It’s fun to be writing our first Irish Coffee recipe. San Francisco lays claim to a modern classic in Jack Koeppler’s 1952 creation. Mr. Koeppler owned the storied Buena Vista Café, which sits perched above Fisherman’s Wharf and Aquatic Park on Hyde. The cocktail was apparently inspired by the Irish Coffee Mr. Koeppler happened upon in Shannon Airport in Ireland. On a quest, he enlisted the aid of travel writer Stanton “Stan” Delaplane, to help him come up with a facsimile.
Today, the café claims to sell as many as 2,000 Irish Coffees a day.* We don’t know if this statistic says as much about the quality of the drink as it does San Francisco’s drinking habits, but we aren’t judging.
So here it is, in time for your St. Patrick’s Day drink-up (or morning after recovery), the famous Buena Vista Café Irish Coffee:
6 oz. piping hot coffee
1.5 oz. good Irish whiskey (we’re fans of the 10 year old Bushmills single malt but the Buena Vista uses Tullamore Dew )
2 tbsp. sugar (traditional Irish recipes call for 2 tbsp. brown sugar)
3-4 tbsp. lightly whipped cream
Note: The Buena Vista Café serves Irish Coffee in what look like a cross between a desert glass and a beer glass, but any large coffee mug will do.
Heat coffee mugs by filling with hot water. Pour the water out, pour coffee, add sugar and whiskey and stir to melt sugar. Top by pouring slightly whipped cream over the back of a spoon to float it atop the coffee.
The coffee is to be enjoyed through the cream, so don’t shy away from that mustache.
*The Buena Vista Café Irish Coffee story can be found on the café web site.