It took my first trip to Ireland for me to appreciate traditional Irish coffee. My friend Amy and I had just landed at Shannon Airport after a long flight from Los Angeles. We were tired, jet-lagged and more than a little anxious about hopping into our rental car and driving off on the “wrong” side of the road.
I’m not sure how we got there, but we ended up in a very nice bar, still in the airport. Amy was never much of a drinker, but we both ordered Irish coffees. I still remember how easily that hot, creamy drink slid down my throat, warming me from head to toe. The cream was thick and so absolutely delicious that we asked for a second dollop. The bartender was happy to oblige.
Revived, we set out in our tiny rental car, as soon as Amy stopped screaming about the controls being on the wrong side of the car. I managed to drive about twenty-five miles before we began looking for a place to spend our first night in Ireland, home of some of the friendliest folks on the planet.
TIP: Even our “heavy whipping cream” here in the US is nowhere near as thick as you can find in Ireland. To thicken it a little, I whip it just a bit, using my whisk.
- 2 ounces best Irish whiskey
- 4 ounces freshly brewed coffee
- 2-3 teaspoons sugar
- ¼ cup slightly whipped heavy cream
- Pour the whiskey into a stemmed glass mug.
- Add the hot coffee.
- Stir in the sugar, to taste.
- Whisk the cream slightly, just until it thickens, and top with a dollop.