The Real Story About Irish Coffee And How It Was Invented

Before lattes and cappuccinos, before frappuccinos and espressos there was flavored coffee, ie Irish coffee, still one of the world’s most popular drinks. Yet not that much is known about why and how it became so popular.

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Margaret O’Shaughnessy, the Founding Director at Foynes Flying Boat museum in County Limerick, has written to IrishCentral to say the flying boat terminal at Foynes, 35 miles from Shannon, and not Shannon Airport was the location for the first Irish Coffee after we mistakenly said Shannon was where it was invented in a recent article.

The inventor, bartender Joe Sheridan, later moved to San Francisco and worked at the Buena Vista Cafe irish coffee_04where journalist Stanton Delaplane of the San Francisco Chronicle had brought back the secret formula from Ireland and started one of the world’s most famous drinks.

Despite it being an incredible success, Delaplane later admitted he couldn’t stand the stuff yet found his name forever linked to it.

Sheridan was a top class chef and bartender whose family had moved from the North to Dublin. When he applied for the chef’s job at Rineanna, the townland in Limerick where the Flying Boat terminal was based, his application came in to CEO Brendan O’Regan for the position of chef and it simply stated, “Dear Sir. I’m the man for the job. Yours sincerely, Joe Sheridan.

It turned out he wasn’t lying. Foynes was the first Irish transatlantic Airport when Pan Am did their first passenger commercial flights from New York to Foynes in 1939 and Joe Sheridan soon became famous.

irish coffee_03The Pan Am flying boats were based at Foynes while Shannon Airport was actually 35 miles away. Charles Lindbergh helped choose the two airports for Pan Am but no direct flights from Shannon to the US occurred until 1945, long after Irish coffee was invented

Until then passengers to the US from Europe flew into Shannon and were bussed to Foynes.

In 1943 a flying boat flight to New York turned back due to bad weather and Joe Sheridan, originally from Castlederg in Co. Tyrone – a chef and highly skilled bartender – was asked to come back to Foynes to prepare hot food and drinks for the freezing passengers.

He put some good Irish whiskey into their coffees and was asked by the passengers if he had used Brazilian coffee to which he replied ”No it was Irish coffee.” He then continued to put the coffee in a glass and topped it with pouring cream – thus the Irish coffee we know today was invented in Foynes, not Shannon Airport that night.

Furthermore, in 1952 Joe Sheridan was offered a job in san Francisco at the Buena Vista and he met Stanton Delaplane the journalist who had made his drink world famous.

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The San Francisco Chronicle reported that after sampling Irish Coffee at Foynes in 1951 Delaplane flew home and he spent a long evening at the Buena Vista Cafe near the foot of Hyde Street working out the proper balance of ingredients. Overnight Jack Koeppler, the late owner of what had been a quiet neighborhood bar, found himself the proprietor of the most prosperous saloon in the city.

irish coffee_06Five years later, Delaplane was quoted in Time magazine as saying; “I can’t stand the stuff anymore.”

Joe Sheridan was even enticed over to the Buena Vista in 1952 and worked there for ten years. He is buried in Oakland, CA. Delaplane, who was the winner of a Pulitzer Prize, died in 1988.

Today the Buena Vista serves up to 2,000 Irish coffees a day. The busiest day they’ve ever had was the Super Bowl in 1982, 49ers vs. Miami. Three bartenders served 109 bottles of whiskey between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The night crew served another 104. There are 29 drinks per bottle. So that means the pub served well over 6,000 drinks that day [6,177 specifically].

All because of a cold night and bad weather, all because of a storm in 1943 that forced a flight to America back to its origin at Foynes Irish coffee became the first flavored coffee drink. One wonders what Joe and Stan would make of all the flavored beans in Starbuck’s these days!

traditional strong irish coffee on wooden bar with coffee beans

Article by James O’Shea found at irishcentral.com

Apple, Vodka and Ginger Beer Cocktail / Eple, Vodka og Ingefærøl Cocktail

A refreshing cocktail recipe, family friendly to taste
found on
Tesco Real Food
Apple, Vodka and Ginger Beer Cocktail / Eple, Vodka og Ingefærøl Cocktail

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Homemade Irish Cream / Hjemmelaget Irish Cream

A recipe for a bit of the strong stuff found on BBCfood
Homemade Irish cream_post

Homemade Irish cream is a real treat, served it chilled with plenty of ice or sneak a drop or two into your coffee.

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Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Glögg

With background info, recipes, and where to find Scandinavia’s beloved holiday drink in the Bay Area.

Article by By Luke Tsai posted in East Bay Express, November 26 2014

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Many Christmases ago, a coworker with a vague Norwegian affiliation first poured me a steaming hot, boozy, sweet, crimson-red concoction so loaded with the fragrance of cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom, it was as though he’d emptied the contents of his winter spice cabinet into the mug.

