Although it is believed that Irish Whiskey has been kicking about since around the 12th Century it has only had it’s own celebratory day since 2009! Created by international Whiskey writer Stuart McNamara, the day was intended to teach drinkers about the wonders of this delicious spirit ahead of St Patrick’s Day to encourage them to treat it with the respect it deserves… we’re not sure how successful that’s been as we’ve all experienced the aftermath of St Paddy’s, but it gives us a great chance to share with you one of our favourite Irish Whiskey Cocktails…
Presenting, the IRISH COFFEE!!
The Irish Coffee was created in a coffee bar in Foyne’s Terminal in 1943 – the terminal was a stop off for flights between Europe and the USA; on a particularly stormy evening, a plane turned back to Ireland and its passengers, shaken up by the journey required something to calm them down & warm them up! Cue Chef Joe Sheridan who emerged from the kitchen with a mix of Irish Whiskey, Coffee, Brown Sugar & Cream, when asked if he had used Brazilian Coffee, he declared that it was Irish Coffee & so this luxurious cocktail was born!
Arguably the best Irish Coffee we have had the pleasure of knocking back was at The Dead Rabbit NYC – if you’ve never had one before then we strongly suggest holding back until it’s winter in New York and hopping on a plane over…hopefully in 2021, but let’s not hold our breath at the moment!
If you just aren’t willing to endure the wait then here’s our Liquor Studio Irish Coffee recipe which you can create at home. We’d argue that it’s socially acceptable to be enjoyed year round, at any time of the day, so let’s crack on!
– 50ml Irish Whiskey (We used Slane this time around, but it’s great to experiment with a range of different Irish Whiskeys!)
– 15ml Demerara Syrup*
– Whipping Cream
*1:1 Demerara Sugar & Hot Water – stir until sugar is dissolved.
Grab yourself a glass, add the Irish Whiskey, Demerara Syrup & Coffee – leave a 1.5cm gap at the top of the glass.
Lightly whip/shake the Cream, be careful not to over-whip – careful pour over the back of a spoon to layer.
Feel free to grate some fresh nutmeg on top.
You can also infuse your demerara syrup with some of your favourite spices – ginger, cinnamon, clove, pumpkin spice etc
So now that you’re sat there, Irish Coffee in hand of course, have a gander over over the rest of our blog and find out more about the spirit behind this smashing day!
3 Is The Magic Number
International Irish Whiskey Day falls on the 3/3 every year and this is no coincidence as the number 3 represents a number of significant factors within the realms of both Ireland & Irish Whiskey;
- There are 3 types of Irish Whiskey; Single Grain, Single Malt & Irish Single Pot Still.
- Irish Whiskey must be aged for 3 years to be legally considered Irish Whiskey.
- Traditional Irish Whiskey is distilled 3 times.
- There are 3 colours on the Irish flag; Orange, Green & White.
- The Irish Shamrock has 3 leaves.
The Comeback Kid
Rewind to the latter half of the 1800’s and Irish Whiskey was in the running for being one of the highest regarded spirits in the world, absolutely trampling Scotch at 3:1 in London. Once phyloxxera hit Europe, this further increased the Irish tipples’ popularity as the supply of Cognac & brandy almost ground to a halt resulting in consumers needing to seek a replacement. Although domestic consumption of Whiskey declined in the early-mid 1800’s due to the Temperance Movement and the Great Famine, production was close to being at an all time high and World Wide exports were beginning to take shape. However, in 1920 Prohibition pummeled America (one of it’s largest export markets) and Irish Whiskey suffered the consequences as fakes began to flood the Country; a cheap imitation which left folks with a bad taste in their mouth when it came to their opinion of the once beloved spirit.
Thankfully Irish Whiskey has bounced back and since the late 20th Century has been one of the fastest growing spirit categories, reporting world wide growth of around 15% year on year for the past 2 decades. A number of defunct distilleries have been brought back to life, 25 new distilleries have opened & there are a number of new sites which are in the early stages of construction.
Dipping Your Toe
Whether you’re a seasoned Irish Whiskey drinker or your about to dip your toe in for the first time, here are a few of our favourites to help you on your way;
Slane Irish Whiskey – Triple Casked, bringing together grain & malt whiskies. Notes of brown sugar, butterscotch & caramel, followed by spicy, dried fruits.
Red Breast 12yr – Aged in ex-bourbon & Oloroso Sherry casks to give spiced, sherry, toasted oak notes which just keep on going on the palette.
Teeling Stout Cask – The Teeling Family have been distilling since 1782 and know a thing or 2 about Irish Whiskey! This absolute treat encompasses some of our favourite tasting notes; black cherries, dark chocolate, honeycomb, malt & sour fruits.
Tullamore Dew XO Caribbean Rum Cask Finish – Mouthwatering Tullamore Dew finished in ex-demerara rum barrels which impart banana, date & raisin notes onto the finished tipple!
Jameson Irish Whiskey – Needs no introduction, our reliable Irish friend!
So let’s raise a taoscán of uisce beatha (a measure of Whiskey) to International Irish Whiskey Day and thank our lucky stars that this fine spirit is on the up, meaning we have an expanding selection of Irish Whiskeys to delve into!
We’re able to create a range of Masterclasses for you at the Studio so if you fancy delving into the world of Irish Whiskey get in touch – email@example.com