The Irish Coffee… there are few drinks as often ordered, and routinely butchered. On its own, it’s a fairly simple cocktail that requires just some basic ingredients. In the hands of far too many people, it runs into the rocks of canned whipped cream, Irish cream, creme de menthe, sprinkles, and/or a cherry on top. Let’s start with the basics, you’ll need good coffee, heavy whipping cream, sugar, and Irish whiskey.
This drink does benefit from a very pretty presentation when pulled off correctly, so if you’ve got an Irish coffee glass, go ahead and start warming it up by filling it with boiling water. There’s about as many recipes and origin stories for this drink as there are Irish pubs in the world, so measurements can (as always) be adjusted to taste.
After your coffee is made, and your glass is warm, dump out the water and put in ~2 teaspoons of sugar (or the equivalent amount of simple syrup), add in your coffee (about 6 ounces, if you’re using a properly sized glass, that should leave enough of a collar for the cream), and stir until dissolved. After that add about 1.5 ounces of Irish Whiskey (I’m partial to Tullamore for this), and then top with the heavy whipping cream just whipped enough to pour like honey (use the spoon you just stirred with to assist with the layering)..
Since we’ve already got the Irish whiskey out, and someone will surely complain if there’s not some green ingredients in a drink. Let’s move on to the Tipperary, a twist on the Bijou (swap out the whiskey for gin for that drink) that goes back to the 1900’s
- 1 part Irish Whiskey
- 1 part Sweet Vermouth
- 1 part Green Chartreuse
- Dash of Bitters
As we’re dealing with a spirit only drink, this gets built over ice, stirred until cold, then strained into a chilled glass. Garnish with an orange twist. The recipe has evolved over time, with most modern incarnations being closer to a 3:2:1 ratio instead of equal parts.
If you must get a drink that involves creme de menthe, let’s at least go with a classic: the Stinger.
- 2 part cognac
- 1 part white creme de menthe
Build this over ice, stir to chill, then strain over crushed ice. The variants of the drink will be based on what you use for the base spirit to replace the cognac (as an example, swap out the cognac with Irish Cream, change it to a 1:1 ratio, and you have an Irish Stinger). If you must… you can use the green creme de menthe, which won’t change the flavor, but will definitely affect the color of the drink. Since this was originally an upper class drink, make sure to drink it with your pinkies out.