Irish Coffee, American Ingenuity
...It isn’t even really all that Irish. But then, neither is St. Patrick’s Day as celebrated in the United States. Like the holiday we know here, Irish coffee is a truly Irish-American creation — a mere shot’s worth of tradition percolated and whipped up into something over the top.
Its beginnings were trans-Atlantic, not to mention aeronautical. Legend dictates that it was first served in the 1940s at a County Limerick air terminal that was later replaced by Shannon Airport, supposedly to passengers stranded in a winter storm who needed both a quick pick-me-up and a stiff belt. In the ’50s, a travel writer took it to San Francisco, where the Buena Vista Cafe made it a signature....
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