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How to… Make an Irish Coffee


21-11-2013 11:30

It’s so cold outside... time to snuggle up in front of the fire with a home-made Irish Coffee!


Choosing the right glassware is important. You want a glass that is thick enough to both withstand the heat and to preserve it. There’s nothing more disappointing than going to all the trouble and serving up a lukewarm drink.


A wine glass is the traditional shape or a glass mug of the kind used for lattes and hot chocolate is a good option, as the handle makes it easy for the drinker to hold. Alternatively, wrap a folded napkin around the glass before serving.


Preheat the glass by scalding with freshly boiled water. To be on the safe side, a teaspoon inserted in the glass first will help conduct some of the heat and prevent more delicate wine glasses from cracking.


Be sure to use the best freshly brewed coffee you can – a rich and robust blend will stand up well to the whiskey.

The cream should be whipped until it just begins to hold a figure of eight but so that it can still pour. Overwhipping it will encourage it to sink.


A teaspoon or two of sugar is crucial in helping the cream to float. You can serve an unsweetened Irish coffee but it is unlikely to hold its cream head for long.


Add the coffee first and then stir in the sugar. Add the shot of Irish whiskey last, so as not to cool the glass down first.


Be sure to dissolve the sugar fully in the base of the glass before adding the cream: caster sugar will dissolve quicker than brown sugar.


To add the cream, heat two spoons in the hot coffee and use one to gently ladle the cream over the back of the other and gently onto the surface of the coffee.


Sprinkle with a couple of roasted coffee beans and serve piping hot.

From The ICA Book of Home And Family, published on 16 October by Gill Books. What The ICA Cookbook did for your kitchen, this book will do for your whole home – clever tricks, special touches and precious know-how for the next generation of homemakers.


Share your tips with other readers – tweet to @GillandMac using hashtag #MammyKnowsBest and we will feature the best ones in our round-ups on the blog mammyknowsbest.tumblr.com and Facebook, and win a FREE copy of The Irish Country Women’s Association Book of Home And Family!



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