I’ve rather lucked out in the seasonal draw this month, as St. Patrick’s Day, provides me with an excuse to delve into one of my guilty (ish) pleasures; the Irish coffee. It’s a delight, both as a cocktail and as a style of java; just sugar, whisky, cream and, of course, coffee. Very simple, very indulgent and very delicious.
The Irish coffee hasn’t been around long – it didn’t even make an appearance in Irish history until 1943 when, as the widely-accepted story goes, a flight from Shannon Airport was cancelled and a certain Joe Sheridan, a local head chef, decided to comfort the freezing passengers by adding whisky to the coffee he was serving them. Upon being asked if they were drinking “Brazilian” coffee, Sheridan announced that it was, in fact, Irish.
It wasn’t long before Stanton Delaplane, an American travel writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, drank one of these sweet, boozy delights at Shannon Airport. After intense testing with bar owners back home to float the cream in the same way he had experienced in Ireland, the drink was added to the menu of the Buena Vista Café in San Francisco. It sold in tens of millions – helped largely by Delaplane’s continual mentions of the drink in his widely-read travel column.
The recipe itself is not complex; however, the ingredients must be at-the-ready and each step must be closely followed. The cream must not be over-whipped (still very much pourable), the coffee must be piping hot and strong (obviously) to combat the strong flavours of sugar, alcohol and cream, and the whole thing, once assembled must not – I repeat, must not – be stirred; the hot liquid is to be drunk through the cold cream, which floats beautifully atop it and will leave you with a killer moustache after each sip.
In fact, the only mildly intimidating thing about this recipe is the pouring of the cream over the back of a teaspoon, a technique ensuring that the heavy cream spreads and remains sitting over the surface of the coffee, as opposed to sinking straight down. The first time one attempts it it’s difficult it working, but it does, and it’ll continue to satisfy and delight every time.
A hopefully fairly obvious disclaimer: as it’s about as far from being ‘healthy’ as it’s possible to get, the Irish coffee is not something to have every day. However, it’s a great thing to have as a treat every now and then, and certainly a fitting thing with which to bow out an especially grand St. Patrick’s Day meal – enjoy!
Irish Coffee recipe
- 1 cup piping hot black coffee
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 shot Irish whiskey
- Double cream, slightly whipped
Heat a tall, sturdy glass (traditionally with a stem) with boiling water.
Pour away the water. Add the sugar and coffee and stir until completely dissolved.
Add the whisky to the coffee and stir.
From a jug with a good spout and over the back of a teaspoon, pour your slightly whipped cream over the surface of the coffee until you hit the rim of the glass.
You can watch Mike Cooper making this recipe on Drinks Tube below!
Irish Coffee Recipe
When St. Patrick's Day rolls around, rather than consuming drinks only relevant to the holiday because they're greenish, you can mix up something that's tasty and satisfying while still remaining true to the Irish tradition.
Now a familiar staple on many bar and restaurant menus, Irish Coffee has the benefit of having actually originated in Ireland—in its case, at an airport in western Ireland (where today Shannon International is located), as a warmer for a group of travelers in the late 1940s. By 1952, the drink had been picked up by San Francisco Chronicle reporter Stanton Delaplane, who brought the formulation home to the Buena Vista Café, where it's been the signature drink ever since.
Many bartenders, both pros and at-home amateurs, make the mistake of aiming for too much hoopla with the Irish Coffee, dousing it with heavy doses of sugar and using a too-generous hand with the cream, or supplementing the kick of Irish whiskey with an additional dose of Irish cream liqueur.
To produce an enjoyable drink that's not so sweet and rich as to make the Irish Coffee a confection, take it easy—let the Irish part and the coffee part stand front and center in flavor, with the sugar and cream in supporting roles. (You can always add more if the drink really needs some added sweetness or richness.) Save the liqueur for later.
