As it turns out, in select places in 1970s Ireland, you literally could take one for the road - if your drink of choice was Jameson, that is.
The so-called “Night ender,” a whiskey dispensing machine, was manufactured in 1971, in Ireland, and installed in a few pubs, shops and offices. Rare Irish Stuff, the online store specializing in antique and unusual Irish items, had the good fortune to learn of the Night enders and purchase a number of the "deadstock" from the supplier.
So, how do these beauties work? The machines were designed to dispense a measure of whiskey (⅓ gill) into a glass on a coin-operated basis.
The instruction panel above the coin slot reads:
"INSERT KEY ABOVE & TURN CLOCKWISE
CHECK THAT OPTIC IS FULL & THE SOLD OUT LIGHT IS NOT ILLUMINATED
PLACE GLASS ON REST UNDER DRINK REQUIRED
INSERT CORRECT COINS”
As Rare Irish Stuff explains, “The machines were designed for use in public places in Ireland in 1971. This one is deadstock and came in its original packaging. It has a light oak finish and comes complete with its keys. Having spent the last 46 years in its box the internal mechanics will need someone to recondition to working order if desired. The machine accepts the 1960s - 1980's Irish 10p coins which are easily found on eBay. 3 x 10p coins per glass of Jameson.”
Ian from Rare Irish Stuff also proudly informed IrishCentral that Dublin’s Irish Whiskey Museum has one of the machines displayed in their front foyer, and shared with us this video one customer posted of his very own Night ender.
These dream machines will cost you - $870 (€795), to be exact - but we definitely wouldn’t be mad if any Irish whiskey or Irish pub enthusiasts we know bought one and invited us over for an evening of automatically dispensed shots straight out of history.
* Originally published in 2017.