We all take coffee for granted as just part of the daily routine. Wake up, brew or buy a cup of coffee, then get to doing something productive with your day. Before it was grown, roasted, boiled, and consumed, first it had to be discovered. The story is that a shepherd in Mocha saw his flock frolicking about after eating berries from a certain shrub. He took the berries, then to make them palatable roasted them then boiled them. He found the drink gave him vast amounts of energy, and the technology spread through the Middle East and Africa. It had to fight various bans for its mind altering effects, as scholars debated on whether or not it counted as being intoxicated when you were hopped up on caffeine. It passed the test with Muslim imams and eventually the Catholic church. According to the story, Pope Clement VIII was charged by his followers with banning the drink of the Muslims. He tasted it before the ban and chose to allow the drink to spread, stating it should be baptized as Catholic to get it from Muslim hands. This is all around 1600.
Coffee has always warmed us up and given a little jolt of energy. It also encourages conversation and the spreading of ideas. From the coffee houses of Shakespeare’s time to Starbucks, people who were looking to connect with others came together under one roof. The chef at an airport bar in Ireland concocted the drink for passengers coming off a plane looking cold and miserable. He offered hem some coffee with a little shot of Irish Whiskey in it. The passengers loved it, and it became a menu item on at the bar in question. One of the travelers that eventually enjoyed the cocktail was Stanton Delaplane, who brought the drink to San Francisco with him and championed it to the city. It was first served at the Buena Vista Cafe in 1952, and embraced by the city. It has been served there, and anywhere else that had coffee and Irish whiskey, ever since.
1.5 oz./ 45 mL Irish whiskey
2 tsp. brown sugar
4-6 oz./ 120 – 180 mL hot coffee
Glass: Irish Whiskey
Garnish: Whipped cream
Prepare the glass by warming it with hot water. Empty the glass when warmed, then add the coffee and sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then add the Irish whiskey. Stir again. Evenly spread the whipped cream over the top of the coffee and serve.
I love this drink. It is delightful any time, day or night. It is just warm and inviting, the bite and sweetness of the whiskey just peeking through the coffee flavor. You may be tempted to stir the whip cream in, but don’t. The layer of cream on top gives you a little with each sip, and acts as a delicious insulator for the coffee. If you are looking for some caffeine to add to your liquor, I suggest this over vodka and Red Bull any day. And you get whipped cream!