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St Patrick’s Day & Irish Coffee with Memories



St. Patrick’s Day reminds me of our first trip to San Francisco, which reminds me of  The Buena Vista Café, which always reminds me of Irish coffee!      




I’m of English and Dutch descent, Bill is of Swedish and German, no Irish here that we know of but that doesn’t stop us from loving that Irish coffee and the occasional green beer.

As the story goes, Irish coffee started way back in 1942, at Foynes Airbase, Country Limerick, Ireland…

On a miserable winter evening, A Pan Am flying boat landed, and a plane full of chilly passengers disembarked.  Joe Sheridan, the head chef at Foynes, concocted a drink that would warm their bodies as well as their spirits, a brew of hot coffee with a healthy splash of Irish whiskey.  A passenger asked Sheridan if they were served Brazilian coffee.  The chef told them, “No, that’s ‘Irish’ coffee!

By 1945, the Flying Boat was ended, making way for land planes and a new airport, Shannon International Airport.  Joe took his innovative drink along, and worked there until 1952.  Today, there is a plaque honoring his creation outside the Joe Sheridan Café Bar.



The man who started it all.  Stanton Delaplane at the Buena Vista in 1975.


Thanks to Stanton Delaplane, an international travel writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, the drink made its way to the United States and The Buena Vista Café in San Francisco.

On November 10th, in 1952, Delaplane persuaded George Freeberg, Buena Vista’s co-owner, to recreate the coffee beverage, but it didn’t work out as planned, there was a problem ~ the cream would not float.  According to legend, Mr. Delaplane, after sampling dozens of failed experiments, nearly passed out on the cable car tracks.





They sought help from the mayor of San Francisco, a dairy farmer, who informed them that they should age the cream for 48 hours and froth it --- then, it would float as daintily as a swan on top of the coffee.  Voila!

Deleplane mentioned the drink numerous times in his travel column, which was read across the United States, popularizing it.  Success was theirs!
 

The Buena Vista Café, at the corner of Beach & Hyde Streets



According to The Buena Vista Café, “Today, it’s still the same delicious mixture, and it’s still the same clamorous, cosmopolitan Buena Vista.  Both… delightful experiences."  

And that’s a fact, delightful, for sure!  A charming little café, with atmosphere and an outstanding Irish coffee!

It serves up 2,000 to 3,500 Irish Coffee’s a day - until the bartender's white jacket sleeves are spattered with coffee and the century-old tavern closes at 2:00 a.m.

Veteran bartender, Jack Nolan, with 37 years service, and his brother, Larry, who has been lining up glasses at the Buena Vista for 40 years, estimate they've served up over 3 million Irish coffees over the years...



The Buena Vista Café Irish Coffee

Ingredients:

2 sugar cubes
6 ounces brewed coffee
1 1/3 ounces Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey
Heavy cream, lightly whipped 

Method:

Pre-heat a 6-ounce heatproof glass by filling with hot water.
Add 2 sugar cubes to the glass, then pour over coffee until the glass is ¾ full.
Stir thoroughly until the sugar is dissolved.
Add 1 1/3 ounces of whiskey to the coffee.
Float a layer of whipped cream over the top of the coffee by pouring gently over a spoon. 
Printable recipe

Sláinte!



I think I did leave my heart in San Francisco more than once, and wish Bill and I were there now sipping on an Irish coffee at the Buena Vista...






ʜᴀᴘᴘʏ

s. ᴘᴀᴛʀɪᴄᴋ's ᴅᴀʏ,

ᴍʏ ғʀɪᴇɴᴅs

 
xoxo Pam





Comments

  1. Spent many happy times there. Wish we were there.

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  2. On St. Patty's Day we're all Irish! Love Irish Coffee, and did know a lot of the back story. But not all of it! Really interesting and informative post -- thanks.

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    Replies
    1. You're so right, John! We're all Irish then. Glad you enjoyed the back story. And enjoy your day!

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  3. A wonderful drink and it's always fun to learn the story behind a great recipe too. Thanks for sharing, Pam.

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    1. Thanks, Angie! Love that coffee!

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  4. I love the Buena Vista Bar and had several of their Irish coffees, although not at the same time.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Gerlinde! Then you know all about it, how great it is! Thanks!

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  5. Nice memories of San Francisco -- there are so many different ethnic restaurants and foods there, now more than ever. We saw the claims at Shannon Airport (now a shadow of its former importance) to being a pioneer in the Irish Coffee department!

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mae! San Francisco definitely doesn't lack when it involves ethnic restaurants, so many great ones to choose from! And wonderful that you saw the claims! I'd love to go there! Thanks and take care

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  6. Nice memories and lovely post Pam!! My mom love Irish coffe ! I have to make for her !

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    Replies
    1. Hi Gloria! Your mom knows what's good! :-) Enjoy!

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  7. Replies
    1. Thanks, Natalia! And thanks for stopping by!

