Bog Myrtle Beer & Irish Coffee Recipes

Bog Myrtle Leaves

Upon arrival at the Irish farm in Kilgarvan, a bottle of homemade bog myrtle beer was waiting in the kitchen, as a welcoming gift.

Apparently, bog myrtle leaves were used to flavor beer before hops became popular in Britain, and they are still used as a flavoring agent in Swedish spirits. (Bog myrtle leaves pictured above, courtesy of tigerlillith.)

For those with access to bog myrtle leaves, the recipe:

  • a big handful of bog myrtle leaves
  • 1 gallon of boiling water
  • 1 lb sugar
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 1 oz yeast or 1 tablespoon dried yeast

Put leaves, sugar, and lemon in bowl. Pour on boiling water. Allow to cool. When tepid, float a piece of toast on the surface and sprinkle yeast on the toast. Leave for 24 hours. Remove the toast and strain liquid into bottles. You can keep the beer for a while or drink at once. Watch out for popping corks if you bottle immediately.

Alternatively strain into a fermentation jar and fit fermentation lock. Leave for about a month or until fermentation ceases.

If you prefer a sweeter drink, make a syrup with equal volumes of water and sugar. Heat until sugar dissolves then cool before adding to beer. If you like a spicy beer, add a teaspoonful of ground ginger to the syrup while heating.

You can also make a double quantity of the beer in a plastic bucket. Double the sugar and water in this case, but no the lemon, nor yeast.

Irish Coffee

Also, I got my hands on the real-deal recipe for Irish coffee, as follows:

  • 1 very generous measure of Irish Whisky
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 heaped dessert spoon of whipped cream
  • hot, strong coffee

Pre-warm a stemmed glass. Add the whisky. Add the sugar and stir in the coffee. Float the whipped cream on top. Allow the cream to sit, do not stir!

Posted in Recipes, Travel.
Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She is the co-founder and editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors.

In addition to being a columnist for Publishers Weekly, Jane is a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. She also has a book forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, The Business of Being a Writer (March 2018).

Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.

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4 Comments on "Bog Myrtle Beer & Irish Coffee Recipes"

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Where can I buy bog myrtle in the United States? I live in California.


I’ve never heard of such a coffee but because I love the stuff I’ll give it a try. Thanks for sharing.