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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Irish Coffee

I have not always been a fan of Irish Coffee. The problem was the method most bars employ to make Irish Coffee. Let's face it, there aren't too many bars (at least where I have lived) that always have fresh coffee on hand. The key to a really good Irish Coffee, believe it or not is really good coffee. So many places screw that part up. The second part is the sugar, in order to get that caramelized taste that is associated with Irish Coffee, they take traditional white sugar and heat it on a spoon with a lighter. This whole method reminds me of some sort of seedy back alley drug deal (not that I have any experience with such things) and it usually does not produce anything but bitter, burnt sugar. That combined with the bitter coffee that has been sitting in the pot for 8 hours doesn't produce the best result. The best way I can describe those Irish Coffee experiences was something similar to drinking hot lighter fluid (I don't have any experience with this either).
A few years ago a friend encouraged me to try the Irish Coffee she was drinking at what just happened to be a restaurant called the Irish Times with an owner who just happened to be Irish. I was instantly hooked and had to know what made this one so much better than all those nasty concoctions I had tasted in the past. It took a lot of research and careful attention to detail and at least 20 or so more Irish Coffee's to get it right, but I finally figured out the secret. Ok, it's really easy and now it has become a St. Patrick's Day tradition to make my own Irish Coffee each year. What is your St. Patrick's Day beverage of choice?

Irish Coffee
inspired by The Irish Times
(measurements are approximate, adjust to your taste)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1-2 ounces Fine Irish Whiskey (I like Bushmills for coffee drinks)
4 ounces fresh strong hot coffee
2 ounces of heavy whipping cream

Place brown sugar in the bottom of a 10-12 ounce glass coffee mug. Add whiskey and stir to melt brown sugar. Add hot coffee and stir until brown sugar is completely dissolved. Pour heavy cream gently over the back of a spoon so cream stays at the top of the mug. You can make it a little easier on yourself by whipping the cream ever so slightly before pour, though it isn't necessary if you are careful. Do not mix cream into coffee before drinking, but instead sip the coffee through the cream layer.


  1. I love Irish Coffe and this look nice! gloria

  2. Oh, for goodness sake, Nicole, way to make me want to drink first thing in the morning! :-)

  3. I'm pretty easy to please when it comes to drinks, just as I am with foods -I'm usually reasonably happy with whatever's being served! Yesterday, I drank two Guinness Brewery's Smithfield Ales for our St. Paddy's meal, and a few weeks ago I had several Guinness Stouts on tap (Yum-Yum). This Irish Coffee here sounds pretty inticing. I'll have to make one the next time we have both Bushmill's and cream in the house -we always have coffee!

  4. This sounds good, Irish coffee would be perfect on the cold, rainy day we're having here!

  5. In Ireland we also finely grate chocolate over the top.


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