Soothing and warming, and with just the right touch of decadence, the Irish Coffee is a more civilized way to observe Lá Fhéile Pádraig.
Why this recipe works
Enjoying a cup of coffee after dinner is a treat that many people enjoy. An Irish Coffee combines your after dinner warm-up with a spiked dessert twist.
When drinking an Irish coffee, the coffee is sipped through the top layer of frothy cream, some of which joins the coffee in your mouth making this is a delicious, creamy after dinner drink!
Real Irish food for St Patrick&rsquos Day: Eight recipes to celebrate our national day with
Hands up who will be eating corned beef and cabbage tomorrow. Hmm. Despite what our American cousins think, it won’t feature on many dinner tables on these shores as we celebrate St Patrick’s Day.
Much more likely there will be a big joint of bacon, or ham, with cabbage, kale or, better still, colcannon on the side. Our head chef Paul Flynn turns a rack of bacon and a head of Savoy cabbage into something worthy of a celebratory feast.
Now that pasta is practically an Irish national dish, the chef Brian McDermott takes bacon and cabbage and turns it into an Irish-Italian dinner that can be on the table in 15 minutes.
The food writer, film-maker and photographer Imen McDonnell takes the same two ingredients and brings a multicultural spin with her recipe for bacon and cabbage potstickers.
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Perhaps it’s chowder you’ll be hankering after tomorrow, to remind you of Ireland’s wonderful seafood, blustery spring walks and a visit to the pub for a big steaming bowlful. Carmel Somers’s version has a piece of carrageen added, to amplify the taste of the ocean, but you could add any dried sea vegetable, now fairly widely available.
The vegetarian chowder created by the Happy Pear twins, Stephen and David Flynn, could be the Irish flag in a bowl, with its vibrant green, white and orange palette. Samphire is becoming easier to find, often stocked alongside packets of fresh herbs in supermarkets, and at fishmongers.
If you’re looking for a kitchen project to keep you occupied tomorrow, you could have a go at chef Gary O’Hanlon’s kale and ham-hock terrine, in which you’ll also learn how to make his version of salad cream. An afternoon well spent.
Or perhaps it’s a more easy-paced family lunch, or dinner side dish, that will be your nod to Irish food traditions on our national day, in which case Lilly Higgins’s colcannon baked potatoes may fit the bill.
And for dessert, or afternoon tea, Vanessa Greenwood’s Irish whiskey cake is just about perfect for the day that’s in it. But you’ll have to get going on that one today, as the boozy dried fruit, butter and sugar mixture has to macerate for nine hours in total.
Or maybe it’s the perfect Irish coffee that will round off your St Patrick’s Day celebration of Irish food and drink. You can read about how to make the perfect Irish coffee here.
Mint Irish Latte
Author Michelle - Giraffes Can Bake
Crème de Menthe is combined with Baileys Irish Cream in a chocolate and sprinkles rimmed glass, rich espresso and frothy milk is then poured over the top. Add some vanilla whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles to finish it off with a touch of magic! The best way to drink coffee this St Patrick’s Day!
- 2oz/ 60g milk chocolate
- 2 tbsp green sprinkles
- 1 cup / 240ml double (heavy) cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup / 4oz / 120ml Créme de Menthe
- 1 cup / 6oz / 240ml Irish Cream (I use Baileys)
- 3/4 cup / 180ml hot espresso (or strong brewed coffee)
- 2 1/3 cups / 545ml hot foamed milk*
- 1-2 tbsp rainbow sprinkles
- 4 x 300ml latte glasses
- Clean mixing bowl
- Stand mixer with whisk attachment or handheld electric beaters
- Piping bag
- Star piping tip (optional)
- Melt the chocolate in a shallow bowl in the microwave, stir after 30 seconds and check every 10 seconds thereafter.
- Put the green sprinkles on a small plate.
- Dip the rim of each glass into the chocolate, making sure the outer edge is covered, then dip and in the sprinkles to coat.
