March 10, 2022

Joe Sheridan’s Original Irish Coffee

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Nothing says St. Patrick’s Day quite like a tasty Irish Coffee, and the story behind how the original Irish Coffee recipe came to be is one every Irish Whiskey lover should know.
Irish Coffee cocktail displayed in a clear glass coffee mug, topped with whipped cream, and sitting on a metal coaster with a stack of cocktail books in the background

Just over a week to go until St. Patrick’s Day, and I’m getting so excited! No, not because I’m Irish, but because it’s a holiday that revolves around food and drink. And any day that involves eating and drinking is a day the Albanese clan is going to show up for.

In order to plan a proper St. Paddy’s celebration, an Irish Coffee absolutely must be on the menu! It’s as synonymous with the holiday as Green Beer, but more than anything, it’s just plain delicious. However, what you might not know is that this very popular drink came about spontaneously on a cold day at an airport!

It was the winter of 1943 at Foynes Port (one of the biggest civilian airports in Europe at the time near Limerick, Ireland) when airport Chef Joe Sheridan decided to whip up something warm and special for weary passengers whose flight got turned around due to a storm. As the story goes, his coffee concoction was so delicious that it silenced the entire crowd until someone piped up and asked, “Is this Brazilian coffee?” To which Joe responded, “No, it’s IRISH coffee."

Although there are countless variations of Irish Coffee to be enjoyed, Joe’s original recipe requires only 4 ingredients: Cream that’s as rich as an Irish Brogue; Coffee that’s as strong as a friendly hand; Sugar that’s as sweet as the tongue of a rogue; and Whiskey that’s as smooth as the wit of the land!

So to keep things authentic, I used Bushmills Original Whiskey (the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world), Espresso grind coffee, and homemade whipped cream. I also followed Joe’s original recipe and used brown sugar, but you can certainly use demerara syrup if you prefer. The result? A genuine and delightful taste of Ireland right in your mug!

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Irish Coffee cocktail displayed in a clear glass coffee mug, topped with whipped cream, and sitting on a metal coaster with a stack of cocktail books in the background

Joe Sheridan’s Original Irish Coffee

Nothing says St. Patrick’s Day quite like a tasty Irish Coffee, and the story behind how the original Irish Coffee recipe came to be is one every Irish Whiskey lover should know.

Yields:

1 Drink

Ingredients:

4 oz Strong Coffee

1 ½ oz Irish Whiskey

2 teaspoons Brown Sugar

1 oz Lightly Whipped Double Cream

Instructions:

First, warm your mug with hot water and then dump out the water. Pour the coffee and sugar into the warmed mug and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the Whiskey and stir again. Float the cream on top, but do not stir again – Irish Coffee is best enjoyed by sipping the coffee through the cream!

Irish Coffee cocktail displayed in a clear glass coffee mug, topped with whipped cream, and sitting on a metal coaster with a stack of cocktail books in the background

Joe Sheridan’s Original Irish Coffee

Nothing says St. Patrick’s Day quite like a tasty Irish Coffee, and the story behind how the original Irish Coffee recipe came to be is one every Irish Whiskey lover should know.

Yields:

1 Drink

Ingredients:

4 oz Strong Coffee

1 ½ oz Irish Whiskey

2 teaspoons Brown Sugar

1 oz Lightly Whipped Double Cream

Instructions:

First, warm your mug with hot water and then dump out the water. Pour the coffee and sugar into the warmed mug and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the Whiskey and stir again. Float the cream on top, but do not stir again – Irish Coffee is best enjoyed by sipping the coffee through the cream!

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