Irish Alcoholic Treasures

Irish peasants have for centuries used special recipes to help them stay healthy and to help them survive both illness ,the weather and other hardships.When mixed with traditional Irish hospitality good music and a warm fire they help to make a fine evening.

Health and long life to you, Land without rent to you The woman of your choice to you A long life, and may your bones rest in Ireland!

New! Teatime Cookbook Click Here

Usquebaugh is a strong compound liquor,
chiefly taken by the dram. It is made in
the highest perfection at Drogheda, in Ireland.
The following are the ingredients :
Take two quarts of best brandy, one-half
pound raisins, stoned, one-half ounce nutmegs,
one-half ounce cardamoms, one-quarter
ounce saffron, rind of one-half Seville
orange, one-half pound brown sugar candy.
Shake these well every day for at least fourteen
days, and it will at the expiration of
that time be ready to be fined for use.

Take one ounce of nutmegs, one ounce of
cloves, one ounce of cinnamon, two ounces
of the seed of anise, two ounces of the seed
of caraway, two ounces of the seed of coriander,
one-quarter pound of licorice root
sliced. Bruise the seeds and spices, and put
them together with the licorice, into the still
with five and one-half gallons of proof spirit,
and one gallon of water. Distill with a
pretty brisk fire. As soon as the still begins
to work to the nozzle of the worm, take
one-quarter ounce of English saffron, tied up
in a cloth that the liquor may run through
it, and extract all its tincture. When the
operation is finished, sweeten with fine sugar.
This liquor may be much improved by the
following additions: Digest two pounds of
stoned raisins, one and one-half pounds of
dates, one pound of sliced licorice root, in
one gallon of water, for twelve hours. When
the liquor is strained off, and has deposited
all sediment, decant it gently into a vessel
containing the usquebaugh. .

Stem 1 pound large raisins, add the zest of an
orange on lumps of sugar, bruise well, add 1/4
ounce each of cloves and cardamom seeds, and  1/2
a nutmeg, grated. Put in a jar, add 1/2  gallon of
brandy or light whiskey,  1/2 pound of rock candy,
and some brown coloring. Shake every day, and
in 2 weeks strain it and bottle for use. It is a
cordial, very old-fashioned.

Whisky Punch

Serves 1 Ingredients:1 measure of Whiskey(uisce beatha-the water of life),2 teaspoons white sugar,4-6 cloves,2 slices fresh lemon,200 ml(7 oz.) boiling water.1. Put the Whiskey sugar,cloves and lemon slices into a strong preheated  glass.2.Pour on the boiling water and stir until the sugar has dissolved.

Version 2: 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar,3 cloves,1 slice lemon,1 jigger Irish Whiskey,boiling water.

Irish Coffee-

Version 1-1 1/2 teaspoons sugar,Hot strong black coffee,1 jigger Irish whiskey,1 tablespoon whipped cream.Heat a stemmed whiskey goblet.Add the sugar and enough of the hot coffee to dissolve the sugar. Stir well. Add the Irish whiskey and fill the glass to within an inch ofthe brim with more very hot black coffee. Float the cream on top. do not mix the cream and the coffee. The hot whiskey-laced coffee is sipped through the velvety cream.

Version 2:1 teaspoon sugar,hot strong black coffee,1 jigger Irish whiskey,1 tablespoon double cream.Pour cream over a teaspoon held over coffee so that it floats on the coffee.


1-2 teaspoons honey,2 tablespoons Irish Whiskey,1/2 cup hot milk. Blend honey and whiskey together and stir the mixture into hot milk.

Egg Flip

Version 1- 3/4 cup milk,1 egg yolk,1 teaspoon sugar,1 jigger Irish whiskey,grated nutmeg. Scald the milk.Beat the egg yolk and sugar together. Add the whiskey and pour the scalding milk on top.Add the grated nutmeg and serve in a heated glass. Version2-Make as above but fold in the stiffly beaten white of an egg before serving.

Is deacair amhra`n a ra`dh gan gloine! Its hard to sing with an empty glass!

Irish Traditional Beverages

The Irish do not drink only that which is commercially available in the Pubs- Nor do they consume only alcoholic beverages-Their milk and cream is the best in the world, sometimes the local water contains the flavor of the ages and of the peat and Their tea is wonderful!-Here are some special beverages which are part of the folk tradition -they can be made at home for any occasion. See how many you recognize from Irish Literary sources! These you can make yourself at home in the old tradition.

Ginger Beer

Ingredients: 1 1/2 ounces gingerroot,cut into 3 pieces,1 1/4 pounds sugar,1 tablespoon cream of tartar, 2 lemons peeled and thinly sliced,1 gallon spring water,boiling,1/2 ounce yeast,creamed with 1 teaspoon sugar. Instructions-Bruise the pieces of ginger to release the essence and combine in a large bowl with the sugar,cream of tartar and the peel and pulp of the lemons.Add the boiling water and stir well to dissolve the sugar,set aside to cool. When lukewarm, add the yeast . Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and set aside in a warm place for 24 hours. Skim strain and bottle the liquid making sure that the bottles are securely corked, consume after 3 days.

Mulled Rum

Ingredients -(per Person) 1 1/2 ounces Jamacia rum,1 teaspoon brown sugar,3 whole cloves,stick of cinnamon,slice of lemon very thin.Instructions:combine all ingredients in an old fashioned glass or any thick 6-oz tumbler or pewter mug,warmed first by rinsing in scalding water. Add about 3 1/2 ox. boiling water, stir with the cinnamon stick. It is traditional to heat the drink just before serving by thrusting a hot poker out of the fire into the drink.

Elderflower Wine

Ingredients-1 quart elderflowers,1 gallon spring water,3 pounds white sugar,1 lemon juiced with the peel sliced thin,1 tablespoon active dry yeast,1 pound golden raisins .Instructions-On a hot summer day, gather the flowers from elder bushes -they should be in full bloom. Strip the flowers gently from their stalks and loosely pack a 1 quart container to measure the flowers to a stoneware crock large enough to contain all of the ingredients. In a large saucepan combine the water sugar and lemon peel.Boil for one hour, skimming from time to time. Pour the mixture over the flowers to scald them and stir well.When cooled to a little more than lukewarm add the lemon juice and yeast.Cover the crock with a clean tea towel,stir with a long wooden spoon daily for 7 or 8 days until fermentation ceases.Put the raisins into a wooden wine cask and strain the wine into the cask. Discard the flowers and the peel.Let stand in a cool place.Seal the cask after 24 hours and keep for 6 months before bottling.

Ginger Wine

Ingredients-3 oranges,juiced,3 lemons,juiced,8 pounds brown sugar,3 egg whites beaten,1/4 pound fresh gingeroot,coarsely chopped,1/2 teaspoon yeast,2 bottles good gin or poteen.Instructions:Bruise the ginger and strain the orange and lemon juices. In a large noncorrodible pot combine 3 gallons of water with the sugar and egg whites and bring to the boil. Skim add the ginger and boil for 45 minutes -set aside to cool. When lukewarm,add the strained juice and stir in the yeast. Set aside to ferment for 3 days.Stir in the gin and pour all into a wooden cask, bung it up loosely. Bottle after 8 weeks and cork securely.

Directory of This Irish Studies Page
Literature and Verse Resources for Irish Gaelic Folklore and Seasonal Celebrations Drink and the Pub A lake of Links
Music and Song Humor Ireland-The Island Feedback History