Thursday, March 17, 2011

Irish Coffee

With St. Patrick's Day here once again, we look for the perfect cocktail for those with the good taste to avoid the
green beer. After some deliberation, (and Joe's veto of my vanilla ice cream, vodka, and creme de menthe "Shamrock Shake" suggestion!), the classic Irish Coffee was unanimously decided upon!

How could this NOT be the Greatest Drink in the World this Week!?! A delicious hot mug of the brew with a shot or two of fine Irish Whiskey.
Coffee snobs and enthusiasts can use their favorite brew. Whiskey aficionados certainly have a preferred whiskey, (I tend to choose the Paddy's myself!) and I mean, "Begorrah!" What better way to start yer St. Patrick's Day festivities!?!

Joe's notes: I spent a couple of years working in a pub in Ireland, (I will get back to that in a minute.) This is how I was taught to make an Irish Coffee. First boil a kettle of water and rinse out a stemmed glass with the boiling water, (better yet if you have an Irish Coffee Mug!) This not only warms the glass but also helps prevents it from cracking. Into the glass put two heaping teaspoons of brown sugar and one teaspoon of instant coffee granules.

You, of course, can use brewed or whatever your coffee preference is, just make sure it is good and hot. Leaving the spoon in the glass pour in your boiling water and stir until the coffee and sugar have completely dissolved. Add a good shot of Irish whiskey.

In the pub we would used Paddy's or Powers but feel free to use any Irish Whiskey you like. Place your glass, (or mug,) on a small plate for serving. Over the back of a spoon float double cream on top of the coffee. You now should be left with something that resembles a glass of Guinness. If you plan on using cream from an aerosol can, or drizzling creme de menthe over the top...., don't.

Now, back to how I ended up working in a pub in Ireland. In the early seventies, when I was a mere fourteen, (yes, I'm that old,) my father, in his infinite wisdom, thought it would be a good idea to uproot our family and move it to the midlands of Ireland. Another stroke of genius he had, was to deposit me in a Catholic school run by the Christian brothers. My father was a staunch protestant originally from Londonderry, Northern Ireland, so I really don't know where his head was at this time. After a very short period of time, the "brothers" realized that I would never be a candidate for the seminary, and I was left to my own devices.

At fifteen, while still at school, I got my first bar job. I was, of course, delighted to have a few "punt" in my pocket at the end of the week. It also gave me great pleasure to flaunt my presence in the bar to the few lay teachers that came in.

Initially I was only allowed to serve drinks to the tables and clear away the empty glasses. But eventually, I was permitted to make drinks, including the ever popular Caife Gaelach and under strict supervision, build a pint of Guinness.

At closing time, while the "punters" where enjoying a "lock in", I was stationed at the front door leaning on a push broom.

After an hour or so, on spotting the police strolling in our direction, my job was to run into the pub shouting "Garda, Garda."

At this the singing would stop, and the pub would descend into semi darkness. The police at this time new exactly what was happening, they didn't care as long as the pub was cleared out when they walked back about twenty minutes later.

In fact, it was quite common to have an officer of the law sitting in the semi darkness finishing his pint.

Of course, this would never happen at the Passage. If you do happen to see me leaning on a push broom after closing, I am sorry to say that I am probably just sweeping up the cigarette butts.




This week's video is from the Serbian band, "Irish Stew of Sindidun:" Why.

I dig this band - C:


  1. Oh gosh, Irish Whiskey is ABSOLUTELY my favorite St. Patty's Day drink too! So many memories, haha. That is a great story about the pub where you worked at when you were younger too, lol.

  2. Sarah, I love a good Irish Coffee, too.
    But, c'mon! Really good whiskey and really good coffee, what's not to love!