Food & Drink

St. Patrick's Week in East Brunswick: Make a Perfect Irish Coffee

Float the cream on top to make a proper "collar." Credits:

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - STOP! If you are reading this and you are ready to purchase canned whipped cream and green creme de menthe, you have been abused.  I am sorry, but the Irish coffees you have been served in your life (perhaps in a margarita-based bar?  perhaps a chain restaurant?) have been imposters.  Don't let this happen to you again!  Keep reading and get the recipe for a good, sturdy Irish coffee in which all the ingredients "stand up" to each other.  (Think the image on the Notre Dame flag.) 

Like many traditions we associate with St. Patrick's Day, the Irish coffee began in Ireland, but exploded in popularity in the United States.  The most famous Irish coffee is served in the Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco, where it was first served in America on November 10, 1952.  I made my husband take me to the Buena Vista (it wasn't tough!) a few years ago.  It was a memorable event.

Here is the video from the Buena Vista.  The ingredients you will need are sugar cubes, strong coffee, heavy cream, and Irish whiskey (They use Tullamore Dew in San Francisco, but we use Jameson's here in East Brunswick!)  The idea is to be able to taste all the ingredients, so proportion is important.  The lovely "collar" of cream should give you a mustache!  Try not to stir the cream into the coffee as you regularly would.  Let it seep down into the coffee, whiskey and sugar.

Toast by saying SLAINTE!  (slan-sha) which means "to your good health."


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