Updated: Apr 30
HOW THE JET-SET STARTED THE COFFEE COCKTAIL CRAZE.
Covid may have put a halt to St Patrick's Day socials this year, but don't lose heart.
There's always a way to celebrate with a little help from an Irish classic. Irish coffee is an iconic cocktail that's easy to make in your kitchen and will suit any time-of-day. So if you want your happy hour alongside your cornflakes, no one's going to judge you here.
A Bonafide Classic
Let us take you back to a stormy night in Foynes in County Limerick, Ireland, in 1943. The west coast airport was a top stop-off destination for air travel between Europe and the US. Chef Joe Sheridan, who ran the restaurant, bar and cafe in the terminal, was accustomed to hosting fatigued travellers, including a celebrity or two, and was becoming renowned for his venue's fine food and drink.
Infused with the Warmth of Irish Hospitality
On this particular night, a passenger plane headed for New York had turned around because of turbulent conditions. Sheridan heard of the aircraft's return and decided to create something to warm up the weary passengers. He prepared coffees mixed with brown sugar, Irish whiskey and cream. After sipping on the silky-smooth concoction, one guest quizzed the chef, asking if they were indulging in Brazilian coffees. Sheridan informed them that no, it was Irish Coffees they were gulping down, and the name stuck. News travelled far and wide of this airport respite, and Sheridan continued serving his refreshing beverage to his global visitors — who began to ask for it in airport lounges across Ireland.
A Precursor to the Espresso Martini?
After travel writer Stanton Delaplane tasted the drink at Shannon airport in 1952, he took the recipe back to San Francisco. Ever since, the cocktail has become both renowned and prepared worldwide, with the Buena Vista Hotel in San Fran still serving upwards of 2,000 Irish Coffees a day. The cocktail's popularity proves that it's not only jet-setters who need a pick-me-up. Any Espresso Martini fan will tell you that a blend of caffeine and alcohol gives you a well-needed boost, and the Irish Coffee is no different. However, there are fewer ingredients which are easier to blend. And uniquely, the coffee is served warm, making the tasty balance of ingredients both soothing to the palette and the soul.
What Better Way to Travel?
So while we might not need to keep alert for those airport announcements just yet, this cocktail was brought to life with the sole purpose of cheering up people stuck in the limbo of the airport lounge. It works as a morning eye-opener, a midday mood booster or a boujee after-dinner beverage. It celebrates the best of Irish hospitality and ingredients and will transport you straight into the Emerald Isle. So whether you're a homesick Irish person or simply someone who really needs something comforting to celebrate right now, then the velvety tones of the Irish Coffee might just do the trick.
How to Make the Irish Coffee
The simplicity of this cocktail sets up its excellence, and is part of the reason it's become a cult classic over the years. With just four ingredients you most likely already have in your cupboards, that don't require any bartending experience or special equipment to whip up.
In fact, we can deliver a whole Irish Coffee cocktail making kit straight to your door. OOFT! has partnered with Swift Bars, who have boxed up all you’ll need, from ingredients to glassware, in their Swift Irish Coffee Kit.
Who needs a parade in the cold when you can have a house party with the heating on? Laden your surroundings shamrocks, get your best green outfit on and gather your friends on Zoom. If the Irish Coffee can hearten a lonesome traveller in a greying airport lounge, then it might just be the tonic for a heart-warming an in-in lockdown jolly.