Glögg_02It was glögg, the traditional mulled wine beverage that’s wildly popular throughout Scandinavia. But here in the Bay Area, glögg — pronounced, roughly, like “glug” — is still largely unknown.

Slowly, though, that’s starting to change, thanks in part to the efforts of a homesick Swede, a beloved Scandinavian specialty shop, and a restaurant looking to expand beyond its typically all-American cocktail selection.

Martin Geijer started his San Francisco-based company, Geijer Glögg, which produces a glögg liqueur, in large part because he was homesick for the stuff. Geijer explained that in his native Sweden, the drink is rooted in the winter season, when everyone is chilled to the bone. “It really is bloody cold,” he said. Alcohol makes you feel warmer — and all the better if it’s served hot and infused with comforting winter spices.

Glögg_05Here in the East Bay, throwing a glögg party can be as simple as picking up a bottle of pre-mixed glögg concentrate, and it should come as no surprise that Berkeley’s Nordic House (2709 San Pablo Ave.) — the Bay Area’s repository for all things Scandinavian — is the place to go. For $7.95, you can snag a bottle of Saturnus, a popular Swedish brand. To make a batch of glögg, pour the concentrate into a pot along with the cheapest bottle of dry red wine you have on hand. (Nordic House owner Pia Klausen favors a Gallo burgundy.) While this heats up, add raisins, almond slivers, and fresh orange peel. Serve the glögg hot, providing spoons for your guests so they can scoop up the raisins, which will plump as they cook, absorbing all of the sweet, boozy goodness.

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As an alternative to the bottled concentrate, Nordic House also carries a house-made glögg spice mix ($3.95) that consists of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, orange peel, and raisins. You add that to two bottles’ worth of wine and let the mixture sit overnight. When you’re ready to heat it up, add sugar and, if you like, some blanched almonds at the very end. This method takes a bit more advance planning, but according to Klausen, it’s worth it — the spices won’t be as intense with the pre-bottled version.

Glögg_07If you’ve had glögg before, it was probably very similar to the kind that Klausen describes. But Martin Geijer’s family recipe, passed down to him by his father, involved infusing the traditional spices into a highly concentrated neutral spirit rather than the more typical red wine base. Starting last year, Geijer has enlisted Alameda’s St. George Spirits to distill a version of his family recipe. The result, Geiger Glögg, retails for $32 a bottle and is, according to Geijer, the world’s first glögg liqueur. (Apparently, in Sweden the tax code makes producing a non-wine-based product unfeasible from an economic standpoint.)

Glögg_06According to Geijer, the benefits of drinking glögg in this liqueur form are twofold: The spices are more prominent when there’s no wine flavor to cover them up, and, at 20 percent ABV, the liqueur packs a bigger punch than a traditional mulled wine.

You can heat it up in a pot or kettle, the same way you would a bottle of sake. But Geijer said the liqueur can be treated like any other spirit — served cold or at room temperature, either neat or mixed into a cocktail such as a Stockholm Sour: one part liqueur, one part bourbon, a half part fresh lemon juice, and a quarter part simple syrup, all mixed together in a cocktail shaker.

For more ambitious glögg-inspired cocktails, you might look to the handful of Bay Area restaurants that carry Geijer Glögg, including Hutch (2022 Telegraph Ave.), a Southern restaurant in Uptown Oakland whose bar program otherwise focuses almost exclusively on American whiskey. But owner David King explained that he was introduced to the pleasures of glögg when he was working as a chef in Copenhagen.

Glögg_08“Once it’s cold as it is in Denmark in December and January, it’s one of the best things you can put in your body,” King said.

King and his bar manager, Joshua Sexton, are hoping customers will warm up to a holiday cocktail that they recently added to the menu — a milk punch, served hot, that King said will be somewhat akin to a Brandy Alexander, which is traditionally made by mixing brandy, milk, crème de cacao, and spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. In Hutch’s version, the glögg liqueur adds an extra boost of spice, resulting in something akin to a Christmas-y hot toddy — perfect for the holidays.

Glögg_03You probably want to know how the stuff tastes. I sampled a bottle of Geijer Glögg, and the first thing I noticed was the smell of cinnamon, which was potent enough that it wafted up through the unopened cap. The liqueur had a lovely golden-amber hue and, when I drank it, a honeyed sweetness followed by a spicy kick. The overall effect was not unlike a boozy distillation of Big Red chewing gum.

When you heat the glögg up — in the office microwave, in my case — the intensity doubles or triples. By the second sip, there was a pronounced warmth in my belly. On a frigid (by Bay Area standards) winter evening, I could see myself going back for a second cup, and then a third.

