Irish coffee

Following the post about café D.O.M, next up is Irish coffee! This is probably the most well known and popular coffee drink. There are a few variations of the recipe, but the original is said to be with Jameson, and brown farin sugar. Brown sugar is also the kind used in the I.B.A (International Bartender’s Association) recipe. Irish whiskey has (in most cases) not the smoky taste so characteristic for the Scottish counterpart. This makes the Irish whiskey a bit sweeter, and pairs better with the coffee and sugar.

Irish coffee

Category: Longdrink
Skill level: Medium
Glass: Irish coffee glass. I have never seen one in a store, but they can probably be ordered online. If you happen to know a bar manager, ask him/her to order glasses from the supplier with the next batch of Irish whiskey. If you can’t find that, use a wine glass.

Ingredients:

  • Jameson Irish whiskey
  • Teaspoons of brown sugar (some recipes also use cane sugar)
  • Black coffee
  • Whipped cream

Instructions:

  1. Put 1-2 tsp of sugar into the glass
  2. Add 4 cl Jameson Irish whiskey
  3. Fill up with black coffee. You should leave some room for the cream
  4. Whip your cream. It should be thick but not firm, you should be able to pour it
  5. Pour cream on top of coffee. If you are inexperienced with this procedure, hold a small spoon just above the coffee and pour the cream with your other hand. Pour onto the spoon and let it act as a “shield”. The cream will run off the spoon gently on to the coffee. After you’ve tried that a few times, you won’t need to use the spoon. If you made the cream right, it will layer perfectly without the help of the spoon.
  6. Garnish with 2 coffee beans, and a sprinkle of sugar

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History:

In the 1940’s, a group of American passengers were stranded in an Irish airports. It was freezing winter, and the bartender (Joe Sheridan) added whiskey to the coffee to warm his guests. When asked by a few of the passengers if it was Brazilian coffee, Sheridan replied “No, it’s Irish coffee”.

Singapore Sling: Trying the original

Another bucket list cross off for me! I recently had a Singapore Sling at the original place where the legendary long drink was invented 1915: Raffles Hotel in Singapore.

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The hotel now and then. It still holds it’s beautiful colonial style of architecture. During the years, many world famous guests have stayed here.

It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for over 15 years, ever since I became a bartender myself. The Singapore Sling has a cool history and is of the world’s top 10 most influential long drinks. It’s been an official IBA (International Bartenders Association) recipe for a long time and has a given place in the heritage and traditions of bar tending. It would sure be a shame for anybody in the profession to visit Singapore without trying the original. I knew I would never forgive myself if I didn’t take the opportunity while staying in Singapore!

So what is the history of the Singapore Sling?

It was invented 1915 at Raffles hotel in Singapore by the bartender Ngiam Tong Boon.

ngiam

During that time, it was not socially acceptable for women to consume alcoholic beverages in public. Women had to resort to fruit juice or tea, while the men had all the fun with whisky, gin, rum, etc. According to the legend, Ngiam Tong Boon saw a “niche in the market” and decided to make a long drink that looked like fruit juice, was appealing to the eye, but secretly contained alcohol.

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Photo by me 🙂

This way, women could enjoy drinking too, while still maintaining their social status and not braking the strict etiquette of the times. Needless to say, the drink became an instant hit.

It’s a common mistake to refer to any alcoholic drink as a cocktail. To be anal about it; the Singapore sling belongs to the drink family long drinks, and then to a sub category of long drinks called slings. It’s served in a hurricane glass and garnished with a pineapple and cherry. As any professional bartender must know, the soft drinks part of a long drink determine the garnish, which the Singapore Sling is a perfect by the book example of. The main soft drink contained is pineapple juice.

I documented my adventure by making a short 6 min movie. Have a look here:

Half way into my drink, a pair of clueless, badly dressed, overweight guys walked into the Raffles sling bar and asked for beer.

facepalm
Epic fail

Seriously guys? Ordering beer at the birthplace of one of the worlds most iconic and legendary long drinks? They left after the bartender politely informed them that they didn’t serve beer, but recommended them to try a sling. Everybody in the bar looked around at each other and had a chuckle. No words necessary 🙂

After finishing my drink I must confess that I was almost drunk. It was the first time since coming to Singapore four months ago that I had any alcohol what so ever. At this point you’re probably wondering how I can call myself a bartender ha ha. I feel you. But I chose to skip the booze here and get back in shape instead. I don’t regret it; having lost 15 kg’s (33 lbs)  over the last four months (while at the same time having had about 20 pints of Ben & Jerry’s).

Café D.O.M.

This great coffee drink has only three ingredients, and is reasonably easy to make. Often, I think bartenders over-complicate things and try to add to many flavors when coming up with a good drink. My philosophy is try to keep it as simple as possible and use high quality ingredients that speak for themselves – like Italian cooking. If I’m working with a great brand of gin for example, I strive to mix and match so that it’s flavor is preserved as much as possible. With too many ingredients you would risk masking and hiding the flavor instead. Keep it clean, and high quality!

Café D.O.M.

Category: Longdrink
Skill level: Medium
Glass: If you can’t find a signature glass like in the picture, an Irish coffee glass will do. If you can’t find that, use a wine glass. If you don’t have a wine glass, use a highball glass. If you don’t have that, give up.

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 cl Benedictine D.O.M
  • Black coffee
  • Whipped cream

Instructions:

  1. Pour 4-6 cl of Benedictine D.O.M into the glass
  2. Fill up with black coffee. You should leave some room for the cream
  3. Whip your cream. It should be thick but not firm, you should be able to pour it
  4. Pour cream on top of coffee. If you are inexperienced with this procedure, hold a small spoon just above the coffee and pour the cream with your other hand. Pour onto the spoon and let it act as a “shield”. The cream will run off the spoon gently on to the coffee. After you’ve tried that a few times, you won’t need to use the spoon. If you made the cream right, it will layer perfectly without the help of the spoon.
  5. Garnish with 2 coffee beans.

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History:

Benedictine D.O.M is one of the oldest liqueurs. This French icon was created in 1510 and is flavored with honey, herbs and spices. D.O.M stands for deo optimo maximo. Café D.O.M is a great alternative to Irish coffee, and other coffee drinks. Rarely ordered by the younger guests, you can expect clientele of more sophistication and experience (and age) to ask for one. Enjoy!

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