The original Irish coffee was a concoction of a bit of whiskey, a generous splash of black coffee, a dollop of whipped cream, and a smattering of genius. Pedigrees for most drinks are dubious at best, but the Irish coffee is well documented. San Francisco Chronicle columnist Stanton Delaplane was served one at Ireland’s Shannon Airport bar in 1952; after returning to San Francisco, he passed the recipe on to barman Jack Koeppler at the Buena Vista and soon to the rest of the country. The story behind this immensely popular beverage is that Irish bartender Joe Sheridan created the rejuvenating brew during World War II to greet weary Yankee travelers arriving by seaplane in the wee hours of the morning. Interestingly, the Irish drank whiskey in tea, but Sheridan apparently knew the American palate and had the wherewithal to substitute coffee.
The best Irish coffee should be treated no differently than the naked brew. Use high-quality, freshly ground and brewed beans, and always whip your heavy cream without sugar right before serving.
This recipe was featured as part of our Hot Boozy Drinks photo gallery.
- 1Combine the coffee, whiskey, and sugar in a hot Irish coffee mug; then float whipped cream on top.
Italian coffee: Substitute amaretto for the whiskey.
Jamaican coffee: Substitute dark rum for the whiskey.
Mexican coffee: Substitute Kahlúa for the whiskey.
This recipe, while from a trusted source, may not have been tested by the CHOW food team.
Copyright Quirk Books