The Christmas Recipes – Part 29

The Christmas Recipes – Part 29

Christmas Shots / Julsnaps

Christmas Shots / Julsnaps

Pepper Cookie Coffee / Peberkagekaffe

Pepper Cookie Coffee / Peberkagekaffe

The Christmas Recipes – Part 25

The Christmas Recipes – Part 25

Glöggmartini / Mulled Wine Martini

Glöggmartini / Mulled Wine Martini

Glazier’s Herring / Glassmestersild

Glazier’s Herring / Glassmestersild

Sloe Gin /Slåpegin

A classic flavoured gin recipe found on historyextra.comSloe Gin /Slåpegin

In every issue of BBC History Magazine, picture editor Sam Nott brings you a recipe from the past. In this article, Sam recreates sloe gin – a fruit-flavoured drink made with the bounty of wild blackthorns.

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The Christmas Recipes – Part 18

The Christmas Recipes – Part 18

 

Pfeffernüsse – German Pepper Nuts – Tyske Peppernøtter

Pfeffernüsse – German Pepper Nuts /
Tyske Peppernøtter

Mulled White Wine & Spiced Tea / Hvit Gløgg & Krydret Te

Mulled White Wine & Spiced Tea /
Hvit Gløgg & Krydret Te

How to Make Aquavit / Slik Lager Du Akevitt Hjemme

A spicy liquor recipe found on britishfood.about.com
How to Make Aquavit / Slik Lager Du Akevitt Hjemme

Comments to the recipe: Aquavit is a Scandinavian liquor with just as long traditions as Russian and Polish vodka, so please don’t offend the whole of Scandinavia by saying that aquavit is a sort of flavoured vodka. Aquavit was first mentioned in writing in 1531 and there are 91 different aquavits produced in Scandinavia today. The only thing they have in common is that both aquavit and vodka was potato based as soon as potatoes were grown here and not made from grain (grain was to valuable this far north). And by the way, the dill plants is never used to flavour aquavit, it is dill seeds that are used and real aquavit lovers never, ever drink their aquavit chilled, it kills most of the flavours.

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The Christmas Recipes – Part 16

The Christmas Recipes – Part 15

Café Brûlot – Burning Coffee / Brændende Kaffe

Café Brûlot – Burning Coffee / Brændende Kaffe

Coffee Punch / Kaffepunch

Coffee Punch / Kaffepunch

The Christmas Recipes – Part 10

The Christmas Recipes – Part 10

Juniper Liquor / Einerdram
Juniper Liquor / Einerdram

Labels For The Juniper Liquor / Etiketter For Einerdrammen
Labels For The Juniper Liquor /
Etiketter For Einerdrammen

The Christmas Recipes – Part 7

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Danish Cardinal Punch / Dansk Kardinalpunch
Danish Cardinal Punch / Dansk Kardinalpunch

Grapefruit In Brandy / Grapefrukt I Konjakk
Grapefruit In Brandy / Grapefrukt I Konjakk

Cured Beef / Gravet Oksekjøtt
Cured Beef / Gravet Oksekjøtt

The Christmas Recipes – Part 1

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Angel Desert / Engledessert
Angel Desert / Engledessert

Hot Mulled Cider / Varm Kryddad Cider
Hot Mulled Cider / Varm Kryddad Cider

Jane Austen’s Negus / Jane Austens Negus

A classic hot beverage recipe found at historyextra.com
Jane Austen recipes _Negus_post

In every issue of BBC History Magazine, picture editor Sam Nott brings you a recipe from the past. Here’s a recipe for the Negus served at the balls in Mansfield Park and The Watsons.

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The World’s First Frozen Margarita Machine

first frozen margarita machine

In 1971, young Mariano Martinez started serving margaritas in his new restaurant, Mariano’s Mexican Cuisine. His customers created a high demand for the newly popular frozen drink. With their blenders hard-pressed to produce a consistent mix for the drink they made from Mariano’s father’s recipe, his bartenders were in rebellion.

slurpeeThen came inspiration for the beleaguered boss in the form of a Slurpee machine at a 7-Eleven, a machine invented in Dallas in 1960 to make carbonated beverages slushy enough to drink through a straw. But the 7-Eleven Corporation wouldn’t sell him a Slurpee machine. He and a friend, a chemist named John Hogan tinkered with the recipe (hint: the secret is in the amount of sugar) and adapted a soft serve ice cream machine to make margarita slush, and word of mouth signaled a hit for his fledgling business.

margariraThe machine was such a success that, according to Martinez, “it brought bars in Tex-Mex restaurants front and center. People came to Mariano’s for that frozen margarita out of the machine.” Mariano couldn’t patent something already patented, so many versions of the frozen margarita machine subsequently came into the market.

His machine, however, made Mariano’s restaurant a success, leading to other restaurants (with their own commercial machines pouring out the margaritas). When Mariano decided to close the old restaurant and move it to a new location, he decided to retire the machine. We asked for it. So, after 34 years of blending lime juice, tequila, ice, and sugar for enthusiastic customers, the world’s first frozen margarita machine was retired to the Smithsonian.

From an article found on the Smithsonian blog