The food world is always updating classic dishes and drinks, adding new twists to make them more contemporary, but some recipes are best left untouched. That’s the way I feel about my recipe for Irish coffee, given to me more than two decades ago by a teacher friend whose specialty was Irish literature. I’ve included the directions for this special brew in my first book, Betty Rosbottom’s Cooking School Cookbook, and in the more recent Coffee, and it’s been featured on this blog previously.
Irish coffee has an interesting history that starts in Ireland and finishes on the west coast of the U.S. As the story goes, the drink was created in the Shannon airport in the mid-twentieth century where it was a restorative offering served to weary passengers. The recipe arrived in the States with a San Franciscan who shared it with his hometown’s Buena Vista Bar. The rest is history. The hot, strong coffee infused with Irish whiskey became the signature drink of that California bar, and eventually its popularity spread around the globe. Continue reading