NATIONAL IRISH COFFEE DAY
National Irish Coffee Day kicks off January 25th each year with a mug of strong coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and topped with a layer of cream.
On a cold, wet day in 1942 weary travelers to the small Shannon Airport in southwest Ireland found their way to a restaurant and chef Joe Sheridan. To warm his guests, he served them hot coffee, spiked with whiskey and topped with whipped cream. The passengers asked if the beverage was Brazilian coffee. Sheridan responded that it was Irish coffee.
Click play and enjoy a story about National Irish Coffee Appreciation Day featuring our founder, Marlo Anderson. If you enjoy the 2 minute show, subscribe with your favorite podcast player.
A travel writer, Stanton Delaplane, brought Irish coffee to the United States after having it at Shannon Airport.
Delaplane brought the idea to the Buena Vista Cafe on November 10, 1952. After much trial and error, sampling, and a trip back to Ireland for a taste of the original, Delaplane, along with Buena Vista owners Jack Koeppler and George Freeberg, were able to replicate the delicious coffee and the method for floating the cream on top of the coffee.
How to Make an Authentic Irish Coffee
Starting with a warm glass, fill 2/3rds full of freshly brewed coffee. Stir in a heaping teaspoon of sugar. Add 1 ounce of Irish whiskey.
Adding the cream, so it floats is the tricky part. According to the Buena Vista account, and at the suggestion of San Francisco’s mayor, a dairyman, cream that is 48 hours old, is best. However, others recommend whipping cream (not whipped cream) that has been lightly whipped or foamed.
When the coffee has stopped swirling from stirring in the sugar, pour the foamy cream over the back of a spoon.
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL IRISH COFFEE DAY
Warm up with an Irish coffee. Use #NationalIrishCoffeeDay to post on social media.
If you want to explore more cocktails and their history, read A-Z Cocktail Origins.
NATIONAL IRISH COFFEE DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this hot beverage celebration. While we do, we hope you’ll enjoy a mug with a friend or two.
Irish Coffee FAQ
Q. What is the correct way to spell Irish whiskey?
A. Irish whiskey (and American whiskey for that matter) are both spelled with an “e.” Scotch whisky drops the “e.”
Q. How do I keep my Irish Coffee from becoming cold?
A. Warm the mug with hot water for a few minutes. Then pour out the water before adding the ingredients.
Q. I don’t like coffee. Will I like Irish Coffee?
A. We never trust people who don’t like coffee. However, there is a chance you would like Irish coffee.
Q. I don’t like whiskey. Will I like Irish Coffee?
A. If you’re not a whiskey drinker, it’s likely Irish Coffee will not be to your tastes.
January 25th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History
Nellie Bly arrives in New Jersey, completing her 72-day journey around the world inspired by Jules Verne’s novel.
The world’s largest diamond is discovered at the Premier Mine in Pretoria, South Africa. Measuring 3,106 carats, the gem is named the Cullinan diamond.
Playwright Karel Čapek introduces the word “robot” into the world’s lexicon when his play Rossum’s Universal Robots (R.U.R.) debuts at Prague’s National Theatre.
The first Winter Olympic Games in modern history took place in Chamonix, France.
The jet age begins when American Airlines schedules the first transcontinental flight of a Boeing 707 in the United States.
President John F. Kennedy addresses the nation in the first live televised presidential news conference. The 35th president took off five days before the televised event. In his prepared statement, Kennedy announced the decision to postpone negotiation in Geneva, aid to Congo, and two surviving American pilots. He also took questions from reporters present in the room.
January 25th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays
William Colgate – 1783
In 1806, the candle and soap maker established William Colgate & Son. The company would eventually become Colgate-Palmolive.
Charles Curtis – 1860
In 1907, Curtis became the first Native American Senator (R-Kansas). During his career as a politician, Curtis would serve as the Senate Majority Leader and support the 19th Amendment. In 1928, Curtis was Herbert Hoover’s running-mate and became the first Native American Vice President.
Virginia Woolf – 1882
The author best known for Mrs. Dalloway and A Room of One’s Own was also one of the pioneering writers of the modernist era.
Florence Mills – 1886
From her debut as a 5-year-old “Baby Florence” to her Blackbirds review, the talented jazz performer sang and danced her way to the headlines of the Jazz Age and the Harlem Renaissance.
Donald Featherstone – 1936
In 1957, the artist created the iconic plastic pink flamingo yard art.
Gloria Naylor – 1950
In 1982, the American author published her first and most recognized, novel, The Women of Brewster Place, earning the National Book Award for First Novel.