Back before we had kids, The Hubs and I used to travel to distant places that require long plane rides. In 2005, we took a cruise around the British Isles with my parents and some friends, and man, that trip totally kicked ass. We met some awesome friends on that cruise who have remained our friends since then, even though they live far away–thank goodness for the Internet!
One of our stops on that cruise was in Belfast, and we took this amazing tour where we drove around the city, hung out at the Giant’s Causeway, saw Dunluce Castle, had lunch in a pub, and stopped at the Bushmills Distillery, where we bought a very nice bottle of Irish whiskey.
Now, I am sure my Celtic ancestors are rolling over in their graves, but I am not a big whiskey drinker. It burns, man. But that Irish whiskey we bought is fucking smooooooooov. I’m told that Irish whiskey, unlike Scotch, is triple distilled. I have no idea what that means except to say that whatever they did to this fancy can-only-be-bought-at-the-distillery stuff? It made it go down easy. Even I can drink it on the rocks. That said, my favorite way to drink it is in an Irish coffee.
Some people think Bailey’s in coffee is an Irish coffee. NO NO NO and FUCK NO. Bailey’s is a lovely thing, it’s great in coffee and milkshakes and cheesecake and whatever. But when someone offers to Irish up your coffee, they’re gonna put Irish Whiskey in it, not Bailey’s. And, they’ll probably use Jameson because they aren’t from Ulster and they aren’t unionists. And that’s OK too. Personally, my ancestors came over to America from Ulster after surviving the siege of Derry, and they were Protestants, so I have no qualms about drinking my orange whiskey. But I don’t mind a little Jameson’s either, because I love a good democracy overturning a monarchy. So just buy whatever whiskey you like.
Irish coffee, like many things of beauty, is pretty simple. Start with good coffee. Add in a shot of Irish whiskey. If you like your coffee sweet, add in some sugar. If you want it fancy, add whipped cream. If you want it really fancy, like, for a party or something, get a Celtic knot stencil and shake some cinnamon onto the whipped cream so it has a fancy pattern.
And there you have it, Irish Coffee. Sláinte!