Irish coffee started out as simply a combination of Irish whiskey and hot, black coffee that was popular in Ireland as a way to warm up on a cold, snowy night. It’s a simple combination and it makes sense, since both elements of the drink can warm you up easily, but the drink has a surprisingly controversial origin, since many places claim to have been the originators of the drink as we know it today.
Today, an Irish Coffee is a lightly sweetened mixture of hot black coffee and Irish whiskey that is topped with a thick layer of whipped cream. Some stories attribute the drink to a Chef Joe Sheridan, of Foynes in the west of Ireland, who served it to weary travelers to keep their spirits up. Other stories attribute the creation of the drink to the Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco, which started serving it in the early 1950s. Still others say that Tom Bergin’s Tavern in Los Angeles is the real home of Irish coffee. The combination of coffee and alcohol was around long before the 1950s, so it doesn’t really matter exactly what venue birthed this particular cocktail. What is important is that the drink tastes delicious and well balanced, and that it really will warm you up on a cold night, no matter where in the world you happen to be.
Glassware: Irish Coffee Glass
1 1/2 oz. Irish whiskey
1 tsp Brown Sugar
Pour Irish whiskey into a warm Irish coffee glass. Fill with hot coffee and stir in the brown sugar until dissolved. Top off with a collar of whipped heavy cream.