January 25th is Irish Coffee Day!

Irish coffee on abstract blurred background

(PCM) Maybe January should be named Hot Cocktail Month. Like Hot Buttered Rum Day (January 17th) and Hot Toddy Day (January 11th), National Irish Coffee Day lets us celebrate yet another warm and delicious adult beverage to take the edge off winter’s chill.

Legend has it that Irish Coffee was invented one dark and stormy night in 1942 when passengers were grounded at a west Irish airport due to bad weather. To perk up the miserable travelers, a man named Joseph Sheridan, the chef of the airport’s restaurant, added Irish whiskey, sugar, and a head of heavy cream to their coffee.

The planes might not have taken off that night, but the drink sure did: within a decade it had crossed the Atlantic to become an American favorite. Although many bars and restaurants now use whipped cream topping (as in the stuff from a can), traditionalists and crafty bartenders may insist on the real stuff.

If you make Irish Coffee at home, you may find that your cream tends to sink. Experts say the trick to a thick and buoyant head is to let the sugar dissolve and settle into the coffee first – then add just-whipped cream by pouring it over the back of a spoon.

Sound complicated? Well hot cocktails and cold winter nights are serious business: we hereby give you permission to try this recipe as many times as it takes to get it right.

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