Thursday, 17 March 2011
No I didn't, I learned it from a bartender in San Francisco, at the Buena Vista Café, the most famous place for Irish Coffees in America. At least it is if you believe their press.
The Buena Vista makes theirs according to the official recipe from Joe Sheridan, a bartender at Shannon Airport, who invented the drink: "Cream as rich as an Irish brogue, coffee as strong as a friendly hand, sugar as sweet as the tongue of a rogue, and whiskey as smooth as the wit of the land.''
The Irish claim they invented whiskey -- the ancient Gaels called it "uisce beathe,'' the water of life. The Scots have a few choice words for the Irish over that matter.
Whiskey has always been something to fight over. Even now, it is not a good idea to serve Bushmill's, which is made in Northern Ireland, to an Irish person from the south, nor to serve Jameson's, made in the Republic of Ireland, to somebody from Ulster.
But, I'll leave my audience to decide which Irish Whiskey to choose when making this drink, what's important is that you make it. And have one for me, please.
In a heat resistant glass, place one or two teaspoons of raw cane sugar. This is important because without the sugar, the cream will not float. You can also use liquid cane sugar, sirop de canne, it's faster. I know the Buena Vista uses C&H cane sugar, but I prefer raw cane sugar. No, you can't use artificial sweeteners. Just suck it up and use the real stuff, please.
Pour over the sugar hot strong brewed coffee to about 3/4 full. Not instant, ever. Stir to dissolve the sugar or skip that if you used liquid.
Add a shot or two of your choice of Irish Whiskey. Yes, it needs to be Irish Whiskey, not Scotch Whisky. There's a huge difference.
Then, using an inverted spoon held just above the surface of the coffee, gently and slowly pour unsweetened double cream so that it floats on top of the coffee. If you don't have double cream, you can try single cream, but it will probably 'mix in'. Still tastes good but the presentation isn't as nice. You can also try softly whipping the cream, just a bit, so that it floats easier. Also, cream that's a couple days old works better. No, don't use canned whippy cream, that's disgusting and an affront to the Irish Coffee gods.
You drink the Irish Coffee by sipping it through the thick layer of cream. Luscious.
Now, go find a special someone or other and make one of these for them. Even if they don't have Irish eyes, they'll still be smiling, and at you.
Posted by Kitty at 14:07