…from the Perspectives’ Happy Hour Bar
How you doin’? In honor of National Irish Coffee Day, which was this past Wednesday, and to give you practice for the upcoming St. Paddy’s Day on March 17th (never too early to start, right?), today we’re mixing up a wonderful glass of Irish Coffee.
It all started when Irishman Joseph Sheridan invented the American-style Irish Coffee in 1942. The original Irish Coffee was developed to soothe and revive the spirit after a long evening of San Francisco drinking.
While it may be hard to believe, pre-pandemic Buena Vista Café poured 100 bottles of Irish whiskey and mixed over 2,000 Irish Coffees a day. Batched along the bar in a neat line of 28 glass goblets, the cafe pours more Irish whiskey than anyone in the world thanks to its renowned recipe. Paul Nolan had been with Buena Vista for more than 40 years and estimates that he’s poured an astounding five million Irish Coffees. That same recipe still graces the bar each day by the thousands.
The glass of choice at Buena Vista is a 6-ounce stemmed glass (called an Irish) that’s shaped to show off a snowy top of whipped cream. The tulip shaped glass prevents an oversized pour of coffee and keeps the ingredients in balance. Equally important is what happens before any coffee even hits the bottom of the glass. The glasses are preheated by filling them with hot water and letting them sit until warm. This keeps the coveted cocktail steaming hot through delivery to the guests.
Cold cream and room temperature whiskey can cause this hot drink’s temperature to plunge. To counteract that steep drop, Buena Vista keeps its coffee on the hotter side, while making sure that it stays fresh and doesn’t sit around stewing on the burner for more than 20 minutes. They use a medium Colombian roast coffee, which is the middle ground of coffee flavors. The coffee is meant to complement the drink but should never stand out—it’s all about the delicate balance of flavors.
The crisp white collar of whipped cream that’s layered above the Irish Coffee is made with heavy whipping cream that’s been lightly whipped in an upright blender. This method ensures proper aeration and a slower thickening of the cream, that gives it a perfect frothy texture. Once you have the right consistency, pour the cream over the back of a warm bar spoon held just above the coffee. Raise the spoon slowly as you pour and watch the perfect Irish Coffee roar to life.
2 white sugar cubes
4-6 ounces freshly-brewed hot coffee
1-1/3 ounces Irish whiskey (Tullamore D.E.W. preferred)
Heavy cream, lightly whipped
ChefSecret: Let the cream sit out for a little while so that it’s a little warmer which helps improve the whipped cream texture. Do not use an aerosol canned whipped cream.
Quip of the Day: Too much of anything is bad, but too much good Irish whiskey is barely enough.
Do you have a question or comment? Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. All recipes and cooking tips are posted on our website https://www.perspectives-la.com/covid-19-survival-guide.
To you and everyone dear to you, be strong, be positive, stay well, stay safe and be kind. Take a breath and count your blessings, and if you have a little extra to share with others, please consider donating to Feeding America and/or American Red Cross.
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©Perspectives/The Consulting Group, LLC, 2023
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