The Irish coffee

Thursday, 24 December, 2015

“We’ll take off the clothes” was the first statement my mother would make shortly after returning home from Christmas Eve mass. What sounded like an invitation to party was, in fact, a declaration that a new round of chores related to the preparation of the Christmas dinner was about to begin and it would continue long after midnight.

But before the job of preparing the sherry trifle started, the traditional Irish Coffee had to be made. The ingredients were four: whipped cream, coffee, Demerara sugar and whiskey, preferably Powers, but Paddy would be accepted in its place. As a lifelong Pioneer, my mother had pledged to avoid alcohol so how could she justify drinking whiskey? Well, it was only “a taste”, it was a family tradition and it was Christmas.

Irish coffee on Christmas Eve

Method: Pre-heat a stemmed glass with hot water. Empty the water and add two teaspoons of Demerara sugar. Now add some freshly brewed coffee and stir. As soon as the sugar is melted, add a decent measure of whiskey (about 2.5cl). Stir again. Now, the tricky bit. Take a hot teaspoon and pour the whipped cream slowly over the back of the soon until a solid head forms on the coffee.

Serve and enjoy. And we did.

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