Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Instead of joining the thousands of other people imbibing after a long day at the office, get started a little early. In the spirit of a true Irishman, treat yourself to a good ol’ Irish coffee.
Joe Sheridan of Foynes County, Ireland, coined the original Irish coffee. It was concocted after a group of American passengers hopped off a trying Pan Am flight on a miserable winter night. To calm their wearied nerves, Sheridan offered them coffee with a splash of whiskey in it. They inquired as to whether they were being served Brazilian coffee, but Sheridan told them it was Irish coffee.
The Irish coffee allegedly made its way to the US in the early ‘50s, when Stanton Delaplane, a travel writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, brought it to the Buena Vista Café in the city by the bay. Delaplane, an employee of the café at the time, popularized the drink by frequently mentioning the beverage in his regular travel columns. Though there are other accounts of how the drink made its way into American culture, one thing is for sure: it’s hard to beat a warm cup of coffee with a splash of whiskey and a dollop of cream on top.
To get a cup of your own this St. Patrick’s Day, head to these Zagat-rated eateries in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco.