Irish Drinks

Authentic Irish Drinks You Ought to Sample

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Updated on March 26, 2024

Authentic Irish drinks are an essential part of Ireland’s rich culture and history. From traditional Irish whiskey to creamy Baileys Irish Cream, these drinks have been enjoyed for centuries and have become a staple in Irish pubs around the world.

One of the most famous Irish drinks is Guinness, a dark stout that has been brewed in Dublin since 1759. This iconic beer is known for its creamy texture and rich flavour and is often enjoyed alongside traditional Irish dishes like shepherd’s pie or fish and chips. Another popular beer in Ireland is Smithwick’s, a smooth and malty ale that has been brewed in Kilkenny since the 14th century.

In addition to beer, Ireland is also known for its whiskey. Irish whiskey is distilled three times, giving it a smooth and mellow taste that is distinct from other types of whiskey. Some of the most popular Irish whiskey brands include Jameson, Bushmills, and Tullamore Dew. Whether sipped neat or mixed into a cocktail, Irish whiskey is a must-try for any whiskey lover.

First Stop of Irish Drinks: Traditional Irish Spirits

Ireland is known for producing some of the world’s finest spirits. Two of the most well-known traditional Irish spirits are Poitín and Irish Whiskey.



Poitín is a clear, high-proof spirit that has been produced in Ireland for centuries. It was originally made from malted barley, but it can now be made from a variety of grains, potatoes, or even whey. Poitín was illegal in Ireland until 1997, but it has since gained popularity as a traditional Irish spirit. It has a distinct taste and aroma and is often compared to moonshine.

Irish Whiskey


Irish Whiskey is one of the most popular spirits in the world. It is made from a mash of malted barley, water, and yeast, which is then distilled and aged in oak barrels. Irish Whiskey is known for its smooth, mellow taste and aroma, which is due in part to the triple distillation process used in its production. There are many different types of Irish Whiskey, including single malt, blended, and pot still.

Irish Whiskey has a rich history and is deeply ingrained in Irish culture. It was first produced in the 12th century by Irish monks, who used it for medicinal purposes. Over time, it became a popular drink in Ireland and around the world. Today, Irish Whiskey is enjoyed by millions of people and is considered a symbol of Irish heritage and tradition.

Irish Cream Liqueur

Authentic Irish Drinks

Irish Cream Liqueur is a popular alcoholic beverage that combines Irish whiskey with cream, sugar, and often other flavourings such as coffee or chocolate. It has a smooth, creamy texture and a sweet, rich flavour, making it a popular choice for sipping on its own or adding to coffee or cocktails.

Irish Gin

Irish gin is a type of gin that is produced in Ireland. It is crafted using traditional gin-making methods and often incorporates locally sourced botanicals, giving it a distinct flavour profile. Irish gin has gained popularity for its unique taste and is appreciated both domestically and internationally.

Irish Vodka

Irish vodka is a type of vodka that is produced in Ireland. It is typically made from grains such as barley or wheat and undergoes a distillation process to achieve the desired alcohol content. Irish vodka is known for its smooth and clean taste, often enjoyed on its own or used as a base for cocktails.

Traditional Irish Fruit Spirits

Traditional Irish fruit spirits are alcoholic beverages made by fermenting and distilling fruits such as apples, pears, and berries. These spirits are often produced using traditional methods and are popular in Ireland for their rich flavours and versatility in cocktails or enjoyed on their own. They are known for capturing the essence of the fruits from which they are made, offering a unique and flavourful drinking experience.

Next Up: Famous Irish Beers

Authentic Irish Drinks

Ireland is famous for its beers, which are enjoyed all over the world. Two of the most well-known types of Irish beer are stout and ale.

Guinness Stout

Guinness is the most famous Irish beer and is known for its dark colour and creamy head. It is a stout beer that is brewed in Dublin, Ireland. Guinness is made from roasted barley, hops, water, and yeast. It has a distinct flavour that is both bitter and sweet.

Guinness is often served in a pint glass, and the bartender will pour it in two stages to create the perfect head. The first pour is done quickly, and the second pour is done slowly to create the creamy head that Guinness is famous for.

