Photo by Jacqueline Bennett  Irish Coffee – the old Tullycross Tavern Manchester, CT.


Write-Up & Photo by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb.com


Raise a glass today to Irish Coffee Day. The origin of this unofficial holiday appears to be unknown but is certainly not unappreciated. On a cold, winter day such as it is with a fresh New England snowfall on the ground, it’s the perfect beverage to warm the body and soul.


The tale of the smooth tasting, thermal, “elixir” is traced back to where else – Ireland. Reportedly created and first served by chef Joe Sheridan in 1942 at Shannon Airport in southwest Ireland to travelers on a cold, wet day, the Irish Coffee was “transported” to the United States ten years later. The idea of the delectable beverage is famously said to have been brought to the Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco by travel writer Stanton Delaplane, according to several accounts. As well in 2008, the cafe sought the Guinness World Record for the largest Irish Coffee.


At the Buena Vista, Delaplane and then restaurant owner Jack Koeppler set out diligently to replicate the original flavor.


“Throughout the night the two of them stirred and sipped …” notes buenavista.com


Dissatisfied with the results, Delaplane returned to Ireland to once again seek out the original, bringing back a soon to become renowned replica recipe to the states. It didn’t take long for the drink to put the cafe on the map. Since then some 32 million Irish Coffees have been served at the Buena Vista. That million number is ever rising as the cafe is said to serve 2,000 or more Irish Coffees daily.


“Hip, hip hooray to Irish ingenuity,” declared one Irish blog in an ode to the Irish Coffee.


An authentic Irish Coffee starts with strongly brewed coffee poured into a properly warmed glass. Add sugar and Irish Whiskey such as Tullamore Dew Irish, Jameson, Bailey’s – so long as it’s Irish. The “tricky part” is said to be the topper, the cream. Some taverns recommend allowing the cream to set 48 hours and then stirring just so that it does not sink. Depending upon the bartender the topping cream may be topped again – by chocolate sprinkles or creme de menthe.


Surely, it’s easy to figure out how to celebrate Irish Coffee Day!