Mountain Dew

One Day I went up the mountain with my Father I must have been about 7. Just off the Staighre’s near a place called “The Sliding Stones” my Father called me over and showed me a small gorge, the walls were near shear and water seemed to be flowing freely. At one end stood a large wooden barrel with a piece of sacking thrown over it “What is it Dad” I asked? “It’s the giants cave”, he said!

Later in my life somebody told me the truth. this was where they kept the still and brewed the poteen! An ideal place, hidden from the path and from prying eyes looking upwards, running water, easy smoke dispersal and, importantly,  a clear view of the road from Bonniconlon where the nearest police resided!

This was my first introduction to “Mountain Dew”, later I tasted it, in warm milk,  to cure a chest cold, later neat, – its taste would cure anything! The “stuff” was hidden all over the place, in ditches, in stone walls and in turf stacks; to be removed, when friends arrived,  to taste and enjoy,   for medicinal purposes only, you understand

An Account written in a letter from William Callagher about a Distillation of the Mountain Dew, estimated to have taken place in Carradoogan about 1910