Smithwick’s Irish Ale

Smithwick’s is a popular Irish ale that is brewed in Kilkenny, Ireland. It has a reddish-brown colour and a smooth, malty flavour. Smithwick’s is made from malted barley, hops, and water.

Smithwick’s is often served in a pint glass, and it is best enjoyed at room temperature. It is a popular beer in Ireland and is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.

Both Guinness and Smithwick’s are excellent examples of the quality and craftsmanship that goes into Irish beer. These beers are enjoyed all over the world and are a testament to Ireland’s rich brewing tradition.

Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale

Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale is a smooth, nitrogenated beer that originated in Kilkenny, Ireland. It is known for its creamy texture and rich, malty flavour with a hint of caramel. This ale is often enjoyed for its easy-drinking nature and its distinctively smooth and velvety character, making it a popular choice among beer enthusiasts.

Murphy’s Irish Stout

Murphy’s Irish Stout is a dark, dry stout that originated in Cork, Ireland. It is known for its smooth, creamy texture and rich, roasted flavour with hints of coffee and chocolate. It is brewed using a combination of pale malt, roasted barley, and malted barley, and it is often enjoyed for its distinctively satisfying taste.

Beamish Stout

Beamish Stout is a rich and creamy stout that hails from Cork, Ireland. It is characterised by its dark colour and smooth, velvety texture. This stout offers a robust and complex flavour profile with notes of roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate. It is brewed using a blend of malted barley, roasted barley, and hops, resulting in a distinctive and satisfying taste that has made it a popular choice among stout enthusiasts.

Harp Lager

Harp Lager is a popular Irish lager known for its crisp and refreshing taste. Brewed by Guinness in Dundalk, Ireland, it is characterised by its golden colour and balanced flavour profile, which includes a subtle malt sweetness and a clean, hoppy finish. Harp Lager is often enjoyed for its smooth and easy-drinking qualities, making it a favourite choice for those seeking a classic, approachable lager.

O’Hara’s Irish Red

O’Hara’s Irish Red is a traditional Irish red ale that is crafted by the Carlow Brewing Company in County Carlow, Ireland. This beer is known for its rich, copper-red hue and its balanced flavour profile, which typically includes notes of caramel and toffee alongside a subtle hop bitterness. O’Hara’s Irish Red is celebrated for its smooth and approachable character, making it a popular choice among fans of craft beer and traditional Irish brews.

Irish Liqueurs

Authentic Irish Drinks

Ireland is famous for its liqueurs, which are often made with Irish whiskey and local ingredients. Two of the most popular Irish liqueurs are Irish Cream and Irish Mist.

Irish Cream

Irish Cream is a sweet liqueur made with Irish whiskey, cream, and other ingredients such as cocoa and vanilla. The most famous brand of Irish Cream is Baileys, which was first produced in 1974. Irish Cream is often served on its own over ice or used as a mixer in cocktails such as the Mudslide or the Irish Coffee.

Irish CreamDescription
BaileysThe most famous brand of Irish Cream, with a creamy texture and a sweet, chocolatey flavor.
KerrygoldA premium Irish Cream made with Irish whiskey and fresh cream from grass-fed cows.
Saint Brendan’sA smooth and creamy Irish Cream with a hint of vanilla.

Irish Mist

Irish Mist is a honeyed liqueur made with Irish whiskey and a blend of herbs and spices. It was first produced in 1947 and is often served as a digestif. Irish Mist can be enjoyed on its own over ice, or used as a mixer in cocktails such as the Irish Mist and Ginger Ale.

Irish MistDescription
Irish MistThe original Irish Mist, with a sweet, honeyed flavor and a hint of spice.
CarolansThe original Irish Mist, with a sweet, honeyed flavour and a hint of spice.
ClontarfA smooth and flavourful Irish Mist with a hint of vanilla and a touch of caramel.

Irish Cream and Irish Mist are just two examples of the many delicious and authentic Irish liqueurs available. Whether enjoyed on their own or used as mixers in cocktails, these liqueurs are a great way to experience the flavours of Ireland.

