share a piece of the new golden era for poitín and Irish distilled spirits, go get out and taste this ancient beverage and share its unique past together, Slainte.