Home Food & Cooking Warm Up with the Original Irish Coffee Recipe on a Cold Night

Warm Up with the Original Irish Coffee Recipe on a Cold Night


Photography by Ali Redmond

Tourists and locals flock to San Francisco’s famous Buena Vista Café year-round to order the spot’s acclaimed Irish coffee, and the hot, sweet and boozy concoction is famous for good reason. The blend of sugar, hot coffee, Irish whiskey and cold whipped cream makes for a tantalizing delight.

Whether you’re a Buena Vista Café superfan or merely a lover of boozy, caffeinated cocktails, here’s the best Irish coffee recipe to DIY from the comfort of your own home.

What Is Irish Coffee?

Irish coffee was likely created in Foynes, a small town in Ireland. Here’s how it happened: According to the Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum, for a short time in the the late 1930s and early 1940s, Foynes was the center of the aviation world. Why? Pan Am’s luxury flying boat, dubbed the “Yankee Clipper” landed at Foynes July 9th, 1939, becoming the first direct commercial passenger flight from the U.S. to Europe. In 1943, local restaurateur Brendan O’Regan opened an eatery and coffee shop in the Foynes terminal building and hired a chef named Joe Sheridan.

That winter, a late-night departing flight caught in bad weather was forced to return to Foynes. “When Joe was asked to prepare…

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