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It's National Irish Coffee Day! Get Ready to Celebrate!


"May the best day of your past be the worst day of your future." - Irish Toast


Our favorite way to enjoy a cup of Joe is celebrated on January 25th, and since it seems many countries have their own version of an Irish Coffee, I want to share the different

variations of the spiked cocktail while still educating on the authentic version.


As it goes with many of the best libations, there is much lore surrounding the origin and how it made its way to the States. The most reasonable tale goes like this: In the 1940s, a chef named Joe Sheridan was working in a pub on an airbase in Limerick, Ireland. One cold winter evening, a flight had to unfortunately, but safely, turn back and land there at Foynes Airbase. Chef Joe decided to create a warming beverage for the fatigued passengers in an effort to calm them down and warm them up during the horrendous storm. It is said that an American passenger asked, “Is this Brazilian Coffee?” to which Joe replied, “No, that’s an Irish Coffee.”*




International success of the Irish coffee came about a decade later and is credited to Stanton Delaplane, a travel writer for the San Francisco Chronicle in the 1950s. After tasting the coffee, Stanton returned to the U.S. where he told his friend Jack Koeppler, the owner of the Buena Vista Café about it. Try as they might, they were unsuccessful in recreating the tasty beverage so the Buena Vista offered Joe Sheridan a job in the States in which he accepted.**

A proper Irish Coffee is a work of art with the heavy cream floating like a cloud on top of a hot cup of coffee, giving it the look of a perfectly poured Guinness Stout.


However, in the United States, when you order an Irish coffee it may look a little different than from a pub in Ireland. The US version is still quite delicious, it is generally not layered but instead a light and creamed colored coffee with perhaps whipped cream and a Crème de Menthe drizzle on top.

The ingredients will most likely consist of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, and Irish Cream. Irish Cream is technically a brown sugar and cream flavored liqueur but since it’s cream in color, it automatically will lighten up the drink when you pour it in. Then the whipped cream is dispensed on the top with the added Crème de Menthe which is used for additional flavor and adds an “Irish” color flair. Some folks also add chocolate and sprinkles for that extra sweetness and festiveness.


Other spiked variations from around the world are Jamaican coffee which as expected, would be made with rum; Highland coffee, also called Gaelic coffee, with Scotch whisky; Russian coffee with vodka; etc.

Keep reading below for these additional recipes.



So whether you enjoy an Irish coffee on January 25th or St. Patrick’s Day, enjoying an Irish coffee any time of day or night is perfectly acceptable. Either the US version or the Authentic Irish way.


Cheers and Sláinte!





Traditional Irish Coffee

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 oz. freshly brewed hot coffee

  • 1.5 oz Irish Whiskey (Most pubs in Ireland use Jameson but Tillamore Dew and Bushmills are also popular brands.)

  • 1.5 oz choice of brown sugar, white sugar or simple syrup

  • heavy cream

Method:

  1. Preheat a footed glass mug by filling it with boiling water while you gather the ingredients listed above.

  2. Discard the water and immediately fill the warmed mug approximately ¾ full with hot coffee.

  3. Add brown sugar, stirring until completely dissolved.

  4. Mix in your favorite Irish whiskey.

  5. Slowly pour whipped heavy cream over the back of a spoon to create the perfect cloud mentioned above. The beverage should be drunk “through” the cream and it is frowned upon to mix the cream and coffee so keep it authentic and embrace the inevitable milk mustache.

  6. Some Irish pubs like to dash grated nutmeg on top

U.S. Irish Coffee

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 oz. freshly brewed hot coffee

  • 1.5 oz Irish Whiskey

  • 1.5 oz Irish Cream Liqueur

  • Crème de Menthe

  • Whipped Cream (from an aerosol can)

  • chocolate sprinkles or shavings (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat a footed glass mug by filling it with boiling water while you gather the ingredients listed above.

  2. Discard the and immediately fill the warmed mug approximately ¾ full with hot coffee.

  3. Mix in your favorite Irish whiskey and Irish Cream.

  4. Top with whipped cream and a drizzle of Crème de Menthe and garnish with chocolate shavings if desired.

Traditional Scottish Coffee

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 oz. freshly brewed hot coffee

  • 1.5 oz. Scotch Whiskey

  • 1.5 oz. Drambuie liqueur

  • orange liqueur (like Triple Sec)

  • heavy cream

  • orange slice

Method:

  1. Preheat a footed glass mug by filling it with boiling water while you gather the ingredients listed above.

  2. Discard the water and immediately fill the warmed mug approximately ¾ full with hot coffee.

  3. Mix in your favorite Scotch whiskey and the Drambuie.

  4. Blend the orange liqueur with heavy cream and shake until slightly thickened.

  5. Slowly pour whipped heavy cream over the back of a spoon and float on top of the coffee.

  6. Garnish with orange slice.

Jamaican Coffee

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz freshly brewed hot Jamaican coffee

  • 1 oz dark Jamaican rum

  • 1 oz ounce Kahlua

  • whipped cream

  • ground allspice

Method:

  1. Pour rum and Kahlua into a coffee mug.

  2. Top with hot coffee.

  3. Place a dollop of whipped cream on top and sprinkle with ground allspice.

Russian Coffee

Ingredients:

  • double shot of freshly brewed hot espresso

  • 1 oz unflavored vodka

  • sugar or sweetener (to taste)

  • heavy cream

Method:

  1. Preheat a footed glass mug by filling it with boiling water while you gather the ingredients listed above.

  2. Discard the water and immediately fill the warmed mug with espresso.

  3. Add sugar or sweetener, stirring until completely dissolved.

  4. Mix in your favorite vodka.

  5. Slowly pour whipped heavy cream over the back of a spoon so it creates a layer atop the coffee.



References

* https://weaverscoffee.com/blogs/blog/the-original-irish-coffee-recipe-and-its-history

** https://www.irishcentral.com/


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