Don’t let Patty’s Day pass without enjoying Irish coffee

St. Patrick’s Day is rife with traditions, many of which involve food and drink.

While pints of Guinness might garner the bulk of the beverage attention on St. Patrick’s Day, that beloved creamy stout is not the only Irish-inspired drink to hoist on March 17.

In the mid-20th century, chef Joe Sheridan was working in Foynes, County Limerick, when a group of travelers who had been scheduled to fly to the United States became stranded due to inclement weather that grounded their plane.

When his weary travelers arrived in Sheridan’s place of business, he served the them coffee with some Irish whiskey mixed in.

When the group inquired as to what they were drinking, Sheridan reportedly told them, “that’s Irish coffee.”

While Irish coffee recipes vary from place to place, those who want a more traditional recipe this St. Patrick’s Day can prepare the following concoction courtesy of A.J. Rathbun’s “Good Spirits” (Harvard Common Press).

Irish Coffee

11/2 ounces Irish whiskey
1/2 ounce Simple Syrup (see below)
6 ounces fresh hot coffee
Whipped cream (optional)

1. Add the whiskey and simple syrup to a mug.
2. Fill the mug with hot coffee. If something extra is desired, top with whipped cream.

Simple Syrup

Makes 41/2 cups
21/2 cups water
3 cups sugar

1. Add the water and sugar to a medium-size saucepan. Stirring occasionally, bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat a bit, keeping the mixture at a low boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Turn off the heat, and let the syrup cool completely in the pan. Store in a clean, airtight container in the refrigerator.


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