Cockle Warming Time!

There’s so much that today’s post could talk about – Winter Storm Jonas coverage is wrapping up, the Super Bowl stage is set, the NHL All Star Game is just a week away, we are approaching the RRSB’s 400th post, how to celebrate National Opposite Day –  but what we will talk about is something really important. Today is National Irish Coffee Day. (Those of you in other nations, feel free to consider yourselves one of us today.)

So, everybody, put down that morning coffee you have going and let’s re-start the day and do it up right. Brew up some good strong coffee and pour about six ounces into a warmed mug, add an ounce and half of Irish Whiskey and teaspoon of brown sugar, then float about an ounce of heavy cream on top. You have now made the classic Irish Coffee.

The origin of this cockle warmer is not quite so distinct as the main ingredient. Most barkeeps attribute it to Joseph Sheridan, an Irish restauranteur who “whipped up” a collar of whipped cream to top a hot coffee/whiskey combination for weary travelers arriving on a wet, cold, dreary night at his Limerick establishment. The story goes that someone asked if they were drinking Brazilian coffee to which Sheridan replied, “No, it’s Irish coffee.”

Now all that happened in 1942 but recipes for the drink have been traced to Irish High King Brian Boru who ruled from 997 to 1014.Since most people agree that coffee was not “discovered” until the 11th century and didn’t reach Europe until the 15th or 16th century, Brian might have had less to do with Irish coffee than some give him credit for.

In addition to Irish whiskey, people have been adding all sorts of adult beverages to coffee including Scotch whisky, rum, vodka, gin, tequila, and various liqueurs. There are variations of Martinis, Cosmopolitans, and Margaritas starring espresso and other bold coffee blends. Then there’s my personal favorite – Kentucky Coffee made with dark roast coffee, bourbon, and a splash of honey.

However you take your coffee, take it today with a healthy dose of whatever you have measured in “proof” and raise your mug to Misters Sheridan and Folger. Long may they weave!

That’s what I think. Really. How ‘bout you?


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