Irish Coffee is an aperitif and digestif enjoyed by millions. But there are also quite a few that won't drink the concoction because of its alcoholic ingredient(s), which is primarily whiskey. But they needn't worry. Just as there are "virgin" drinks like daiquiris and margaritas, there are also non-alcoholic ways in which to prepare coffee to simulate the Irish Coffee taste.
Irish Coffee was derived from the Irish tradition of taking a little whiskey in their tea. It was first created by chef Joseph Sheridan (making it a "cup of Joe's"?) at Foynes terminal in County Limerick during World War II. With flights of American soldiers coming into the local airport and knowing the American predilection for coffee, he decided in 1942 to serve them the traditional Irish pick-me-up Americanized for their enjoyment. And it worked. According to The Irish Path, the recipe (the original can be found here as well) was soon across the Atlantic and being served at the Buena Vista restaurant in San Francisco, Calif., where it is still served today.
But everyone doesn't partake of spirits, as it were, and Sheridan's original recipe for Irish Coffee includes a jigger (or shot) of Irish whiskey. Some derivative recipes even call for Bailey's Irish Cream (an Irish whiskey and cream-based liqueur), although the original recipe called for a light cream topping. Still, alcohol is alcohol. So whatever the reasons for not wanting alcohol in one's drink -- be the practical, medical, or religious -- there have been some who have endeavored to capture the Irish Coffee taste without the Irish Coffee kicker.
Here are two:
Irish Coffee (non-alcoholic)
(from Amanda's Happy Hearth)
12 oz. strong black Coffee
3/4 tsp. Brandy flavoring (or Rum flavoring)
1-1/2 tsp Sugar
dollop of Sweetened Whipped Cream
Pour brandy flavoring into the bottom of a large mug or Irish coffee cup. Add teaspoon of sugar. Pour coffee, leaving 1-2 inches of space at the top, and stir (dissolves the sugar).
Add whipped cream on top. Do not stir.
Makes 1 large serving (about 12-16 oz.). For an 8-oz. serving, use 1/2 teaspoon flavoring and 1 teaspoon sugar.
2 cups strong Coffee
2 Tsp Orange juice
2 tsp Lemon juice
Pour coffee, orange juice and lemon juice into a container and stir well.
Pour mixture into two whiskey glasses, or tall, slender glasses, leaving room for topping. Add whipped cream.
So there you have it. Now, whether you're inclined to enjoy Irish Coffee traditionally or without alcohol, you can prepare the beverage to your liking.
(photo credit: Marler, Creative Commons)