Just what is Irish coffee? It is a cocktail consisting of hot coffee, Irish whiskey sugar and topped with cream. The cocktail is drank through the cream.
It was supposedly created by Joe Sheridan, chef at Foynes Port, near Limerick, Ireland. Foynes was an airbase for transatlantic flights and often carried prestigious passengers. It is said one evening a flight had to turn back half way through its journey. Joe feeling sorry for the delayed weary travellers made them a hot concoction. The story goes that everyone enjoyed this wonderful drink.
There is also another tale which states the original maker of Irish coffee was a Joseph Jackson, of Jackson’s hotel Ballybofey, county Donegal. Who whilst fighting in World War 2 made the drink in an effort to keep his fellow soldiers awake through the night under the attack of German soldiers.
Which of these two stories are true we will never know, but different variations of coffee cocktails pre-date the now-classic Irish coffee by at least 100 years.
From the mid-19th century the Pharisaer and the Fiaker were served in Viennese coffee houses. Both were coffee cocktails made with Jamaican rum, served in a glass, topped with whipped cream.
The Pharisaer is a German brew and is the national drink of North Frisia. It is said it was invented for the christening of a baby girl, Johanna Theodora Katharina, of Nordstrand Island on Feb. 29th 1872. To stop the smell of alcohol wafting around the room the hot coffee was topped with cream.
The Fiaker so the tale goes, was a brew to keep the Fiakers (the coachmen of the fakier) warm through the cold winters of Vienna. To keep the coffee hot and stop the alcohol evaporating it was topped with a dollop of cream.
Around the 1900s in the Viennese cafes there were also other variations on the same theme, such as Kaisermelange, Maria Therasia, and Biedermeier-Kaffee.
In 19th-century France, a mixture of coffee and spirit was known as a Gloria.
China first encountered coffee in the late 1880s, when a French missionary introduced it to the Yunnan province. The French priest brought a coffee sprout into what is now Zhu Ku La village, Binchuan District, Dali City Yunnan. This small sprout rooted its self deep into Chinese culture, and this century old coffee tree still stands tucked away in this peaceful village, where it is said he made a warming drink consisting of coffee, baijiu, sugar and cream for the locals.
4 ounces of strong rich hot coffee
1½ ounces 0f V.I.P Jiu 8
2 teaspoons of brown sugar
1 ounce of lightly whipped double cream
Put the sugar and the coffee into a warm mug or in a heat resistant glass, stir until the sugar has dissolved, add V.I.P Jiu 8 and stir again. Float the cream on top by slowly pouring it over the back of a spoon.
Drink the coffee through the cream and enjoy.
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