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Irish Coffee Recipe & History

The perfect recipe to serve as an indulgent digestif, raise a toast on Irish Coffee Day (25th January) and St Patrick’s Day (17th March) or to simply cosy up to on a cold winter’s night!

Follow the recipe Get the history

What you need 

Method 

  1. Fill your Irish Coffee or Toddy Glass with hot water and let it sit for 2 minutes. This will help to keep the cocktail hot for as long as possible, as well as prevent glass from shattering (it’s still best to do this even with shatter-proof glass).

  2. Lightly whip the cream just so it’s very slightly thickened, then set aside. The best way to tell if your cream is ready is to plunge a whisk into the middle of it, pull the whisk out, and flip it over. The little peak at the end of the whisk should flop and curl over on itself. If it doesn’t form a peak, it’s not ready. 

  3. Make fresh coffee - we recommend a dark roast, with a bold flavour that will stand up to the whiskey.

  4. Pour the hot coffee into your Irish Coffee glass.

  5. Add the Irish whiskey and brown sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
     
  6. Layer the cream over the top of the mix by pouring it over the back of a spoon slowly, so that it floats on top, versus breaking the surface of the coffee (this takes some practice, but is helped by whipping the cream).

  7. Serve hot and enjoy!

Irish Coffee History

The Irish Coffee was invented around 1945 by chef Joe Sheridan in Foynes, Ireland. At this moment in time, Foynes had a flying boat station and a new airport across the river Shannon which regularly welcomed various dignitaries.

To make their arrival at Foynes more memorable, Joe Sheridan was asked to create a treat to greet them with. He made the world’s first Irish Coffee cocktail in response and by 1947 it was better known as the “Gaelic Coffee” being offered to all travellers arriving at Shannon Airport.

Post-war European travel saw many travel writers passing through Shannon Airport who became firm fans of the cocktail. Both Temple Fielding and Stanton Delaplane, two American travel journalists, deserve credit for bringing the drink to America. Delaplane in particular is rumoured to have introduced the drink to the San Franciscan Buena Vista Cafe in 1953 where it became so famous the cafe was allegedly going through thirty-six bottles of Irish whiskey a day.

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