Drink O'The Irish
The quick sip on the origins of the Irish coffee.
If you’ve ever wondered who to thank for inventing the Irish coffee, his name is Joe Sheridan – the young chef in charge of the restaurant inside the Foynes airport near Limerick in the ’40s. The story goes like this: On one cold winter night, a storm sent a flight of international travelers back to the airport for an overnight stay, and Sheridan decided to whip up something special to warm up these bedraggled travelers. He added Irish whiskey and a little brown sugar to freshly brewed coffee, then topped it all with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.
When a travel writer, Stanton Delaplane, tasted Sheridan’s Irish coffee, he brought the idea back to Jack Koeppler, a bartender at the Buena Vista Hotel in San Francisco. Koeppler couldn’t replicate the drink successfully until he traveled back to Ireland to try it himself, at the Shannon International Airport, where Sheridan had transitioned to. Shannon had brought the drink recipe with him, and in 1952, he emigrated to the United States to take a job at the Buena Vista Café.
Today, the Irish coffee is an international bar staple, though there have been several variations since Sheridan created it. The core ingredients have not changed, though: the drink requires hot coffee, good Irish whiskey, a little sugar and fresh whipped cream. “The higher quality the ingredients, the better the drink will taste,” says Shaun Brady, chef and co-owner at Brady's Public House. He uses Sons of Erin 15-year Single Malt Irish Whiskey from the local Restless Spirits Distilling Co. in his Irish coffee, plus cream whipped with vanilla bean seeds.
Brady's Public House Irish Coffee Recipe
❖4 ounces fresh, hot coffee (Brady’s uses Roasterie Coffee)
❖1½ ounce Sons of Erin Irish whiskey (or your favorite Irish whiskey)
❖1 teaspoon brown sugar
❖1 ounce whipped cream with vanilla bean seeds
❖Pour sugar into an 8-ounce clear coffee mug.
❖Add coffee and stir until sugar is dissolved, then stir in whiskey.
❖Float whipped cream on top, then garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.