The History of Irish Coffee

Although Irish coffee is the iconic Irish drink and the ideal Winter warmer, little is known about its past. Coffee cocktails are a prominent coffee trend that we’ve witnessed in this decade. An Espresso Martini is a must-have on every cocktail menu. Cocktail menus are progressively growing beyond Espresso Martinis to other variations on our much-loved coffee cocktails, much to our joy as self-confessed coffee junkies. The classic coffee drink, the Irish coffee, is among these caffeine-infused beverages. Irish coffee, a delicious mix of coffee, whiskey, cream, and sugar, is embedded in Irish society, but where did it come from?

Joe Sheridan, a top-notch chef and bartender, developed Irish coffee in the winter of 1943. Joe was working in a café at Foynes Port, outside Limerick, at the time of the invention, which served as a transatlantic aircraft hub and a base for the flying boat terminal. According to historical sources, a flight from the terminal to New York took off on January 25, 1943. Due to terrible weather circumstances, the aeroplane had to return many hours into the voyage. The passengers were taken to Joe Sheridan’s restaurant after returning to their starting place and feeling exhausted. Joe wanted to provide something special for the chilly, delayed travellers because he felt sorry for them.

At this point, he had the brilliant idea of putting some nice Irish whiskey in the passengers’ coffee. Naturally, they were enthralled. One of the passengers approached Joe to express his gratitude for this excellent accomplishment and inquired whether it was Brazilian coffee. “No, that was Irish coffee,” Joe replied with a smile, and thus the Irish coffee was created. Traveller and writer Stanton Delaplane introduced Irish coffee to the United States in 1952, and he, like many of us, fell in love with the drink the first time he had it. Stanton pitched the concept to a bartender at San Francisco’s Buena Vista hotel. Since then, Irish Coffee has grown well-known all over the world.Today, the Buena Vista hotel still offers 2,000 Irish Coffees every day, using Joe Sheridan’s original recipe.

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