The Food & Drink Series – with Mary Sadlier, CEO of Coole Swan


Q&A with Mary Sadlier CEO of Multi-Award Winning Coole Swan

Coole Swan is a multi-award winning Irish cream liqueur. And its name which was inspired by the W.B. Yeats poem ‘The Wild Swans at Coole’, perfectly describes the drink itself – light, pure, graceful.

Independently owned and family run Coole Swan has won numerous accolades including the ‘No.1 Cream Liqueur in the World’ and one of the ‘World’s Top 100 Spirits’. Made in Ireland, and only in Ireland, in the beautiful Boyne Valley, Coole Swan is a drink to be enjoyed throughout all seasons – sipped by the fireside, or as your favourite cocktail under a parasol.

Big fans of Coole Swan here at The Life of Stuff HQ, we are delighted to feature Mary Sadlier, CEO of Coole Swan, here on The Life of Stuff Food & Drink Series.


For more on Coole Swan – to shop, or be inspired by recipes visit the Coole Swan website and connect on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter.


Further Reading: Bevvy of the Week – Coole Swan – Premium Irish Cream Liqueur


Q&A with Mary Sadlier of Coole Swan

The Food & Drink Series – with Mary Sadlier, CEO of Coole Swan - Mary


When was Coole Swan founded?

The idea started as far back as 2005.  For years the Irish cream liqueur category was waiting for a premium player to join the mix. It wasn’t until a small team of innovative people set out to make Coole Swan, the superior Irish cream, that this call was answered. We are proud to say that today Coole Swan is an independently owned and family run business on a journey to bring Coole Swan to the hearts, homes and lips of people across the globe.


Where is Coole Swan made?

Coole Swan is made in the Boyne Valley in the heat of Ireland’s Ancient East and bottled in Co Cavan.


How did the idea of Coole Swan come about?

For years the Irish cream liqueur category was waiting for a premium.  So why not answer the call?  We are delighted we did. The market for Premium Drinks is growing year on year. Coole Swan celebrated 10 years in 2020. We’ve been making Coole Swan for that length of time – always with the same ingredients of Single Malt Irish Whiskey, Belgian White Chocolate, and fresh Irish dairy cream – so we know all about patience, and craft.

It started with us making over 230 combinations of those 3 ingredients before we settled on the perfect one. Then we swept the boards at every trade show and tasting event we attended. Retailers of renown like John Lewis stocked us, as our brand was savoured all over the world, from the United States to the Far East. Our name was mentioned in high places – like aboard Air Force One, where Coole Swan was stocked for, President Biden has been known to buy a bottle, too.

The Food & Drink Series – with Mary Sadlier, CEO of Coole Swan - Perfect Pour


Who are the Coole Swan customer/target market?

Coole Swans own crowd are younger, equally divided between male and female fans. They enjoy it over ice, or in in cocktails like espresso martini, because our brand is less about sipping a glass and settling in, more about socialising and being seen. They like to create their own, high energy moments.


Where is the Coole Swan HQ? Who are the team?

Our HQ is based in the heart of the Boyne Valley, Ireland’s Ancient East. Our team stretches from New York to Navan and Manchester to Melbourne. They are amazing – filled with passion, energy, fun and curiosity. Our team are the brand. They bring it to life every day of the week. It is a stimulating environment to work in.



What awards has Coole Swan won?

Since 2010, Coole Swan has travelled the world, picking up accolades everywhere it’s enjoyed. In 2020, Wine Enthusiast Magazine named Coole Swan the number one cream liqueur in the world. Awarding it 96 points out of 100, they called it “the pinnacle of quality”. No other cream liqueur has ever achieved this ‘legendary’ status.  ]Coole Swan was also listed as one of the World’s Top 100 Spirits.


What makes Coole Swan different to other cream liqueur brands?

Its ingredients. Its taste. Its versatility. Coole Swan is always made with the same ingredients of Single Malt Irish Whiskey, Belgian White Chocolate, and fresh Irish dairy cream – so we know all about patience, and craft. It’s a little harder to describe the beauty of the blend, and the flavours and textures that result when all three come together in one glass. The subtle warmth of the whiskey underscores the richness of the chocolate, and both combine with the smoothness and freshness of the cream. It’s delicious. As the name suggests, it glides, delivering a distinctive, velvety, and long-lasting taste.


If you could pick a Brand Ambassador (living or dead) who would it be? And why?

Wow that is a tough one – we know so many people who fit the bill. The traits of an ambassador maybe easier to describe – human, honest, full of fun and not afraid to cut away from the crowd when they need to. They are equally men and women. They are purposeful, intune with the world and embrace life.  They understand and appreciate and understand the value of quality.


Any ‘Newsworthy Stories’ to share?

We are about to embark on phase 12 of our UK roll out to include some significant retail partners. It is very exciting. We cannot find another alcohol brand who have done this in the UK so it is literally virgin territory. We are also extending our footprint across the USA with 4 New States to be added before 30 April. This brings us to 15 States. A significant achievement for an independently owned and family run business.

We are launching a range of Christmas Gift Options with John Lewis. It is a partnership between Coole Swan and John Lewis and 2 UK companies. This range will be on the shelf in September/October 2021. We are also dipping our toe in the Asian market. It is early stages yet but if we succeed it will be an exciting adventure.

The Food & Drink Series – with Mary Sadlier, CEO of Coole Swan - White Rabbit


Finally, what’s your favourite way to enjoy Coole Swan? Cocktail, food pairing etc?

Coole Swan suits so many occasions. It’s an everyday indulgence, delicious neat or over ice but always chilled. It’s the perfect cocktail base for classics like Brandy Alexander, Espresso Martini and new ones not yet even created. Brunch seems even better with a tall, chilled glass, and it’s delightful in coffee. Here is a secret it is also perfect for baking, it compliments every flavour in sumptuous panna cottas, tortes, and cakes.

For me it is our signature drink we call it the Perfect Pour. I like mine neat, chilled and in our signature glass for that real feeling of indulgence.


PIN: The Food & Drink Series – with Mary Sadlier, CEO of Coole Swan

The Food & Drink Series – with Mary Sadlier, CEO of Coole Swan - The Life of Stuff


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Edwina O'Connor
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