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Why it’s called Irish coffee

March 17th is St Patrick’s Day and for those not wishing to be seen to taking a tipple or three there is a sneaky way around this particular problem: The Irish Coffee. Now here at UKVending we like to experiment with beverages and there was no shortage of takers when we decided to try some Irish Whiskey’s, but someone did ask the question, why is it called an Irish Coffee? She had a point, after all the Republic of Ireland has many fine, beautiful and wonderful crops but nowhere on that Emerald Isle will you find a plantation of coffee bushes!

Well, after some investigation we discovered that the Irish Coffee is a remarkably recent invention, in fact it only came into existence as recently as 1943. The widely accepted story of its inception goes along the lines of this:

Shannon Airport was a cold and desolate outpost with precious few passenger facilities and on the fateful day for some reason the flight that the passengers had been booked on was cancelled. Up steps a local head chef called Joe Sheridan who offers the same passengers a warming coffee; made more warming by the generous addition of Irish whiskey. The passengers asked Joe were they drinking a Brazilian blend to which he replied: no they were drinking ‘Irish Coffee’.

Joe Sheridan continued to pour his trademark drink to passengers at Shannon Airport and one day American travel writer Stanton Delaplane who was in Ireland on assignment from the San Francisco Chronicle tasted the drink. He took a version of Sheridan’s recipe home to the City by the Bay and it was eventually added to the menu at the Buena Vista Café in San Francisco. The boozy, sweet and creamy coffee was just perfect for the American taste buds and they sold in their millions.

Happy St Patrick’s Day.  

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