When bad weather forced a transatlantic flight to return to Foynes Port, Limerick, in the winter of 1943, the passengers were in for a surprise. A strong yet creamy drink was waiting there to welcome them to safety. Joe Sheridan, a local chef, had created the first cups of Irish coffee – a rich blend of coffee, cream, and Irish whiskey. The drink became a specialty found at airports, and at the end of the war, made its way across the Atlantic when a journalist of the San Francisco Chronicle persuaded his local bar, the Buena Vista Café, of the drink’s merits.
Fill an Irish coffee glass (or alternately the coffee mug) with hot water to preheat. Empty the glass, and pour piping hot coffee till about ¾ full. Add brown sugar and stir to dissolve. The sugar is essential to help the cream float on top.
Blend in Irish whiskey and top off with a collar of thick whipped cream poured over the back of a spoon. Do not stir, but rather drink the coffee through the creamy layer.
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