Unlike Chicago drying the river green every year for St. Patrick’s Day, Irish Coffee is a tradition that really exists on The Emerald Isle. Of course in Ireland it’s an after dinner drink, not a breakfast cocktail, but the time change makes it pretty much the same thing.
People in Chicago have been drinking Irish Coffee on St. Patrick’s Day for longer than I’ve been alive. How do I know? I was combing through the archives and found that Mayor Richard Daley (J, not M) shared his super secret Irish Coffee recipe in a 1969 Chicago Tribune article. Yes. That’s the sort of thing I do for fun.
Of course being a Chicago politician, he couldn’t simply give a straightforward recipe. Instead, it was full of circumlocution. His director of special events went so far as to say the recipe was handed to him by a leprechaun the last time he was in Ireland.
Those who’ve dabble in a little cocktail history will recognize Mayor Daley’s Irish Coffee recipe as the actual original recipe as created by Joe Sheridan in an airport bar. So while Daley was being cheeky with his bit about a leprechaun, his suggestion was spot on.
Here’s the official Irish Coffee recipe:
- Cream – Rich as an Irish Brogue
- Coffee – Strong as a Friendly Hand
- Sugar – Sweet as the tongue of a Rogue
- Whiskey – Smooth as the Wit of the Land.
Pre-heat a clear stemmed glass with very hot water. Empty the water, and add 2 teaspoons of brown sugar. Now add some freshly brewed rich coffee and stir. As soon as the sugar is melted, add a generous measure of Irish Whiskey (about 2.5cl). Stir again, then wait for the brew to still. Now take a hot teaspoon and pour gently whipped fresh cream slowly over the back of the spoon.
If you’re more of a craft beer person, you can always just drink Breckenridge Brewing’s Irish Nitro Stout. It’s America meets Ireland in a can.