- Add the cream and vanilla to your mixing bowl, and using your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a handheld electric beaters, whip the cream until soft peaks form (cream will be fluffy and hold it's shape, but not completely stiff).
- Spoon into piping bag fitted with star tip (or just snip off the end if not using a tip) and set aside somewhere cool.
- Pour 1oz/30ml of Créme de Menthe into each glass, followed by 2oz/60ml of Irish Cream into each glass.
- Add 3 tbsp/1.5oz/45ml espresso into each glass, and top each one up with hot milk.
- Pipe whipped cream on top and sprinkle your rainbow sprinkles on top
- Serve immediately
* If you don't have a milk frother, you can make foamy, frothy milk by putting it in a large jar and shaking vigorously for 30 seconds or until it has almost doubled in size. Then heat in the microwave for 2-3 minutes (check after 90-120 seconds to ensure it doesn't boil over).
Recipe can be halved or doubled as needed.
Are there big St Patrick’s Day celebrations where you live? How do you like to celebrate it? Can I tempt you with a few Mint Irish Lattes at the very least? They’re delicious, full of Irish inspiration and so much fun! Plus, they couldn’t be easier to make – you don’t even need a fancy milk steamer to get that frothy latte milk! I use my Aeroccino to foam my milk, but you can get the same effect just by putting your milk in a large jar, shaking it vigorously for about 30 seconds until it doubles in size, then heat it up in the microwave – so easy!
How to Make Whipped Cream
Whipped cream is so easy to make! It is just a few simple steps.
- Freeze a metal bowl and whisk (the whisk attachment for a stand mixer or the beaters for a handheld mixer) for 15 minutes. This is an essential step, and they both must be metal.
- In the cold metal bowl, combine 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 cup heavy whipping cream.
- Beat the two together with the cold metal whisk until stiff peaks form.
20 Traditional Irish Foods and Dishes to Try on St. Patrick's Day
When you think about traditional Irish food, the first thing that probably comes to mind is corned beef and cabbage. But it turns out corned beef is not among the Emerald Isle's national dishes, says David McKane, the executive chef of Kilkea Castle in county Kildare.
"The connection with St. Patrick's Day specifically originates as part of Irish-American culture, and is often part of celebrations in North America," he says. This might lead you to wonder then: What do people who live in Ireland eat on March 17?
As culinary historian Regina Sexton told Irish Times, defining "Irish cuisine" can be a difficult endeavor. "We don&rsquot seem to have a culture of food that is based around cooking, the enjoyment of food and the production of signature dishes that are automatically associated with the country, and therein lies the problem of trying to define an Irish food culture," she said. Rather, it's more about the high quality of ingredients such as meats, potatoes, and cabbages.
The coastal region of Galway, for example, is known for cinnamon-coated Irish potato candy that complements a heavy stew, as well as berry fool (a sweet, airy custard) and excellent oysters. Galway even hosts an international oyster and seafood festival, the oldest oyster festival in the world.
Still, there are plenty of distinctly Irish recipes that have long been staples of the culture&mdashfrom soda bread to a seriously tasty trifle. Whether you're looking to celebrate your heritage or host a super authentic St. Patrick's Day party, we asked Irish chefs to share all the traditional foods and snacks to know. We hope you enjoy potatoes in their many forms.
Traditionally, Irish bacon, a lean, smoked pork loin similar to Canadian bacon, was the most ubiquitous meat on the table in Ireland, namely because it was cheap, says McKane. But when Irish immigration to the United States exploded, immigrants found the cost of pork in this country to be prohibitively expensive, so they began cooking beef instead. As a result, bacon and cabbage is technically the more traditional Irish dish corned beef and cabbage is the Irish-American variant.
Irish soda bread is a quick bread made without yeast. It rises, because, when combined, baking soda and buttermilk act as a leavening agent. According to The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook, the bread is usually scored with a cross to help it rise. Irish folklore says this also helps ward off evil and let the fairies out.
