5th Cent BCE. Apollo with Lyre and Phiale Pouring Libation
In the 1960s, J. N. Hamilton recorded some words said when offering the first glass of the singlings (the initial collections of the distillation process that required further processing) to the daoní maith, the fairies, when making poteen. (ZCP xxxi 1970, 164)
His informant told him “And this is what we used to say when we were throwing out the first glass”:
Maith agus sláinte go ndéanaidh sé daoibh,
Agus toradh agus tairbh’ go gcuiridh sé ‘ugainn,
Agus go sábhálaidh sibh aig ár namhaid muid.
May it bring you health and goodness,
And may it bring us good result and profit,
And may you save us from our enemy.
This is also quoted by Calvert Watkins in: Is Tre Fír Flathemon: Marginalia to Audacht Morainn, Ériu 30, pp 181-198). Later on Watkins notes a passage from Audacht Morainn (a tract giving advice to princes):
na moíni mára
na lessa fro lobru lén
‘Let not riches nor great gifts nor profits
blind him to the weak in their suffering.’
He tells us that moíni, are “specifically ‘gifts entailing the obligation to a counter-gift (commoín)’ in the ancient system of exchange and reciprocity.” It's possible that the first glass of the singlings was such a gift, obliging the daoní maith to give their protection.