For years, poitin was illegal homemade whiskey, an Irish moonshine. The name of the formidable drink comes from the way it is made: typically in a small pot (the Irish word for pot is pota), often with fermented potatoes, malted barley or even crab apples. From the 1660s on, poitin was illegal because of its incredible potency (a typical poitin could reach 95% alcohol by volume, or ABV), but nonetheless or perhaps as a result it became an ever present brew in Irish folklore and literature. By 1989, legal production for export was finally allowed, and in 1997 the Irish Revenue Commissioners allowed the drink to be sold for consumption within Ireland.
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