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Irish Mist

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Irish Mist is a golden Whiskey Liqueur produced in Dublin, Ireland, by the Irish Mist Liqueur Company Ltd. In September 2010 it was announced that the brand was being bought by Gruppo Campari from William Grant, only a few months after Grants had bought it from the C&C Group. It is made from aged Irish whiskey, heather and clover honey, aromatic herbs, and other spirits, blended to an ancient recipe claimed to be 1,000 years old. Irish Mist used to be 80 proof, or 40% alcohol by volume, and is now 35% or 70 proof. The bottle shape has also been changed from a "decanter" style to a more traditional whiskey bottle shape. It is currently available in more than 40 countries.

The History of the Original Irish Whiskey Liqueur

Irish Mist was the first liqueur to be produced in Ireland when commercial production began in 1947 at Tullamore, County Offaly. Tullamore is the hometown of the Williams family who were the original owners of Irish Mist. The company history goes back to 1829 when the Tullamore Distillery was founded to produce Irish whiskey. In the mid-1940s Desmond E. Williams began the search for an alternative yet related product. The search ended with the discovery of Irish Mist. Its roots can be traced back to an ancient recipe for heather wine which originated over 1000 years ago.

The chieftains and nobles of Ireland’s ancient clans throughout the centuries had drunk heather wine, a spirit combined with honey, spices and herbs. However, the secret of this legendary drink disappeared with the last great exodus of the Irish Earls in 1691, an event that has passed into Irish History as "The Flight of the Wild Geese". The recipe was thought to have been lost forever until a traveller from Europe arrived, quite fortuitously, with an old manuscript he had found. Desmond Williams recognized it as the ancient recipe for heather wine and transformed it into Irish Mist, setting up the Irish Mist Liqueur Company.

In 1985 the Cantrell & Cochrane Group purchased the Irish Mist Liqueur Company from the Williams family. In the summer of 2010 Irish Mist and the entire spirit division of C&C was bought by William Grant of Scotland. In September 2010 they in turn sold Irish Mist to Gruppo Campari.


Irish Mist is typically served straight up or on ice, but also goes with coffee, vodka, or cranberry juice. Irish Mist's most popular recipe is Irish Mist with Cola and Lime. A Rusty Mist is an ounce of Irish Mist with an ounce of Drambuie Scotch whisky liqueur. A Black Nail is made from equal parts Irish Mist and Irish whiskey.

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