St. Patrick's Day always reminds us of visiting the Foynes Flying Boat Museum in Foynes, Ireland - the birthplace of the original Irish Coffee. Foynes was once the hub of transatlantic air travel for Pan Am's "Yankee Clipper" flying boat and one night, the now-iconic beverage, was created to warm some very cold passengers. As the story goes, it was on a cold night in 1942 that Chef Joe Sheridan was challenged by the owner of the airport restaurant to create something warm to be waiting for the crew and passengers of a Pan Am plane forced to turn back due to weather. The plane had been bound for Botwood, Newfoundland but frigid weather had forced the pilot to return to Foynes and after ten hours the weary passengers returned to the same airport where they started. Sheridan had added whiskey to his coffee concoction to warm the grateful passengers who thought they were just drinking really good Brazilian coffee but Sheridan told them they were drinking "Irish Coffee."
Here's how to make an authentic Irish Coffee -
1. In a glass mug (a medium-sized wine glass or brandy snifter will do), place a metal teaspoon and fill with boiling water for five seconds (the spoon will keep the glass from breaking), then empty.
2. In this pre-warmed glass, put one teaspoon of brown sugar and a good measure (1-1/2 to 2 ounces) of Irish Whiskey (the tasting bar at Foynes uses Powers Irish Whiskey).
3. Fill the glass to within a half-inch of the brim with really hot, strong, black coffee. Stir well to melt the sugar.
4. Then, carefully pour lightly whipped cream over the back of a spoon so that it floats on top of the coffee.
5. Do not stir after adding the cream, as the true flavour is obtained by drinking the hot coffee and Irish Whiskey through the cream.