As we see more and more craft bars opening, showing off their knowledge of cocktails from long ago, I sit in amazement when these craftsmen ridicule and belittle those who have changed a recipe from its original. Though I do believe it is fascinating to see how cocktails were made back in the 1800s, I think these new bar chefs are missing the point of the “cocktail” in the first place.
As pioneers were moving from the comforts of their East Coast homes and venturing out to the unsettled territories out west, they would find places to stop and restock on supplies and stay overnight to get a fresh bath and be entertained before continuing their voyage through the unknown and untamed wilderness west of Ohio. Cincinnati, the first city known as the “Gateway to the West”, was the last big city these adventurous families would see until reaching St. Louis. So, many of them would be looking for ways to be entertained as a family.
Taverns in the city wanted to cash in on this. However, they knew that most of the wives would have nothing to do with whiskey on its own, and making a large quantity of punch to help kill the bite of the spirit was out of the question due to not knowing how long it would take to sell. Remember, ice wasn’t as easy to come by as it is today. Why not mix individual drinks for these weary travelers that would satisfy each person? Sounds like a great idea, right? That’s pretty much how it got started. The barman would mix the drink to order and the customer got what they wanted. It was a win-win for both the patron and the bar owner.
It took me several years to understand what I’m about to tell you. However, how I know how to make a drink doesn’t matter. How the customer wants their beverage made is what is priority. My favorite cocktail to make is the one that is going to satisfy the individual I am making it for at that moment, no matter how off-the-recipe it is….PERIOD! I am a traditionalist, but I am not here to show off what I know in regards to making cocktails. I am here to satisfy each individual who walks through the front doors of my establishment.
The reason for my “soapbox” moment is because I am introducing a new way of making an Irish coffee. It was originally introduced to me at a bar I worked at 25 years ago. I love the recipe so much, I wanted to share it with you. I do love the original way that it is made. It was first made at The Buena Vista in San Francisco, California in 1952. It was a recreation of a cocktail that was originally made at the Shannon Airport in Ireland. Restaurateur, Jack Koeppler worked with international travel writer, Stanton Delaplane to come up with something that was a huge seller in Shannon. After many trials and errors, they came up with a master piece! So, the original Irish coffee isn’t that original after all. Huh, go figure!
Here another version, which is very tasty and enjoyed for many years in many of the establishments I have worked. Want it the other way? I can make that for you too!
Twiisted Irish Coffee
1 oz. Irish Whiskey
1/2 oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream
Green Creme de Menthe
Method: Build this in an Irish coffee mug by pouring in the first two ingredients to measure. Pour the coffee into the mug, leaving about a half inch of room. Top off with whipped cream. Lightly pour green creme de menthe on top of the whipped cream.
This Day in History:
1792 – President George Washington cast the first presidential veto.
1951 – Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were sentenced to death for giving away atomic secrets to the Russians.
1955 – Winston Churchill resigned as Prime Minister of Britain.
1971 – Fran Phillips became the first woman to reach the North Pole.
Educator, Booker T. Washington was born on this date in 1856.
“Character, not circumstances, makes the man.” – Booker T. Washington
Category: Drink of the Day