Saint Paddy''s Day is just around the corner and luckily for all the drinkers out there it falls on a Saturday this year. It's not just corned beef and cabbage but plenty of booze. There will be whiskey and beer flowing throughout the larger cities and smaller towns of both Ireland and America.However there is one classy and classic drink - Irish coffee that will be ending a few meals that night.
Patrick Farrell wrote about this treat in today's New York Times Dining section. Irish coffee itself is somehing of a throw back to the Madmen era where creamy after dinner drinks were all the rage. It's also not an Irish import but an Irish American creation that first started in San Francisco although there are tales of it being first made Limerick Ireland, Basically it's just Irish whiskey (any brand will do ) along with sugar , a dash of vanilla extract and heavy cream. The first ingredients are all mixed the second is added as a finishing touch. The coffee is then sipped through the cream so it;s an interesting blend of flavors.
What makes a good Irish coffee? That's what Mr.Farrell, a fourth generation Irishman himself, tries to find out. After listening to his dad's stories about being served all sorts of variations(including one that was more of a sundae with Reddi Whip ,a cherry and sprinkles and another that had any other liquor added.) he creates the best version. His choice of whiskey comes from his father, - Jamisons, although he prefers Bushmills Powers which lends more oomph. As for coffee a full bodied bean works the best to compete with the alcohol.Cream has to be a whipped heavy cream - none of this aerosol stuff. The coffee should also be served in a tall narrow ceramic cup - not glass where fingers could get burned.Leave any decorations such as green sprinkles or sugar off it. Slowly sip the coffee through the cream and enjoy the heady combo of flavors
Nothing beats a good hot Irish coffee after some corned beef and cabbage. It's a nice civilized way of honoring the day, Make a few cups and enjoy this treat to end the festivities.