3/22/08

Irish Coffee Anyone..?

With St. Patrick’s Day having recently come and gone, I was reminiscing about a particularly good Irish Coffee that I once had in San Francisco at the Buena Vista Café. (More on the Buena Vista in a moment…)

Coffee drinks are always good, but with the right mix of ingredients, they can be amazing. By ingredients here, I am not just talking about the stuff in the drink. You can also factor in little things like the weather – is it chilly outside – or the timing, such as finishing a great dinner with an Irish Coffee as a closer. Nice….

Now that you are getting a mental picture on this fine beverage, let’s talk a bit of history.

The credit for creation of the Irish Coffee goes to a gentleman by the name of Joe Sheridan, a bartender at Shannon International Airport in Ireland. Sometime in the late 40’s he apparently came up with this concoction to warm some weary travelers.

Legend has it that the Irish Coffee recipe migrated to America courtesy of travel writer Stanton Delaplane. In 1952 he is said to have shared the recipe with Jack Koeppler, a bartender at the above mentioned Buena Vista Café in San Francisco, where it can be enjoyed to this day!

And now for the really good part – the recipe for an Irish Coffee. It turns out that the International Bartenders Association has official guidelines for this drink, although of course there several variations. Here is the IBA’s recipe:

· 2 parts Irish Whiskey
· 4 parts hot coffee
· 1 ½ parts fresh cream
· 1 tsp brown sugar

Of course the Connoisseur recommends a good quality coffee and a good quality whiskey to ensure the proper Irish Coffee experience. And don’t forget to make sure it is a bit chilly outside!

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