An easy and flexible meal that's commonly considered the national dish of Ireland, says Amy Lawless, an Irish American and co-owner of The Dearborn in Chicago. Though generally made with mutton, onions, carrots, celery, and potatoes, Irish stew can also be created with beef or chicken, she explains.
Irish coffee isn't your average cup of Joe. It's a cocktail that's made with a strong hot coffee, Irish Whiskey like Jameson, and sugar, says Amy Lawless. The whole thing gets topped with a thick head of whipped cream.
Of course, corned beef and cabbage still pops up on many a dinner table come St. Patrick's Day. According to The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook, traditionally, the brining liquid included is Saltpeter&mdasha bactericide that helps produce that ultra-pigmented pink color. This is one dish you're going to have to plan ahead for: To properly brine the meat, you need to give yourself at least a week.
A staple side dish on many Irish tables during the winter, this comfort food is a mixture of braised white cabbage and creamy mashed potatoes, says Joe Scully, an Irish chef and owner of Chestnut and Corner Kitchen in Asheville, North Carolina.
Also known as pigs feet, crubeens are generally fried and eaten by hand, though they can also be braised, says Scully.
Like Irish stew, Irish seafood chowder is a very adaptable dish that contains a variety of seafood like salmon, trout, and shellfish, as well as vegetables like celery and potatoes, says Scully.
Similar to a latke, Irish boxty is a potato pancake you make by mixing grated potatoes into mashed potatoes before frying like a patty, says Scully. Though some consider it to be among the stranger Irish dishes, it's actually a very versatile side.
Ireland is globally renowned for its smoked salmon, says McKane. It's served all day long and can be found everywhere from breakfast buffets, to Afternoon Tea, to dinner.
This type of beef is native to the island of Ireland, says McKane. It's regarded for its sweet and slightly nutty taste.
This everyday comfort food is essentially a way to disguise leftovers, says Scully. The layered casserole is simple: The previous night's stew is topped with mashed potatoes, then baked.
Black pudding&mdashor blood sausage&mdashis typically served at breakfast, but can be enjoyed throughout the day, says Scully.
This classic is a real smorgasbord that generally includes fried rashers (thin slices of bacon), fried sausages, fried eggs, fried tomatoes, fried mushrooms, white and black pudding, baked beans, and toast, says Clodagh Lawless, an Irish American and co-owner of The Dearborn.
This layered dessert traditionally contains custard, sherry- or fruit juice-soaked sponge cake or lady fingers, fruits, jam, and whipped cream, says Amy Lawless.
Ireland is primarily known for more earthy food options, but it's actually a haven of great mollusks, specifically on the coast of Galway.
&ldquoThe oyster, not the potato, should be the symbol of Irish food," Bloomberg reported in 2018. That article describes the native "flat oysters" as "gamy." The difference between them and Pacific oysters is like "a double IPA compared with Bud Light."
Not dissimilar to boxty, farls are a kind of baked potato bread served for breakfast, per The Guardian. They're typically made by combining potatoes, butter, flour, and baking powder, with the dough being cut into four symmetrical pieces ("farl" means "fourths" in Gaelic).
Per Allrecipes.com, farls can even be made with leftover mashed potatoes, which work well because of their lightness.
The berry fool is a delicious treat and a testament to Europe as a whole&ndashwhile it's popular in England and Ireland, its name may come from the French verb "fouler," meaning "to crush," though that has been disputed. This feathery fruit dessert can be made with nearly any kind of berry, and involves mashing them and combining them with chilled heavy cream for a refreshing dish.
This Irish sweet bread is typically associated with Halloween. Similar to the plastic baby that often comes in Mardi Gras king cakes, a ring is generally placed within the barmbrack and the person who finds it is said to have good luck.
