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Irish Coffee

Who invented that delicious, warming, soothing drink called Irish Coffee, and where? For many years, various San Francisco establishments claimed that honor. But the truth is that the true home of Irish Coffee is Shannon Airport in Ireland.

From 1939 to 1945, American travelers had to endure an 18-hour flight by seaplane, followed by a boat ride from the plane to their terminal at the airport. In winter months, this boat ride would chill them to the bone. Mr. Brendan O'Regan was the manager of the Foynes Catering Service at that time, and he couldn't help but notice the sorry state of the disembarking passengers. He felt that the hot coffee and tea that was being served to them just wasn't enough.

He passed his concerns on to Joseph Sheridan, the head Chef of Foynes, who began tinkering with a drink to meet this need. Eventually, he perfected his recipe for Irish Coffee, and secured his place in history.

If you travel through Shannon Airport today, keep your eyes open for a plaque that has been placed there in honor of this momentous invention. And don't forget to stop into The Sheridan Bar in the Departures Lounge for one of Joe Sheridan's creations, still being made from his original recipe.

Now, I'm certain that you just can't wait to try out this legendary recipe in it's original form. Here is Chef Sheridan's legendary Irish Coffee.

Irish Coffee
1. Heat up a stemmed whiskey goblet.
2. Pour in one shot of Irish whiskey.
3. Drop in three white sugar cubes.
4. Fill nearly to the top of the goblet (stop about an inch from the rim) with strong black coffee.
5. Stir gently.
6. Pouring it over the back of a spoon, gently add heavy cream to fill the goblet, floating it on top of the coffee.
7. Do not stir - the full flavor as intended is achieved by sipping this drink through the cream.

Hint: If possible, use fresh cream with no additives for the best effect. Most heavy cream for sale in stores in the United States contains additives, which can actually make it difficult to float the cream on the coffee.