Irish Coffee To Warm The Toes

This little ditty is a follow-up (of sorts) to my recent Getting in a Celtic Mood. I’ve been meaning to share this for a while, but all sorts of yummy other things kept getting in the way.

Every year, Hubby, Kiddo and I drive over to Sonora California for their two-day Celtic Celebration. For anyone living in Northern California, this is a hoot and a half. All sorts of costumed people (yours truly and clan included) wandering about, tons of food vendors, shops and entertainment galore – just a kick in the pants all the way around. Some years it’s so hot even in March, other times it’s cold as heck. One year, they even had snow on the ground. While the jousting events are fun, and the food is great (Kiddo and I had a nice breakfast to start the day – Welch Tea Cakes with Clotted Cream and Lemon Curds, Savory Sausage rolls and Tea), the truth be told we come mainly for the music. Our two favorite bands – Wicked Tinkers and Celtica – rocked the house. (That’s Celtic below – with flaming bagpipes).

This year, the Good Lord blessed us with the perfect day. We drove over to Sonora the night before, in the pouring rain. It rained all night. The next morning, the sun broke through and although it was wicked-cold and muddy (what fun), not a drop of rain all day. As we left the fair grounds, weary and oh so satisfied, the first few drops of rain began to fall. It rained all night, and we drove home in yet another downpour.

In addition to the concert; the fair also has a living history village with wonderful people of Celtic origins who truly enjoy sharing a tale or two. I met a lovely couple in the village who invited me to warm myself by their fire as we chatted a while. I will admit, they were a wee-bit opinionated, especially about politics, this marking the 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising. That’s okay, I enjoyed their company as well as their fire.

Anyhow, toward the end of the night, I decided to wander over to the makeshift Irish Bar and order up an Irish Coffee to take the chill off my bones. The girl pouring drinks said to me “I’m sorry, but I’m all out of Bailey’s. Would you settle for some coffee and a double-shot of Whiskey?” It was all I could do to keep a straight face and let her know that would be fine. She even offered some cream. How sweet. Why was I amused, you ask? Because I hadn’t ordered a Bailey’s Coffee. I had ordered an Irish Coffee. Yes, there is a difference. Apparently the barkeeper didn’t know that . . .

I shared my coffee with Kiddo. After a while, he leaned over and whispered in my ear “I feel warm all the way to my toes.” Yep, that’s what Irish coffee is all about!

Hot Irish Coffee
Ingredients – per glass
1 Teaspoon Brown Sugar
1 Shot Irish Whiskey (double if desired)
6 oz Hot Black Coffee
Heavy Cream, unwhipped, optional to lighten
Sweetened Whipped Cream, optional to top off the glass

In a footed Irish Coffee Cup, add brown sugar, whiskey and hot coffee. Stir until sugar is dissolved.

To lighten, add a splash of unwhipped heavy cream. Float a dollop of whipped cream on top. Serve hot.


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