Non-Alcoholic Options for No-Alcohol Drinkers

If you’re looking for non-alcoholic options, there are a few authentic Irish drinks to choose from. Here are two popular options:

Irish Breakfast Tea


Irish Breakfast Tea is a robust and full-bodied black tea blend that is often enjoyed as a morning or all-day beverage. It is known for its strong, malty flavour and deep reddish-brown colour, which are derived from a blend of Assam, Ceylon, and Kenyan teas. This type of tea is typically brewed for a longer period to bring out its bold and invigorating taste, making it a popular choice for those seeking a hearty and energising cup of tea.

Barry’s Tea

Barry’s Tea is a well-known Irish tea brand that has been producing high-quality tea since 1901. Renowned for its rich and full-bodied flavour, Barry’s Tea is a blend of fine tea leaves sourced from tea gardens around the world, including Assam and Kenya. The brand offers a variety of tea blends, including its signature Gold Blend, which is celebrated for its robust taste and deep, satisfying aroma. Barry’s Tea is a beloved choice among tea enthusiasts and is often enjoyed with milk and sugar for a comforting and flavourful cup of tea.

Club Orange

Club Orange is a popular Irish carbonated soft drink that is known for its refreshing and zesty orange flavour. Produced by Britvic Ireland, Club Orange has been a beloved beverage in Ireland for many years. It is often enjoyed for its vibrant citrus taste and effervescent quality, making it a popular choice for those seeking a flavourful and thirst-quenching soda. Club Orange has become an iconic part of the Irish beverage landscape, offering a taste of nostalgia for many.


MiWadi is a well-known brand of concentrated fruit squash that originated in Ireland. It offers a variety of fruit flavours that can be mixed with water to create a refreshing and flavourful drink. MiWadi is popular for its convenience and versatility, allowing consumers to customise the strength of the drink to their preference. It has been a staple in Irish households for generations and is cherished for its range of fruity flavours and the ability to create a refreshing beverage with ease.


Ballygowan is a popular brand of bottled water that originates from Ballygowan, a village in County Down, Northern Ireland. Known for its purity and crisp taste, Ballygowan natural spring water is sourced from the unspoiled landscape of the Irish countryside. The brand offers a range of still and sparkling water products, and it is celebrated for its commitment to providing high-quality, refreshing hydration to consumers. Ballygowan has become a well-regarded choice for those seeking a premium bottled water experience.

Club Lemon

Club Lemon is a popular carbonated soft drink in Ireland known for its refreshing lemon flavour. Produced by Britvic Ireland, Club Lemon has been a favourite beverage for many, offering a zesty and citrusy taste that is enjoyed by consumers of all ages. It is often appreciated for its effervescent quality and vibrant lemon taste, making it a go-to choice for those seeking a flavourful and thirst-quenching soda. Club Lemon has become a cherished part of the Irish beverage landscape, providing a taste of refreshment and enjoyment.

Lemon & Lime Cordial

Lemon & Lime Cordial is a concentrated syrup made from lemon and lime juice, sugar, and water. It is typically diluted with water to create a refreshing citrus-flavoured beverage. This cordial is known for its tangy and zesty taste, and it is often used to make homemade lemonade or as a mixer for cocktails. It offers a convenient way to enjoy the flavours of lemon and lime in a versatile and customisable drink.

Overall, these non-alcoholic options are a great way to experience the authentic flavours of Ireland without the alcohol. Whether you’re sipping on a cup of Irish Breakfast Tea or enjoying a bottle of Ballygowan, you can enjoy the taste of Ireland in a non-alcoholic way.

Experience the true taste of Ireland with a sip of tradition and a dash of heritage in every glass. From the rich, velvety stouts to the crisp, refreshing lagers, and the vibrant, citrusy sodas, authentic Irish drinks offer a journey through the flavours of the Emerald Isle. Whether it’s a creamy pint of stout, a zesty sip of cordial, or a nostalgic swig of a beloved soda, each drink carries the essence of Ireland’s unique beverage culture. So raise your glass and savour the authentic flavours that have delighted generations, and let the spirit of Ireland flow through every sip. Sláinte!

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