Irish coffee is a drink with a unique history. It is believed to have first appeared at Foynes Airport in 1942. Irish people are used to drinking tea with whiskey, but one day a bartender switched tea for coffee to keep people warm and served the drink in beer glasses. A few years later, the recipe migrated to the USA. To soften the taste, the cream was added to it. As a result, Irish coffee is now a classic drink known to many people.
I first drank Irish coffee in a pub. I was hooked by an exceptional taste that differed from anything that I had tried before. Of course, due to the alcohol content, it has a relaxing and warming effect, unlike other coffee-based cocktails. Irish coffee stands out with quite contrasting combinations, such as light cold cream and dark hot coffee.
The composition of the drink and its brewing method have undergone multiple changes, with each version claiming to be the original. However, the International Bartenders Association adopted a classic recipe as a standard, according to which the main ingredients for the cocktail are as follows:
- Irish whiskey – 40 ml
- black coffee – 80 ml
- white sugar – 1 tsp
- whipped cream – 30 ml
These ingredients are taken for one serving. Despite its unusual composition, Irish coffee can be brewed at home. You need a beer glass, which is preheated with warm water. First, pour concentrated black coffee into it (pour-over coffee is the best option). Then add a teaspoon of sugar and stir until it is completely dissolved. Pour in a serving of your favorite whiskey and then add whipped cream as a top layer, without mixing it with the coffee. This simplified version of the recipe is for making an amateur-like beverage. Of course, there are some nuances that affect the characteristics of the drink. If you know them, you can always treat yourself to this amazing cocktail with an authentic Irish taste and also surprise people around you with it.
The first point is that though coffee is not the main actor in this performance, note that its quality greatly affects the overall taste. Experienced bartenders and baristas recommend using dark-roasted coffee of the proper grind for a stronger flavor. The brewing method may vary slightly, but the drink should be made in accordance with all the rules. After all, coffee is the basis for this cocktail.
Secondly, you can use any kind of whiskey, but connoisseurs recommend Jameson. The main rule is to use Irish alcohol of high quality.
Thirdly, the cream should be natural and whipped by hand or in a shaker (you can add ice to obtain the required temperature). Add cream into the glass gradually and very gently along the back of the spoon. This simple trick will help you avoid mixing layers. The ready-made whipped cream sold in stores won’t give the desired flavor to the drink but will make its taste cheap.
You need to get a little experience and be tricky while making this beverage, but in general, you’ll achieve a good result if you want.
What if you don’t drink whiskey or Irish coffee is too strong for you?
Recently, a milder recipe has been invented, with whiskey in its composition replaced by Baileys cream liqueur or even buttercream. The quantitative ratio of the ingredients is also somewhat different. The most delicious Irish cream coffee is obtained with such an amount of ingredients:
- 100 ml of black coffee
- 50 ml of liquor or syrup
- 1 tsp of brown sugar
- 40 ml of whipped cream
It is made in the same way as classic Irish coffee. The cream layer can be garnished with chocolate, coconut, cinnamon, or vanilla. This drink has a delicate creamy taste and a less contrasting color combination. Drink it through a straw passed through a cream layer.