Daily TWiP Archives

Something interesting has happened on (just about) every day of the year, and Daily TWiP provides the proof. An offshoot of my local events column The Week in Preview (affectionately known as TWiP), Daily TWiP was published April 2008-Aug. 2011 and is still giving readers reasons to celebrate.

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Daily TWiP – Jan. 25: National Irish Coffee Day

After a cold and tiring evening of shoveling and sanding, there’s nothing like warming up with something hot to drink. Today on National Irish Coffee Day, we encourage you to enjoy this seasonally suitable beverage and the amusing tale behind it.

Irish coffee was the creation of Joe Sheridan, head chef at the airport at Foynes, Ireland. During the winter of 1943, a flight bound for Newfoundland was forced to turn back to Foynes due to inclement weather. It was late at night when the passengers finally arrived, and they were badly in need of something to warm them.

Sheridan poured coffee into mugs, added a generous amount of Irish whiskey to each, and served it to the grateful passengers. One gentleman, curious to know more about this wonderful concoction, asked Sheridan if he had used Brazilian coffee. Sheridan jokingly replied that this was Irish coffee.

The name stuck, and Irish coffee quickly became the airport’s specialty. When Foynes Airport closed in 1946, Irish coffee moved to the newly constructed Shannon Airport, where it is served to arriving dignitaries to this day.

Here is the recipe Sheridan perfected, courtesy of the Foynes Flying Boat Museum:

  • Place a spoon inside a stemmed whiskey glass. Heat both by filling the glass with boiling water for five seconds, leaving the heated spoon in the glass.
  • Pour a shot of Irish whiskey into the glass. Add a teaspoon of brown sugar.
  • Fill the glass to about a half inch below the rim with very hot, strong black coffee. Mix with the heated spoon to ensure the sugar melts completely.
  • Now comes the tricky part. Carefully pour fresh cream over the back of the heated spoon so that it floats on top of the coffee. Pouring the cream over the back of the spoon adds a bit of fluffiness.
  • Do not mix. Enjoy the beverage by sipping it through the layer of cream.

– Teresa Santoski


Originally published Jan. 25, 2011.

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