What do the Irish really drink? Guinness? Tea? Irish whiskey?

For centuries, Ireland has produced world-renowned beverages which are distributed throughout the world. A nation famous for Guinness, obsessive tea drinkers, and some of the best whiskey on the planet, Ireland's indigenous beverages offer a varied selection for any drinker.

There is no escaping the impact beverages such as Guinness and Baileys have had on the global market. It is rare to travel any to any location in the world and not be greeted by the familiar sight of an Irish drink. We have even included some of our childhood favorites that we all love to crave!

Guinness

Like silk being poured into a glass. The Guinness brand is synonymous with Ireland. In 1759, Arthur Guinness acquired a four-acre site and signed a 9,000-year lease for the St. James' Gate Brewery in Dublin.

The brewery became well known for brewing “porter,” which was a dark ale. Over the past 250 years, the dark ale has evolved into a unique dark stout, which is enjoyed across the globe.

According to the company, over 10 million glasses of Guinness are enjoyed daily around the world.

Read More: How to pour the perfect Guinness Draught pint at home

Irish Whiskey

Ireland is home to several distilleries, which produce some of the world's finest whiskeys. Uisce Beatha is the Gaelic term for whiskey and translates to “water of life”. The most common types of whiskey distilled in Ireland include single malt, single grain, and blended whiskey. Examples of Irish whiskey include Black Bush, Bushmills, Jameson, Paddy, Powers, and Tullamore Dew to name a few.

Read More: Jameson employees used to start and end the day with a shot of whiskey

Tea

Earl, chamomile, green, chai - offer any of these varieties to your average Irish person and they will most likely decline. If it's not black and doesn’t contain either sugar or milk, then it's not a cup of Irish tea.

Most Irish people begin their day with a cup of tea and continue to drink copious amounts of their favorite hot beverage throughout the day.

Irish tea is a strong blend of several black teas, mostly Assam Indian teas. There are several Irish companies that produce tea, but Barry's and Lyons are the market leaders and are the cause of rivalry between friends and family!

Read More: Drinking tea leads to longer life, better health

Irish Coffee

An Irish coffee is a coffee with a kick! This popular after-dinner drink combines coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and freshly whipped cream.

Read More: A history and recipe to celebrate National Irish Coffee Day

Miwadi

Miwadi takes its name from Mineral Water distributors, who invented the dilutable fruit drink in Dublin in 1927. During the war, the drink was sold in chemists as it was a fruit cordial and was often given to people when they were sick. The growth in supermarkets in the 1970s made the drink more accessible to consumers. It was bottled in glass up until the 1980s when plastic became more common.

Ireland's number one cordial has a range of flavors including orange, blackcurrant, lemon, lime, and tropical, which are all produced in Dublin. A popular hangover cure, customers will often ask for a pint of Miwadi in bars.

Bulmers Cider 

Bulmers Original Irish Cider is made in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. Cider production in the town began when local man William Magner founded the company in 1935.

It is more commonly known abroad as Magners Irish Cider. Their tradition of brewing cider has been developed over the past seven decades and continues to be a popular refreshing cider enjoyed around the world.

A total of 17 different types of apples are grown in Bulmer's orchards in Clonmel, Ireland. The refreshing alcoholic cider beverage is most commonly enjoyed over ice.

Read More: Crushing on Magners Cider

TK Red Lemonade

No Irish childhood occasion was every complete without a giant tumbler of red lemonade. TK Red Lemonade remains the brand leader in Ireland. Originally, Taylor Keith, it continues to be Ireland's leading value soft drink brand and is distributed by C&C beverages. Many people like to mix the popular beverage with their favorite Irish whiskey.

Baileys Irish cream 

R & A Bailey were responsible for inventing the recipe for the Irish liqueur cream that would take the world by storm. In 1974, they combined the Irish tradition of distilling whiskey with another great tradition of dairy farming.

Baileys only uses cream from Irish cows in their product. The recipe, which included cocoa nibs, vanilla pods, caramel, and sugar combined with whiskey and cream results in Baileys Irish Cream that's enjoyed the world over.

Read More: Baileys Irish Cream and Irish whiskey cocktail recipe

Club Rock Shandy

The original Club Orange was the first orange soft drink to come on the market in Ireland. Oliver Grace was the man behind the juicy beverage.

In 1950, Club Lemon was launched as a sister product. Sometime later, a director of the C&C drinks group would discover a new drink by accident: Frank Murphy from Blackrock in Co. Dublin enjoyed mixing the Club Orange and Club Lemon, resulting in a refreshing drink which would become known as Club Rock Shandy.

Poitín

This lethal concoction is usually made from remnants of barley or potatoes. Also known as Moonshine, the distillation of the spirit has been banned in Ireland since 1661 because of its high potency. Despite this, many people continue to distill the beverage for personal consumption. Some Irish companies, such as Bunratty Irish Potcheen, distill a beverage that is significantly weaker than the traditional tipple.

Read More: Poitín now legal to drink in Ireland as first license given

What's your favorite Irish beverage? Let us know in the comments!

* Originally published in 2013, updated in May 2020.