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  8. Pam, Thanks for the history of Irish coffee. I'm waiting for my Ancestry.com feedback re: genetic makeup. I think that despite family insistence of English, German and Swedish forebears, I may get a little Irish/Scottish surprise in the results. As I worked at Montgomery Ward on the Chicago River from 1987 - 2001, I clearly remember the green river...plus one of my key staff members was an O'Brien and another was a Caffrey. They always took the day off and might as well have the next day off as well. I saw that you finally got some snow! Happy St. Patrick's Day! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Dave! That's good with your background inquiry and it will be interesting for you to see what information they have. I'm pretty sure I don't have Irish heritage as my ancestors came over on the Mayflower and it is documented in many books. But, the Dutch side actually moved from Spain to Amsterdam, so who knows. You had a great view of the Chicago River, Bill did also as his office building was at 101 N. Wacker, right by the river. It was a gorgeous green for the parade this last Saturday but cold! The sights you see make it an amazing fun day! ☺ Happy St. Patrick's Day to you1 Have fun!

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  9. Dear Pam, I loved reading this story and the way this drink began; simply and delicious.
    I wish you lived next door. I would gladly bring over the Easter pops for your grandson to enjoy.
    xoxo Catherine

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    Replies
    1. Hi Catherine! Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I thought the drink had a great little story with it. Our grandson would love it if we lived next door to you, he'd be there all the time to see what you're baking; he loves cake, and those Easter pops would be his favorite. I need to make them! He just had his 6th birthday so they'd be perfect for him, all decorated up with the candies. Thanks for the visit! xoxo

      Delete
  10. Love Irish coffee must not forget that on Friday :-) Have a happy day, Diane

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    Replies
    1. You're right about that, Diane! Have to remember the Irish coffee Saturday! The cream floating on top makes it perfect! Have a wonderful rest of the week! Take care

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  11. Thanks for the interesting post. I am not a fan of whiskey so Irish coffee is not my thing, but I can absolutely see the appeal for whiskey lovers.

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    Replies
    1. I get it, Cakelaw! You probably wouldn't like it but it does goes down smoothly! 😊

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  12. Irish coffee is really robust then -- to someone ask whether that was a Brazilian coffee. I am looking forward to trying your Irish coffee recipe, Pam! I am drooling!

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    Replies
    1. I get you, Denise! That's why I love Irish coffee, you know you're drinking coffee! Hope you like the Irish coffee when you make it. Cheers! And thanks for the visit!

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  13. Gosh, it's been ages since I've enjoyed an Irish coffee but after reading this it's all I can think of. I'll have to invite some friends over to share it with me tomorrow.

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    Replies
    1. Wish I lived by you, Maureen! We think alike, Irish coffee and others to enjoy! Hope you make it for your friends and they love it!

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  14. I know what I will be drinking on St Patrick's Day. Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. Ha! Thanks, Geraldine and enjoy!

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  15. What an interesting story! I have never had an Irish coffee...maybe one day!
    But I feel like having some coffee right now! Happy St Patrick's Day!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Joyce! I love love coffee and drink more than my share. Hope you enjoy your coffee and have a good day!

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  16. Loved reading the background on that delicious concoction, Pam!

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    1. Thanks, Susan! It's a goody. And Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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  17. Hi Pam, love the story behind this drink. I don't think I've ever had anything like an Irish coffee before but I do think this is a drink I would really enjoy. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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    1. Thanks, Cheri! It's smooth, warming and good! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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  18. Happy St. Patrick's Day, Pam...... No Irish here....not even a single red hair! Never tasted green beer or Irish coffee....Might need to try them both. Enjoyed the story...

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Shug! And Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!

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  19. What a great story, Pam! I'm Irish by marriage & today's the day to enjoy green beer. Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!
    ~Judy

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Judy! Here's to the Irish! Hope you had a great day!

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  20. Happy St. Patrick’s Day Pam! That is so cool to read about the birth of the Irsh coffee :-)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Evelyne! It's great when food and drinks have a good back story! 😊

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  21. What a fantastic history Pam! We love all things Irish for sure and especially a good drink with Irish Whiskey (we love Jameson ourselves). Outstanding post! I love food (and drink) memories. Have a great weekend.

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    1. Thanks, Tricia! Glad you liked it! And I'm with you on the Jameson! The Irish know how to celebrate, good food, good drinks! Have a wonderful fun weekend!

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  22. We have Irish friends who invite us over for Irish coffee every time we go out to dinner with them Such a fun tradition. And so interesting about aging the cream to make it float! Hope you had terrific holiday!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Liz! Sounds good to me! Have a good Sunday!

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  23. holy smokes, that's a lot of irish coffees! i've never had the real thing, but i like the story behind it...and i LOVE ireland. :)

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  24. That's very cool! Never been there. Happy late st Patrick's day.

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Hi!
I am happy to hear what you have to say, and appreciate your taking the time to stop by and leave a comment.
Keep smiling!
Pam
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“He toasted his bacon on a fork and caught the drops of fat on his bread; then he put the rasher on his thick slice of bread, and cut off chunks with a knife, poured his tea into his saucer, and was happy.”


~ D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers







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ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!

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