Legend has it that Irish coffee was invented in the 1940s at Shannon Airport to warm up some American passengers who'd experienced a rather rough flight across the water.
The drink is essentially a hot coffee laced with whiskey and sugar, and topped with a layer of cream.
I've consumed my fair share of Irish coffees over the years, but none tasted as fine as the one I had last week -- appropriately on St Patrick's Day -- at the Dublin Writers Museum.
A chef from the Michelin star Chapter One Restaurant gave us a quick lesson on how to make the genuine article: apparently it's all in the technique -- and the quality of the ingredients.
Here's the recipe, courtesy of Chapter One and the Tourist Office for Dublin:
- One measure of Jameson Irish Whiskey
- 12 fluid oz of coffee (Americano)
- 1½ teaspoons of brown sugar
- Small jug of pouring cream
- Nutmeg (whole)
- Preheat a flambé pan. Shave nutmeg and sugar into pan
- Heat on full until sugar has caramelised
- Pour small amount of coffee in pan to cool slightly
- Slowly pour in measure of Jameson Whisky for flambé effect
- Add remaining coffee
- Then pour whiskey and coffee mix in Irish Coffee glass
- Slowly pour cream over a teaspoon on top of coffee mix (ensuring not to sink the cream)
- To finish, shave some nutmeg on top
Sláinte Mhaith! (Good health)
I travelled to Dublin and attended this event as a guest of Tourism Ireland.