On a wall in Shannon Airport, in Ireland, there’s a plaque detailing a time in history that was significant for that country and the world: the moment when Irish Coffee was created!
The plaque honours Joe Sheridan who at the time was head chef at Foynes Airport, where, in the 1930s, flying boats travelling to America took off and landed. Foynes had a first class restaurant serving the best of Irish food and drink to passengers that included John F Kennedy, Humphrey Bogart and Ernest Hemingway.
One particularly stormy night, the restaurant staff were warned that a flying boat that had left for America was returning because of the poor conditions. They were asked to prepare food and drink for passengers who would, no doubt, be unhappy.
Joe Sheridan had the idea of adding a drop of Irish whiskey to the hot coffee, to provide a doubly warming drink for the disgruntled travellers. Allegedly, one American asked him if it was Brazilian coffee to which Joe replied, ‘No, it’s Irish coffee.’ And so a legend was born.
- 1 measure of Irish whiskey
- 3 sugar cubes
- Hot strong coffee
You can buy special ‘Irish Coffee’ glasses but if you don’t have those, make sure the glass you use is heatproof.
Put the whiskey in the pre-heated glass and add the sugar cubes. Fill the glass to within 1″ of the top with steaming hot filter coffee. Stir gently. Fill up with the cream, pouring it over the back of a teaspoon so that it rests on the top of the coffee.
Don’t stir after adding the cream. The idea is to drink the Irish coffee through the cream.
You can add just about any liqueur to coffee to give it an extra zing, and it’s a great way to round off a dinner or cocktail party.
Some liqueurs are better suited than others to coffee but after you’ve tried our recommendations, experiment with others.
Try adding a measure of almond liqueur to coffee and cream for a sophisticated taste. For nutty chocoholics, add 1 oz chocolate liqueur and 1 oz hazelnut liqueur to a large glass of hot filter coffee. Serve sprinkled with cocoa powder.
For Spanish Coffee, put ½ oz rum and ½ oz Tia Maria in a heatproof glass. Fill to within 1″ of the top with hot coffee. Top with lightly whipped cream.
Instead of hot buttered toast, try Hot Buttered Coffee. Put 1 teaspoon unsalted butter in the bottom of a heatproof glass. Fill with hot coffee. Mix in 1 teaspoon brown sugar and 1 tablespoon dark rum. Drop a clove into the glass and dust with freshly grated nutmeg.
So that tea-drinkers aren’t left out of the end-of-evening hot drinks, we’ve some alcoholic tea recipes here just for them but sure to appeal to coffee-drinkers too.
For Orange Tea, put 1 teaspoon sugar in a heatproof glass. Fill with hot tea and add a dash of Cointreau. Serve with a slice of orange.
If you prefer Earl Grey tea, then this is the one for you. Make a cup of tea as you normally do. Stir in 1 teaspoon sugar and a shot of Bailey’s.
We started with Irish Coffee, so let’s finish with Irish Tea.
- 1 measure Irish whiskey
- Hot tea
- A slice of lemon
- A cinnamon stick
Place the slice of lemon in the bottom of a heatproof glass. Gently warm the whiskey and pour over the lemon slice. Top with hot freshly-made tea. Stir with a cinnamon stick.