Anyone who thinks Irish coffee is simply a coffee with an added shot of liqueur has got it wrong. Instead, Irish coffee is a drink that embodies the stormy spirit of the country in which it originates: it is as pure and smooth as Ireland’s green landscapes, as tricky to get right as the traditional British climate and as hot as the temper of an Irish rebel.
Making an Irish coffee isn’t as easy as you think: let’s discover the correct ingredients and doses, following the original recipe step by step to obtain the perfect result.
The history of Irish coffee
But first, let’s lose ourselves in the long, captivating history of Irish Coffee, which dates back to the early 1940s.
There are actually two different versions of how this drink originated. The first attributes the invention of the beverage to a bartender in Shannon airport, called Joe Sheridan, who supposedly dreamed up the recipe, creating an original combination of flavours in a bid to comfort tired, cold travellers to the Emerald Isle.
According to the other version, Joe Sheridan was not a bartender but a cook and the airport he worked at was that of Foynes (again in Ireland), but his motivation for inventing Irish coffee was the same: restoring the spirits of fatigued travellers, worn out by Ireland’s stern winter climate.
It was not until the early 50s that Irish coffee became world famous: this occurred thanks to Stanton Delaplane, a journalist for the “San Francisco Chronicle”, who tasted it in Shannon airport and convinced his friends at the Buena Vista Café in San Francisco to recreate that unique taste.
Irish coffee: the original Irish recipe
- 5 cl whisky.
- 10 cl piping hot coffee, preferably prepared with a moka pot. We recommend using the Classic Blend, as it is strong and intense enough to ensure the drink’s typical bold personality.
- 3 cl fresh cream.
- 1 teaspoon cane sugar.
How to make an Irish coffee
- Set the moka pot on the hob and heat the glass you’ll use for your Irish coffee; a classic tulip-shaped glass is best.
- Whip the cream for a few minutes until it is the correct consistency (it should still be slightly liquid).
- Pour the coffee into the glass, add the whisky and cane sugar then mix well.
- It’s now time to add the cream. In a proper Irish coffee, the cream is not mixed with the rest of the ingredients but left to float on the top. The secret is to add the cream by allowing it to fall off the back of a spoon. Place the spoon over the drink and let the cream slip off it slowly.
Irish coffee is better when savoured hot, in small sips. If you enjoy having a go at making unusual kinds of coffee, discover how to use the French press to make a French coffee: simply délicieux!