A Pulitzer Prize winner tries an Irish Coffee at the Shannon Airport and decides he needs to have them back home in America too. Teaming with a famous San Francisco bar owner and both doing lots of research resulted in the Buena Vista Irish Coffee.
In 1952 Pulitzer Prize winner Stanton Delaplane, a travel writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, enjoyed a cup of the famous Irish coffee at the Shannon Airport.
He loved it so much that he knew he needed to have them back home at his favorite bar.
Upon his return home to America, he met with Jack Koeppler, then-owner of the Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco, to recreate the drink.
They faced two problems: getting the taste just right and making the cream float on the top. Delaplane travelled to the Shannon Airport again for more research and Koeppler contacted the San Francisco mayor, a dairy owner, for information.
The perfect tasting whiskey was selected (today they use Tullamore Dew.) They decided to use a cream aged for 48 hours and frothed to a precise consistency. They mastered the use of the spoon to make the cream float delicately on the top. Instead of brown sugar, they decided to use 2 white sugar cubes.
They discovered that using the right chalice was key to the flavor as well. Using a stemmed 6 ounce heat resistance glass was key to the whiskey-coffee balance. Preheating the glass is important too.
Today The Buena Vista serves over 2,000 Irish cream coffees a day – close to double that on St Patrick’s Day.
On 11/10/2008 The Buena Vista earned the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest Irish Coffee. See photos of the event at their website.
Buena Vista Irish Coffee recipe to try at home.
- 1 c freshly brewed coffee
- 2 sugar cubes
- 1 jugger (1.5 oz) Tullamore Dew whiskey
- 1 oz heavy cream, slightly whipped
- Fill a large coffee cup or Irish cream glass with boiling water to preheat it. Let it stand for a few seconds, then empty the glass.
- Put 2 sugar cubes in glass. Fill glass 3/4 full with coffee and stir until dissolved.
- Add whiskey.
- Hold a spoon over the coffee and slowly pour slightly whipped cream (but still pourable) over it so it floats on the beverage.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 219Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 13mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g
We provide nutritional information but these figures should be considered estimates as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.
Want more? Compare it to the Irish recipe.
Necessity is the mother of invention, and a cold winter’s day requires a little Irish whiskey in a hot cup of coffee. Read the history of the first Irish Coffee and see the Foyne’s Original Irish Coffee recipe.
Want more? See our new cocktail recipes & cocktail party ideas.
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