Our blog entries thus far have had the trend of mixing two loved items together, and what better way to celebrate the month of March than to feature two Irish favorites; Coffee and Whiskey. When combined together, these two popular liquids become known as Irish Coffee. There are many ways this drink is served nowadays, but only one way to serve it the original way, which was invented by Joseph Sheridan in 1942. An interesting fact about Irish Coffee is that even though it was invented in Ireland and is called Irish Coffee, it didn’t become popular until it was brought to the United States by a travel writer, Stanton Delapane. It was perfected and popularized at The Buena Vista Café in San Francisco before the trend was brought back to Ireland.
Many places now serve Irish Coffee that is a little different than the original recipe because the original takes many crucial steps that can be time-consuming to perfect. The secret to the original Irish Coffee is all in the cream. The drink is meant to be consumed through the thick layer of cream that sits on top, not mixed together. The consistency of the cream needs to be just right, not so thick that it won’t melt when the coffee goes through, but not too watery that it will dissolve into the drink right away. To get the absolute best results, some recipes advise the cream be opened and sit in the fridge for a couple of days before whipping it. It is best to hand whip the cream using a whisk or a fork so over-whipping can be easier to avoid.
The coffee can be brewed to the individual’s coffee drinking preference but the original recipe calls for strong and rich coffee. The stronger the coffee is, the more the taste will stand out when blended with the cream. Sugar is optional and depends on the individual’s sugar preference as well. If sugar is used, brown sugar is the best choice because it helps with highlighting the taste of the whiskey. The whiskey, of course, is an important element for the drink and the ratio is 1 ounce of whiskey to 3 or 4 ounces of coffee, depending on how strong you want the drink to be. Since the coffee overpowers the flavors of the whiskey, it doesn't matter what brand of whiskey you use, just as long as it’s Irish Whiskey.
Irish Coffee is traditionally served in a glass mug, so it is important to remember to set the glass in hot water for a couple of minutes beforehand to prevent cracking. Using a heated glass also helps to preserve the temperature of the coffee. The first step would be to add the sugar if desired. The coffee is then poured in and stirred until the sugar is dissolved. The whiskey is added in next and mixed into the cocktail. Then comes the last and most important step, which is topping it off with the cream. Hold a cold spoon over the drink and pour the cream so that it can spill over the spoon and into the drink. Doing this will allow the texture of the cream to be more even and smooth.
Other variations of the drink include adding other flavors and ingredients, such as chocolate syrup for an Irish Mocha. Other recipes include adding vanilla or caramel flavoring to the cream before whipping it to give the cream a sweet touch. Mint chocolate bits can also be sprinkled on top for a mint chocolate coffee taste. An iced version of the drink can also be made, and some places even serve Irish coffee smoothies.
Here at Garvey, we offer a wide selection of Irish Whiskeys including Jameson, Bushmills, Tullamore Dew, Killbeggan, and more! Whip up your own variation of this delicious drink and let us know how it goes!
3 or 4 ounces of black coffee
2 ounce Irish whiskey
2 teaspoons of brown sugar (if desired)
1 ounce of freshly whipped cream