The Weekend Cocktail: The Irish Coffee

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gwen-headshot-110x110BY GWEN KENNEALLY

I always remember going to football games as a kid and all of the adults were sipping out of a “secret thermos. ” So, now as the air is getting nippy, I love to serve coffee cocktails. Sometimes I set up a coffee bar with Baileys, Kaluha, Frangelico and other liqueurs with whipped cream, shaved chocolate and coco powder. You can add what you want and even leave out the alcohol.

Here is the recipe for the granddaddy of all coffee drinks — The Irish Coffee. Chef Joe Sheridan, of Foyne’s Restaurant in County Clare, is credited with inventing Irish coffee in the 1940s. Originally made with Irish Mist liqueur it is now more commonly made with Irish whiskey. This version created by coffee maker Jim Slaughter is said to be the best in the world. Enjoy it on a chilly night!

BushmillsIrishCoffee_LThe Irish Coffee

One Irish coffee glass (preferably with shamrocks and a gold rim), failing that, any smallish glass about 6 ounces

One long shot of good espresso

Two fingers of decent Irish Whiskey (Jameson or Bushmills)

Two tablespoons brown sugar

FRESH heavy cream, laced with a dollop of white sugar, beaten until it’s the consistency of custard, but not whipped to fluffiness

1. Have everything prepared and ready before you start assembling as time is of the essence. Get your cream prepared and keep it nice and cold.

2. Pour the whiskey and brown sugar into the Irish Whiskey glass together.

3. Then use the espresso steamer to heat the whiskey until it is good and hot and the brown sugar is dissolved, about eight to ten seconds.

4. CAREFULLY put a match or lighter to the glass and flame the whiskey for a few seconds. This adds a “je ne sais quoi” to the flavor, and cuts down the alcohol, bringing the caffeine and alcohol into perfect balance.

5. Pull your shot, and dump it into the whiskey/brown sugar mixture. Between the espresso and the whiskey, your glass should be about 3/4 full (that’s why you don’t want to use a real big glass).

6. Carefully lay down a carpet of cream over the warm coffee/whiskey mixture right to the top of the glass. Then, before the cream gets warmed up, enjoy the cool, rich cream juxtaposed against the hot, strong coffee/whiskey.

Gwen Kenneally is the owner of Back to the Kitchen, Full Service Catering and Party Planning. Check out her website and blog and

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

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