My sister sent me an article from the New York Times the other day that lamented the “disreputable image of a mongrel” that Irish coffee has earned itself. What? Irish coffee, a mongrel? Really? I have only the highest respect for Irish coffee, and this was news to me. I figured the very least I could do in the name of Irish coffee was to profess my love for it here and spread the word for this simple but tasty after dinner drink (or mid-afternoon or morning, or whenever you like to drink your coffee and whiskey).
I’m not sure why, but I was a little skeptical when my sister and brother-in-law first served me an Irish coffee a few years ago. Any doubt I had vanished after my first sip. Even though I wasn’t really a coffee drinker, the concoction of coffee, whiskey, the slightest bit of brown sugar, and whipped cream was more than enough to win me over.
We now own a French coffee press for the sole purpose of making Irish coffee (oh yeah, and when we have guests over who drink coffee otherwise things would get ugly). We don’t really use it that often – I use instant coffee when I bake and make guests make their own coffee – so I have to sort of relearn how to use it every time I want to make Irish coffee. But it’s all worth it because a nice Irish coffee is a wonderful way to end the day, to pair with a chocolate stout cupcake, and/or to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. And it’s so easy to make that there’s really no excuse. This here is no mongrel, and is certainly classier – and tastier – than green beer!
We generally make Irish coffee at the very end of the day, and for me, that means that it needs to be made with decaf. If you're one of those people that insists that caffeine doesn't affect you (or you're drinking it with breakfast), feel free to make it with regular.
- 3/4 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 ounce whiskey, preferably Irish
- 4 ounces coffee, decaf if preferred
- whipped cream, lightly sweetened with powdered sugar if desired
- Combine brown sugar, whiskey, and coffee in a mug. Top with whipped cream. Now, wasn't that easy?