With A Name Like O'Hara...I Should Love Irish Coffee
I La La L-O-V-E Irish Coffee. Why, you ask? I'm not really sure. My Father, Thomas Patrick O'Hara, was very big into St Patrick's Day wearing his gorgeous green outfit that consists of a gorgeous slack, thin knit mock turtleneck with a gorgeous suede lightweight jacket. All in a beautiful shade of light green. The epitome of style.
Ok...I digress...Anyway, after college, I moved to Southern CA and loved hanging out in Newport Beach CA. One of my favorite spots was a little Irish Pub/Restaurant called Muldoon's Irish Pub. As the sun begins to set in SoCal, it always cools down quite a bit even in the summer. I always enjoyed a wonderful cup of Irish Coffee made dark with some good ol' Irish Whiskey. Still a favorite beverage for me today AND especially since I roast coffee...well it's an awesome cup!
Irish Coffee began back in 1942 at an airbase near Limerick. This was a main airport for Flying Boats flying between Europe and the US. Weather along the west coast of Ireland can be very bad causing the fights to return back to the airbase and waiting for the weather to clear.
On a particular stormy winter night, a pilot decided to return back to the airbase and wait out the storm. Mostly of Americans, (the flight was heading into New York) the restaurant was informed that the flight would be returning and the passengers would be there overnight. A young Irish Chef Joe Sheridan decided to prepare the passengers a warm and wonderful drink. He brewed rich dark coffee, added a small amount of brown sugar, some Irish Whiskey and floated some creme on top. As the passengers began to take in their first sip they were amazed at the wonderful taste. A passenger asked "Hey is this Brazilian Coffee?" "No" Chef Joe replied..."It's Irish Coffee."
Irish Coffee became a staple on the menu and if it wasn't for a travel writer, Stanton Deplane, it wouldn't have become such an international success. Stanton took the recipe to Jack Keoppler, a bartender at the infamous Buena Vista in San Francisco where they worked diligently to recreate the recipe. The problem was that the whipped creme kept sinking to the bottom. Through trial and error they realized they needed to add a little sugar and make a thick creme, not cold whipped creme to set on top.
Today, the Buena Vista is still famous for making and selling Irish Coffees. They say that they average about 2,000 Irish Coffees a day.
So...you want the original recipe for making good ol' Irish Coffee? Here it is.
Here is the original Joe Sheridan Irish Coffee Recipe:
Cream - Rich as an Irish Brogue
Coffee - Strong as a Friendly Hand
Sugar - Sweet as the tongue of a Rogue
Whiskey - Smooth as the Wit of the Land.
Pre-heat a clear stemmed glass with very hot water. Empty the water, and add 2 teaspoons of brown sugar. Now add some freshly brewed rich coffee and stir. As soon as the sugar is melted, add a generous measure of Irish Whiskey (about 2.5cl). Stir again, then wait for the brew to still. Now take a hot teaspoon and pour gently whipped fresh cream slowly over the back of the spoon. The cream should be "half whipped" i.e. not too stiff and not too liquid.
I suggest Johnny Lolita's Turquoise Trail, Brazil Dark and Costa Rica as your coffee base for this wonderful Irish drink. Cheers, or if you wish to say it in gaelic, Sláinte