Irish Coffee at The Buena Vista
Where do you think “Irish Coffee” was invented? Dublin, Boston maybe?
Nope, this warm and creamy spiked coffee was actually invented back in 1952 at a bar called “The Buena Vista” in San Francisco! On this St. Patrick’s Day it seems like the perfect way to kick off the festivities. A gallery of photos from my visit to this San Francisco landmark can be found on our Facebook page – check it out!
THE IRISH COFFEE STORY
The historic venture started on the night of November the 10th in 1952. Jack Koeppler, then-owner of the Buena Vista, challenged international travel writer Stanton Delaplane to help re-create a highly touted “Irish Coffee” served at Shannon Airport in Ireland. Intrigued, Stan Accepted Jack’s invitation, and the pair began to experiment immediately.
Throughout the night the two of them stirred and sipped judiciously and eventually acknowledged two recurring problems. The taste was “not quite right,” and the cream would not float. Stan’s hopes sank like the cream, but Jack was undaunted. The restaurateur pursued the elusive elixir with religious fervor, even making a pilgrimage overseas to Shannon Airport.
Upon Jack’s return, the experimentation continued. Finally, the perfect-tasting Irish whiskey was selected. Then the problem of the bottom-bent cream was taken to San Francisco’s mayor, a prominent dairy owner. It was discovered that when the cream was aged for 48 hours and frothed to a precise consistency, it would float as delicately as a swan on the surface of Jack’s and Stan’s special nectar.
Success was theirs! With the recipe now mastered, a sparkling clear, six-ounce, heat-treated goblet was chosen as a suitable chalice.
Soon the fame of the Buena Vista’s Irish Coffee spread throughout the land. Today, it’s still the same delicious mixture, and it’s still the same clamorous, cosmopolitan Buena Vista. Both…delightful experiences.
- 6 ounces hot, fresh brewed coffee
- 2 sugar cubes
- 1 jigger (or shot) of your favorite Irish whiskey
- Fresh (preferably homemade) whipped cream
Fill glass with very hot water to pre-heat, then empty. Pour hot coffee into hot glass until it is about three-quarters full. Drop in two cocktail sugar cubes. Stir until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved. Add full jigger of Irish Whiskey for proper taste and body. Top with a collar of lightly whipped whipping cream by pouring gently over a spoon. Enjoy it while piping hot.
Number of Servings: 1
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