History Reborn


When Smuggling Nun creator Maura Clare first read about poitín in her late teens, she was immediately intrigued. It so happened that her cousin, Sister Mary—a Franciscan nun from County Clare—was heading back to her homeland for a visit. When Maura mentioned her curiosity about Ireland’s ancient distilled spirit, Sister Mary became determined to procure a sample. She not only hunted down the poitín, which was illegal at the time, she smuggled it back to the U.S. in a holy water bottle. 

Years later, when Maura began researching poitín in earnest, a friend of a friend made a quiet introduction to a retired bootlegger-farmer in the Glens of Antrim, whose poitín-making methods originated with the famous Michael McIlhatton.

Over the next seven years, Maura worked to perfect the McIlhatton recipe to capture the distinctive, fresh flavor of Ireland’s best poitín. Smuggling Nun’s County Down distillery went through an extensive process to procure the finest ingredients and scale up the formula for production.

In blind taste tests, the SmugNun consistently ranks as the smoothest, most premium and flavorful of Irish poitíns.


8 + 3 =


15 + 2 =

Raise Your Spirits!