Irish Coffee has become a “traditional Irish drink” by now. But it is of fairly recent origin.
The birthplace and time of Irish Coffee was Foynes, the Shannon House Hotel, in the winter of 1942. Passengers arriving on a flying boat were frozen to the bone and needed something to revive them. Chef Jim Sheridan brewed up strong coffee, broke out the whiskey and a generous dollop of fresh cream. Calories, caffeine and alcohol combined – a new Irish legend was born. The name was apparently an accident. An astonished passenger asking, “Is this Irish coffee?”
Today, original Irish Coffee is still made from (obviously) coffee, whiskey and thick cream poured over the back of a spoon to form a top layer. It is neither stirred nor shaken. To get the mixture just right is the secret of a good Irish Coffee – too much coffee and you’ll feel shortchanged. Too much whiskey and the taste will be too strong. Substitute thick cream by cheap milk and the taste is not right. Getting a good Irish Coffee is a bit of a gamble.
More trendy bars will serve all sorts of varieties, including “hot chocolate and whiskey” or even “coffee with Irish Cream Liquor”. It all is a matter of taste.
Hey! Doesn’t that look just like a nice Guinness?