If you’re planning to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, what could be better than to toast your friends with a cup of steaming coffee scented with Irish whiskey and topped with a floating cloud of whipped cream?
Irish coffee has an interesting history that starts in Ireland and finishes on the west coast of the U.S. As the story goes, this special java drink was created in the Shannon airport in the mid-twentieth century where it was a restorative offering served to weary passengers. The recipe was brought to the States by a San Franciscan who shared it with his hometown’s Buena Vista Bar. The hot, strong coffee infused with Irish whiskey became the signature drink of that California bar, and eventually its popularity spread throughout the U.S. and around the globe. The following version is my favorite.
1/4 cup good quality Irish whiskey (Jameson’s works well.)
8 teaspoons sugar
1 1/3 cups or more brewed hot coffee, preferably strong, dark French roast
1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream, whipped softly
Place 1 tablespoon of whiskey and 2 teaspoons of sugar in each of four 8-ounce glasses or cups. Stir with a spoon until sugar dissolves. Pour enough hot coffee into each glass or cup to fill it about 3/4 full.
Hold a tablespoon (with the back of the spoon facing you) over the coffee in one cup, and ladle 2 to 3 tablespoons of the whipped cream over the spoon so that it gently falls into the coffee. Adding the cream this way will help it float on top of coffee instead of sinking immediately to the bottom. Repeat with the 3 other servings. Serve immediately.