I’ve rather lucked out in the seasonal draw this month, as St. Patrick’s Day, provides me with an excuse to delve into one of my guilty (ish) pleasures; the Irish coffee. It’s a delight, both as a cocktail and as a style of java; just sugar, whisky, cream and, of course, coffee. Very simple, very indulgent and very delicious.
The Irish coffee hasn’t been around long – it didn’t even make an appearance in Irish history until 1943 when, as the widely-accepted story goes, a flight from Shannon Airport was cancelled and a certain Joe Sheridan, a local head chef, decided to comfort the freezing passengers by adding whisky to the coffee he was serving them. Upon being asked if they were drinking “Brazilian” coffee, Sheridan announced that it was, in fact, Irish.
It wasn’t long before Stanton Delaplane, an American travel writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, drank one of these sweet, boozy delights at Shannon Airport. After intense testing with bar owners back home to float the cream in the same way he had experienced in Ireland, the drink was added to the menu of the Buena Vista Café in San Francisco. It sold in tens of millions – helped largely by Delaplane’s continual mentions of the drink in his widely-read travel column.
The recipe itself is not complex; however, the ingredients must be at-the-ready and each step must be closely followed. The cream must not be over-whipped (still very much pourable), the coffee must be piping hot and strong (obviously) to combat the strong flavours of sugar, alcohol and cream, and the whole thing, once assembled must not – I repeat, must not – be stirred; the hot liquid is to be drunk through the cold cream, which floats beautifully atop it and will leave you with a killer moustache after each sip.
In fact, the only mildly intimidating thing about this recipe is the pouring of the cream over the back of a teaspoon, a technique ensuring that the heavy cream spreads and remains sitting over the surface of the coffee, as opposed to sinking straight down. The first time one attempts it it’s difficult it working, but it does, and it’ll continue to satisfy and delight every time.
A hopefully fairly obvious disclaimer: as it’s about as far from being ‘healthy’ as it’s possible to get, the Irish coffee is not something to have every day. However, it’s a great thing to have as a treat every now and then, and certainly a fitting thing with which to bow out an especially grand St. Patrick’s Day meal – enjoy!
Heat a tall, sturdy glass (traditionally with a stem) with boiling water.
Pour away the water. Add the sugar and coffee and stir until completely dissolved.
Add the whisky to the coffee and stir.
From a jug with a good spout and over the back of a teaspoon, pour your slightly whipped cream over the surface of the coffee until you hit the rim of the glass.
Put the milk, cream and sugar in a small pan and heat over low heat. Just before the cream reaches its boiling point, place the sheet gelatin in a container with cold water and leave it to soak for approximately two minutes.
As soon as the cream starts to boil, wring out the gelatin and add it to the pan. Mix slowly and then turn off the heat. Holding away from heat, add the whiskey, mixing it in thoroughly, and pour around 100g (3.5oz) of the mixture into each glass. Chill in the fridge for about 24 hours. After making the coffee, pour a cupful over the cream. The Upside-Down Irish Coffee is now ready to serve.
Why not add a cocktail straw to make the Irish Coffee even more enticing? A Coffee That Warms You From Your Head To Your Toes.
Velvety soft cream blends with the distinctive flavor of Irish whiskey and rich Italian coffee. An ideal recipe for chilly days, designed to warm those who drink it.
There are some things in life that people simply have to experience first hand. Riding a roller coaster. Catching a wild brook trout. Running a mile for time. Dating someone out of your league…this is what life is all about. If you’re a baseball fan, you have to see a game at Wrigley Field. If you eat food, you have to try the spicy fried chicken at Gus’s Fried Chicken in Memphis. You just have to. You haven’t lived until you’ve experienced that chicken. Likewise, if you’re a beer drinker, there are certain beers you have to drink. At least once. We’ve thought long and hard about what those quintessential beers are—the ones that everyone should try—and we’ve come up with a hearty list of 100 that define the American craft beer scene. Some of these beers would be considered the best beers in the country, if not the world. Others can hold their own, but earned a spot on this list because of the role they played in the craft beer movement. Is this a definitive list of beers everyone should try? Dear Lord, no. If you truly love beer, you should try them all. Even the bad ones. At least once. But this list will get you started. Here’s the first round from the master list—we’ll be counting down all week. We hope you’re thirsty.
History of the word Beer. Of the two terms, beer and ale, the latter is the older in English. It is believed to come directly from the proto-Indo European root. The same word is the stem for Finnish olut, Estonian õlu, Danish and Norwegian øl and Latvian/Lithuanian alus. Beer, on the other hand, is considered to come from the Latin verb bibere (to drink). Old English sources distinguish between "ale" and "beer," but do not define what was meant by "beer" during that period, although there is some speculation that it refers to what would now be called cider, the alcoholic form. The Old English form of "beer" disappeared shortly after the Norman Conquest, and the word re-entered English centuries later, in exclusive reference to hopped malt beverages. The beverage is termed "cerveza", or a derivative, in the various dialects of Spanish and Portuguese, from Latin cerevisia. Most other Western European (and even some Eastern European) languages use a form similar to the English "beer." The Common Slavic *pivo, literally "beverage", is the word for beer in most Slavic languages, with minor phonetic variations.