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Irish Coffee: It's All in the Cream

In Ireland a few weeks ago, I had Irish Coffee three times in as many days. Irish Coffee was invented in Ireland and is credited to a bar at the Shannon airport. Then it was recreated in San Francisco at the Buena Vista. Its popularity in the US helped it travel back to Ireland where became popular around the country. 

At the Chapter One restaurant in Dublin, they have the most elaborate preparation of the Irish Coffee in town. They add Jameson Irish Whiskey and 2 tablespoons brown sugar to a pan and caramelize it for 10 minutes and grate fresh nutmeg on top. They add half the amount of coffee, then light the pan on fire for just a second and blow it out. They add the other half the coffee then pour it into the glass.

Irish coffee chapter one7M
Then they add the cream on top. Unlike the other Irish Coffees I've had, the cream was fairly warm as opposed to refrigerator-cold. Most of the fuss of an Irish Coffee seems to be about the cream. I address this in last week's post on

It turns out different countries have conflicting definitions for cream, and even in the US you have to know the difference between "whipped" and "whipping" cream to get it right. 

The good news is, once you buy the right cream you don't have to whip it very much yourself- just don't stir the coffee first, and pour it over the back of a spoon. More info is in the post here.