Christmas Tidings

What are the holiday celebrations without a bit of imbibing in something decadent?

For me, aside from a well curated charcuterie board and cheese cake, this is means adding a bit of sumpin’ sumpin’ extra special in my coffee. Honestly it’s usually a nice pour of Kahlua with a splash of cream, but if you want it to be extra special you should try a traditional Irish Coffee, which brings both the decadence AND the sumpin’ sumpin’!

Since it’s Christmas and I’d like to get back to some decadent imbibing of my own, I thought I’d share with you a post I wrote several years back on EpicuriousTexan (click on the ET link to go back in time to the original post!) about some theories of the history of this popular drink, along with the all important recipe to make your own without even changing out of your jammies or leaving the house! Also now is the time to perfect yours because in exactly a month–January 25–it will be National Irish Coffee Day and time to show off your IC skills.

Until next time, Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Why Are Irish Eyes Smiling?

Because they have Irish Coffee!

What?  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  Of course, everyone knows my position of coffee (nectar of the gods–in case you’re new here!), but when you add cream and whiskey, well, kids, it just becomes magical!

There are several theories as to who created this wonderful drink.  The most accepted theory was created in 1942 by Joe Sheridan who added whiskey to the coffee for passengers stranded at Foynes airbase.  When someone asked if the coffee was Brazilian, good ol’ Joe responded with “no, it’s Irish Coffee.”  He even coined the following when asked for the recipe:

Cream – Rich as an Irish Brogue  
Coffee – 
Strong as a Friendly Hand
Sugar – 
Sweet as the tongue of a Rogue
Whiskey – 
Smooth as the Wit of the Land.

Just don’t tell Joe Jackson that, he claimed to have created it year before Sheridan’s famous airbase interaction.  I personally think a nod to both Joes are in order, then again, maybe that’s why we call it a cup of joe?

With St. Patrick’s day only a day away, if you have never indulged in this delectable treat now it the time.  For the rest of us, Sunday brunch is as good of time as any!

How to make it?  Well, everyone tweaks it here and there, but the base is what good ol’ Joe Sheridan described.  The National Irish Coffee Day website breaks it down for us:

and in practical terms here’s how to make one:  Pre-heat a clear stemmed glass with very hot water. Empty the water, and add 2 teaspoons of brown sugar. Now add some freshly brewed rich coffee and stir. As soon as the sugar is melted, add a generous measure of Irish whiskey (about 4 to 6 teaspoons). Stir again, and then wait for the brew to still. Now take a hot teaspoon and pour gently whipped fresh cream slowly over the back of the spoon. The cream should be not too stiff and not too liquid. A perfect Irish Coffee should look pretty much like that other famous Irish drink – Guinness! And remember never stir it because the coffee is meant to be enjoyed as you sip the warm, sweet nectar through the luxurious cream.

Speaking of National Irish Coffee Day, which is a real thing, it’s on January 25th–plenty of time to hone your Irish coffee making skills! Slainte!

Grounds for Divorce

Java. Joe.  Espresso. Brewed. Latte. Cappuccino. Mocha. Drip. French press. Melitta.  Black. Breve. Cream. Sugar. Light & Sweet.  No matter how you serve it, coffee is definitely something I could NOT dream of living without.  With reckless abandon, I ignore any medical advice telling me to cut back.  I tried that once, with disastrous results (in a night my college roommate, Emily, and a poor waitress will never forget!).

Do you know what I love about coffee?  I mean, aside from that first sip that touches your soul and makes everything right with the world?

It is a great equalizer.  Everyone drinks coffee, loves coffee, needs coffee, hates coffee, or sometimes is just apathetic about coffee.  Regardless, everyone knows something/has an opinion about coffee and it has absolutely nothing to do with your socioeconomic status, the color of your skin, where you went to school, who you choose to love, or any thoughts you may have on religion.

In all my travels, I have yet to come across anywhere that does not have at least one coffee shop (even my tiny hometown smack dab in the middle of Texas).  There is a reason Starbucks is $80 billion company.  They are everywhere and always busy.  In airports worldwide, there is almost always a Starbucks—except perhaps Minnesota, where Caribou Coffee is king—and there is always a line. Even in Dubai airport, there is a Starbucks—and even at 2am there is a line of people getting coffee.

But it’s not just about the big guys.  And if you’ve come here because you love all things Starbucks and are hoping that I will extol the divineness of the lovely siren’s coffee, boy are you in the wrong place!  But stick around, you might find something you love more…or equally as well…or not.

Every where there are small artisan coffee shops popping up and building a loyal following—and they have been doing so since 1530, when the first coffeehouse appeared in Damascus.  By the late 1500s, coffee and coffee houses made their way to Constantinople, where it became such an integral part of life that a wife could divorce her husband on the grounds (pun intended!) that he did not provide her with an adequate supply of coffee!  I mean, it certainly would be for me!

So tell me, what are your thoughts on coffee?