With Saint Patrick’s Day right around the corner we find it appropriate to give some guidance today on how to make a proper Irish Coffee. The story goes that a cold and tired group of tourists arriving one dismal evening in Ireland at the airport were offered coffee with Irish Whiskey in it to help shake off the cold and the drink was born. Here in the states Irish Coffee has taken foothold at the Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco where for the past 65 years it has achieved nothing less than coffee fame. I provide you with their recipe and also suggest a single variation, using brown sugar in place of the two cubes in the BV recipe.
First Take an Irish Coffee Glass or Glass Mug and pre-warm with hot water. This is VERY important if you want a hot Irish Coffee. Then fill the glass ¾ full with piping hot coffee. Add two sugar cubes and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add one Jigger (1 ½ oz) of good Irish Whiskey. To finish the coffee you need fresh lightly whipped cream. A real Irish Coffee is never finished with canned or pre-fab whipped products. It must be light and float on top of the coffee. A steamed bit of cream works but best is to just whip the cream to a soft peak and lay it gently over the back of a spoon onto the top of the coffee. After that it needs nothing. No cheap splash of green menthe, no sprig of mint. It is perfect as it is. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!