An effective comfort meal, Irish coddle combines sausage (and sometimes bacon) with potatoes and gravy. The whole thing is then slow-cooked, giving it a consistency similar to Irish stew. It's a perfect, hearty winter dinner.
St. Patrick’s Day Cocktail Recipes
St. Patrick’s Day is Wednesday, March 17. Forget the green beer this year, and add one (or a few) of the cocktail recipes below to your holiday menu.
Recuerdo Mezcal Banshee
1.5oz Recuerdo Mezcal Joven
4 peeled pieces of cucumber (2 inch section, quartered), reserving the peel for garnish
5 basil leaves
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1oz lime juice
Muddle the cucumber, basil, brown sugar, and lime juice in a shaker before adding the Recuerdo Mezcal and ice and shaking. Strain into an old fashioned glass over fresh ice, top with club soda, and garnish with a cucumber peel.
Recipe courtesy of Recuerdo Mezcal.
The Coffee Mule
2.5 oz First Light Coffee Whiskey
1/4 oz Lime Juice
El Guapo Chicory Pecan Bitters
Trader Joe’s Ginger Beer
Short shake all the ingredients (except the ginger beer) with two ice cubes, then strain into a mule cup filled with ice or a highball glass. Top with 4 to 6 ounces of ginger beer. Garnis with basil leaf. Serve with a paper straw.
Recipe courtesy of First Light Coffee Whiskey.
2 oz Broken Shed Vodka
1 oz McGuinness Melon
3 oz Club Soda
Shake all the ingredients with ice. Strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with a slice of lime.
Recipe courtesy of Broken Shed Vodka.
Nothing Com-pears to Ro
60mL Roe & Co
30mL Spiced Pear & Fig Oleo Saccharum
20mL Lemon Juice
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake hard and double strain over ice in a tall glass. Top with Fever Tree Ginger Ale.
Recipe courtesy of Roe & Co.
1 teaspoon of brown sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
4 oz freshly brewed coffee
1 ½ ounces of Irish Whiskey of your choice
1 oz of frothed Cashew Hazelnut Oat Creamer
Begin by brewing your favorite coffee. Pour coffee into mug. Add in the Irish Whiskey. Add brown sugar to taste and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Use a frother to make Cashew Hazelnut Oat Creamer whipped and light. To make creamer: Add 1-2 tablespoons of Cashew Hazelnut Oat Creamer concentrate to every 1 cup of water. Want it creamier? Add more JOI! Top Irish coffee with Cashew Hazelnut Oat Creamer – don’t mix and enJOI!
Photo and recipe courtesy of JOI.
1oz Absente Refined
1 ¼ oz Rhum Barbancourt White Rhum
¾ Vanilla syrup
½ oz Lime Juice
2 Dash Bitters
Dash of lemon-lime soda
Shake ingredients except for soda with ice. Strain and serve in a highball glass over crushed ice. Top with lemon-lime soda and garnish with a lime wheel.
Recipe courtesy of Absente. Photo courtesy of Raoul Beltrame.
1 parts EFFEN® Cucumber Vodka
1 splash of Lime Juice
2 parts Lemon Lime Soda
Tajin® Clasico seasoning
Rim a glass with Tajin® Clasico seasoning. Build over fresh ice, garnish with a cucumber wheel.
Recipe courtesy of EFFEN.
Jameson Irish Breakfast Tea Hot Toddy
4 ounces of hot water
1 1/2 Jameson Irish Whiskey, infused with Chado’s Irish Breakfast tea
1 bar spoon honey
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
Steep your Irish Breakfast tea in the Jameson Whiskey for 30 minutes, then strain. Add the tea infused Jameson, honey, lemon slice and fresh lemon juice to a glass. Pour hot water over the top, stir. And voila….enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of Chado Tea.
