St. Patrick’s Day Special – Cocktails With Knockeen Hills

Today is St. Patrick’s Day and to celebrate this today’s article will feature the Irish Spirit Poteen, in particular the brand Knockeen Hills. Some readers may recognise the name from a previous review of their Elderflower Gin, which can be found here

The history and categorization of Poteen is indeed a very interesting subject, but unfortunately this not the subject of today’s article however, it will be covered in a future one.

Irish Poteen is a white spirit, usually based on grain, malt or potatoes and was banned in Mainland Ireland until 1997. It has Geographical Indicative spirit protected status as does it’s fellow countrymen Irish Cream, and Irish Whiskey.

Knockeen Hills uses grain spirit to make their Poteen which is available in three strengths the triple-distilled 60 & 70%ABV and the quadruple-distilled 90%ABV.
Today I shall be looking at cocktails using both the 70 and 90% versions.

Dublin Mule
30ml Poteen (70%), 70ml Ginger Beer, Juice of half a lime, Add ingredient to a tall glass, with ice and stir.

A twist on Smirnoff classic. Firstly there is a touch of ginger, then the poteen and the the lime and ginger. The spirit plays a bigger part in the flavour of this drink than in the traditional Moscow Mule but the spirit doesn’t overpower the drink and it is in balance with the other flavours.
Having trouble decided on which Ginger Beer to use? Have a look at our tasting of 27 here.


The Noite Cocktail

15ml Monin Chocolate Cookie Syrup, 10ml Monin Butterscotch Syrup, 40ml Poteen, (90%),  90ml Pineapple Juice, 50ml Orange Juice, SHAKE

I would never have guessed that butterscotch and chocolate cookie would go with Poteen but they strangely do. The drink have flavours akin to creme caramel but the cookie syrup add a Frangelico-like nuttiness and the finish is certainly of the Poteen. It is a rich drink and I would advise serving it ice-cold. Mrs. B loved it an although I thought  I was quite good it was a touch sweet for me.


Michael Collins
A twist on the John, Tom or Phil (non-alcoholic) Collins the Michael Collins is made with Poteen (or sometimes Irish Whisky) and is named after and Irish Leader.*
20ml Poteen (70%), 10ml Lemon Juice, 10ml Sugar Syrup, 80ml Soda Water/Sparkling Water Add items in a tall glass with ice and stir.

This is a very pleasant way to drink poteen and still be able to appreciates the spirits characteristics. The crisp and ever so slightly sweet character of the poteen goes well with the citrus of the lemon juice. Very smooth and refreshing, as Collins often are, but this distinctive to a gin or vodka collins and it would be hard to mix them up. There a light creaminess on the finish. Excellent.


The Michael Collins

25ml Poteen (90%), 50ml Apple Juice, 50ml Ginger Ale, 10ml Lime Juice
Add ingredients to a tall glass with ice and stir

A pleasant cooler, a bit of a variation on the Buck (spirit, citrus and ginger ale) with the apple juice adding a fresh, juicy quality . Served over ice with a lemon or lime wedge this would be quite a drink for a warm summer evening.


Donagal Cooler
20ml Poteen (70%), 20ml Cranberry Juice, 40ml Orange Juice
Pour ingredients into a tall glass, add ice and stir

There is some compatibility between the cranberry and poteen but when mixed with the orange it doesn’t really work and the flavours are a bit of a muddle. OK but the other drinks are much better.


The Knockeen Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned Irishman

A twist on the Old fashioned substituting the Whisky with Poteen, readers may remember that I am quite a fna of the Gin Old Fashioned from previous Cocktails With…

Take one sugar cube and place into an Old Fashioned Glass (tumbler)

Add a few dashes of bitters (Angostura), Add enough water to just about cover the sugar cube

Muddle the mixture until all of the sugar has dissolved

Fill the glass with ice and add 10ml Poteen (90%) 10ml Water

Stir & Strain the mixture into a second Old Fashioned Glass

A great way to savour the flavour of the Poteen. The crispness and the light sweetness of the Poteen goes well with the bitters and sugar cube; just make sure you don’t make the cocktail too sweet. A smooth drink and whilst a touch less warming than it’s whisky counterpart it is a very enjoyable alternative.


Knockeen Hills Poteen comes in very strong proofs and not designed to be drank alone (it also isn’t sensible [or pleasant] to drink at full strength) if you do want to enjoy the spirit unmixed I’d suggest cutting it 50/50 with some water.




Knockeen Hills is avaialble from the Drinks Shop

Farmers Strength (60%) – Around £23 for 50cl

Gold Strength (70%) – Around £26 for 50cl

Extra Gold Strength (90%) – Around £43 for 50cl


*Readers interested in space and Astronomy may recognise that Michael Collins is also the name of the third member of the Apollo 11 Crew, the other two being Neil Armstrong and Buzz.

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About DTS

partial to a martini? to a smoke-hazed gin joint & a perfect tipple poured with the style, swank & skill of a true aficionado? …then pull up your stool to the bar, prepare to stock up your cocktail cabinet & get ready to drink it all in as we introduce you to a stitch in times’ resident barman… David T. Smith is a drinks enthusiast currently residing in the U.K. a long-time fan of tasting & exploring various types of alcohol, he has a fascination for vintage spirits and cocktails, in particular their heritage & origins; this was strengthened last year when he presented a talk and accompanying monograph on the Martini. it was as a result of his research of this topic that he was introduced to drinks paraphernalia, & he is now the happy owner of a colourful collection of bottles, books, and gadgets from a wide range of eras… an avid believer in the validity and variety of personal opinion, particularly in the subjective area of tasting, he enjoys hosting tasting sessions for friends, constantly challenging them to find their own favourite tipple. in addition to all of this, he is also interested in economics, three-piece suits, board games & keeping alive the art of engaging in enjoyable conversation with a good glass of port whilst surrounded by pipe smoke… Thanks to Analiebe for writing this rather flattering blurb for me.

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