this recipe is a long time family favorite and is usually made around the holidays at my parents house each year, with family and friends all together. you see, my mother came to the states (actually to santa monica, california) from ireland when she was 11 years old. she's always had plenty of family in ireland, so there were many trips to visit as children. when we got old enough, my brother and i even applied for dual citizenship. i love and cherish my irish heritage to say the least.
so i can say for sure, this is the real deal irish coffee (please note, there is no bailey's). i've changed the measurement for the sake of clarity, but irish coffee is made at my parents' home with "just a thimbleful" of irish whiskey. an old silver shot-glass sized thimble that is, which we take out of it's little leather case each time we make this drink.
i know i'm a little late on the season for special irish drinks (and honestly, a good irish coffee is best in the depths of winter)... that said, i couldn't help but share this family favorite. make yourself one on a cold rainy spring afternoon then remember the joy for next winter.
ingredients (for each serving):
about 6oz coffee (i could write a whole blog about my feelings towards different types of coffee, but just be sure to use a decent quality coffee bean and make it fresh and strong)
1oz good irish whiskey (or a little more, if you like!)
1 Tbsp brown sugar (use a little less if you aren't into sweet coffee)
a few tablespoons of heavy whipping cream
first, a note on the glasses to be used. while you can make your irish coffee in a mug, i highly recommend making it in wine glasses. it look like a fancy guinness and makes the whole experience much more fun!
start by making the coffee you'll need for the number of servings you're making
meanwhile, you'll want to lightly whip the cream with a whisk or electric mixer. be careful though, you don't want to over-whip it! the cream is ready when it starts to thicken and will form peaks that fall immediately. most importantly, you should still be able to pour it. (a little trick: if you over-whip it, just add a little cream and stir it in!)
now, you just have to put the drinks together! start by placing a small metal spoon in each glass (really, this isn't a joke. it'll absorb the heat of the coffee and prevent your glasses from breaking).
pour the coffee and sugar into the glasses and stir gently until the sugar dissolves. be sure you leave room for the whiskey and cream!
add about one shot of whiskey to each glass (i'll be honest, i don't measure at my house) and give it a quick stir.
finally, the cream! to make it easy, you'll want it in something you can easily pour from -- a bowl with a spout or a liquid measuring cup. you can also use a larger spoon to slowly pour the cream. hold the small spoon from each cup upside down over the coffee and pour the cream so it falls gently over the spoon and rests on top of the coffee. create a half inch or thicker layer of cream.