Saturday, December 12, 2009

"Tis An Irish Story

From the start of cold winds to the end of March, it's Irish coffee season at our house.  Friends and neighbors will stop by the house on any given night to enjoy this  heart warming,  famous Irish brew. 

Irish Coffee was invented in Ireland's Shannon Airport in  the 1940s.   Joe Sheridan, bartender at one of the teminal restaurants, created the drink to warm passengers who had just weathered a cold trip across the  Atlantic in the days of propellered planes.  One of the customers asked, "Is this Brazilian coffee?" , and Joe said, "No, it's Irish Coffee" and the invention quickly spread across the Atlantic and around the world.  When you fly into Shannon International Airport there's a plaque honoring the event. I still have my coaster from Sheridan's bar in the terminal.

Born and raised on the East Coast where the Irish are plentiful to be sure, it's amazing to me that I had the best Irish Coffee ever in the US  when I happened to walk into the Buena Vista Cafe in the San Francisco area decades ago.  Without a second thought we adopted their way of making it, but without the Shamrock on top.  I have yet to master the technique of creating that Shamrock. Apparently, Stanton Delaplane, a Chronicle travel writer, discovered it while at that airport and convinced Jack Koeppler, owner of the Buena Vista, to bring it to the United States.  Wow! lucky for us. If you ever visit the place make sure to have one.  The place is crowded though no matter when you go and the Irish Coffees are made in the back area so sit back there and watch.  It's fun.

And the recipe we use for this heart-warming Irish brew:
First things to do:
1.  Beat the whipping cream until it's thick but not stiff. You have to pour it onto the coffee, preferable over the back of a spoon.
2.  Pour boiled water into the cups to keep cups hot while you make the coffee .

Filling the cup:
2 cubes of sugar
Irish whiskey(Jameson) -one shot - I usually just pour, but I think it is probably one shot
strong coffee

mix a little to dissolve sugar

pour in the whipped topping

Important:  Do Not stir.

Slainte - "Cheers"