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Invented At Shannon (Ireland) Airport In 1941 Irish Coffee Didn’t Arrive In The US Until 1951.

Made with strong coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar and topped with a rich layer of cream, Irish coffee is recognized on January 25.

  • On a cold, wet day in 1942 weary travelers to the small Shannon Airport in southwest Ireland found their way to a restaurant and chef Joe Sheridan. To warm his guests, he served them hot coffee, spiked with whiskey and topped with whipped cream. The passengers asked if the beverage was Brazilian coffee. Sheridan responded that it was Irish coffee.
  • A travel writer, Stanton Delaplane, brought Irish coffee to the United States after having it at Shannon Airport.
  • Delaplane brought the idea to the Buena Vista Cafe on November 10, 1952. After much trial and error, sampling and a trip back to Ireland for a taste of the original, Delaplane along with Buena Vista owners Jack Koeppler and George Freeberg were able to replicate the delicious coffee and the method for floating the cream on top of the coffee.
  • Tom Bergin’s Tavern in Los Angeles, also claims to have been the originator and has had a large sign in place reading “House of Irish Coffee” since the early 1950s.
  • A similar hot Irish drink is called the Hot Irish Monk – cocoa, Frangelica (available kosher in select places) and whiskey.
  • The original Irish coffee recipe explicitly uses cream that has not been whipped.
  • In 1988, the National Standards Authority of Ireland published Irish Standard I.S. 417: Irish Coffee.
  • Alex Levin said: “Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat.”
  • The first cafe to have Irish coffee in the U.S. was the Buena Vista Cafe in 1952. The cafe was located in San Francisco, California.
  • The same cafe holds the Guinness Record for largest Irish Coffee at 15 gallons.
  • The village of Foynes on the southern bank of the Shannon Estuary holds an annual Irish Coffee Festival.
  • Some chefs use of the back of the spoon placed just above the glass. Then they pour the cream over it, as it is slowly lifted upwards.
  • Irish coffee can also be classified as a hot toddy.
  • According to Joe from the Foynes Flying Boat Museum the ingredients for Irish Coffee are as follows: Cream – Rich as an Irish Brogue, Coffee- Strong as a Friendly Hand, Sugar – Sweet as the tongue of a Rogue,  and Irish Whiskey – smooth as the Wit of the Land.
  • Each year in Montgomery, NY the town hosts an Irish festival to pay honor to the Irish heritage. Each year the festival offers traditional Irish crafts, dancing, food, and lots of Irish coffee. The festival takes place in Orange County Park which offers a tranquil setting for a day of fun and relaxation


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