1.5 oz Paddy’s Irish Whiskey
0.25 oz peach liqueur
0.25 oz lime juice
0.25 oz orange juice
3 oz ginger beer
Lime wheel (garnish)
Add the Paddy’s Irish Whiskey, peach liqueur, lime juice and orange juice to a Collins glass filled with ice. Top with ginger ale and stir. Garnish with a lime wheel and enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of Paddy’s Irish Whiskey.
5 oz Q Mixers Ginger Ale
1.5 oz Premium Bourbon (Anthony Pullen, former bartender and team member at Q Mixers, recommends: The Busker
Slane, Bushmills, Jameson)
Build the drink over ice in a highball glass, garnish with a lemon peel.
Recipe courtesy of Q Mixers.
1.5 oz Proper No. Twelve
.5 oz Lemon Juice
.5 oz Honey Syrup (1:1)
Top w/ Hot Green Tea
Build in hot toddy glass or mug. Top with hot green tea. Garnish with cinnamon stick.
Recipe courtesy of Proper No. Twelve.
The Irish Aitail
4 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
2 oz Jose Cuervo Tradicional Añejo
3 ⁄4 oz caraway-fennel simple syrup
Splash of fresh grapefruit juice
Muddle the thyme. Add the Cuervo Tradicional Añejo and simple syrup and fill shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into a glass filled with ice. Top with soda water and squeeze of grapefruit juice. Garnish with thyme sprigs and dehydrated grapefruit.
Recipe courtesy of Jose Cuervo.
San Patricio with Desert Door Sotol and Twang-A-Rita Unwind Lime
Twang-A-Rita Unwind Lime
2 oz. Desert Door Texas Sotol
.5 oz. Agave nectar
1 oz. Lime juice
1 oz. Pineapple juice
Pineapple wedge for garnish
Rim glass with Twang-A-Rita Unwind Lime. In a shaker with ice, combine Desert Door Texas Sotol, agave nectar, lime juice, and pineapple juice. Shake and strain over ice, garnish with pineapple wedge.
Recipe courtesy of Twang.
Orchid of the South
2 Parts Flor de Caña 12
1 Part Ancho Verde liqueur
4 Parts fresh pear juice (use juicer & fresh pears)
Shake & Strain then pour into Highball. Garnish with a dehydrated apple with cinnamon powder.
Presto’s (Vegan) Irish Whiskey Recipe
This St Patricks Day, it doesn’t get any greener than a vegan, environmentally conscious Irish Whiskey made with Presto’s Brazilian Blend coffee.
- 200ml Presto’s freshly brewed BrazilianBlend
- 50ml whiskey - the sweeter the flavour profile the better
- 50ml double cream (preferably vegan)
- 2tbsp brown sugar
- 2tbsp hot water
- Vegan dark chocolate/nutmeg - grating to top (optional)
Is there alcohol in this drink?
Traditionally, it is made with Irish whiskey. There's no alcohol in my version, however.
Is it served hot or cold?
It is traditionally served hot to allow the sugar to dissolve. This drink tastes the best while it is hot and fresh.
Should you stir Irish coffee?
Yes, you'll need to stir it to dissolve the sugar and disperse the rum extract, then you'll pour the whipped cream on top. Be sure to let the drink stop swirling before pouring the cream on top!
How do you drink it?
Just sip it as you normally would. The liquid will flow through the layer of cream on top as you drink, which is delightful!
Who invented Irish coffee?
Joe Sheridan, a chef and bartender at the Flying Boat terminal in Foynes, Ireland, invented this drink in 1943. A plane was forced to return to the terminal because of bad weather, and Sheridan made these special drinks for the chilled passengers to enjoy. They've been popular ever since.
Irish Coffee is the perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
1 1/2 ounces of Irish Whiskey, Bushmills or Jameson are both good to use.
6 ounces hot black coffee
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg, Optional
1 maraschino cherry, Optional
Pour whiskey into cup or glass, add sugar and black hot coffee. Stir. Add whipped cream. Sprinkle with pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg. Can add maraschino cherry on top. Enjoy!