for Cozy Holiday Get-Togethers
magine sitting around the table with loved ones after a gorgeous holiday feast. Everyone is glowing, and the conversation threatens to keep you up a bit later than usual. And why shouldn’t it? Tomorrow’s plans include sleeping in and tonight’s laughs are only getting started. Perhaps one more drink with dessert…or two? Better yet—let’s make it a round of Irish Coffees.
An uplifting and heartwarming blend of whiskey, espresso, brown sugar and cream, Irish Coffee (when made correctly) is a sophisticated indulgence that keeps the party going. After partaking in this delightful tradition at the Michelin-starred restaurant Chapter One in Dublin, we turned to one of our favorite globe-trotting foodies, Aida Mollenkamp, to show us how to bring it home.
Lucky for us, Aida learned all the secrets to Chapter One’s brilliantly balanced Irish Coffee. Neither too boozy nor too sweet, the key to this clever concoction is that the whole drink is flambéed, allowing the flavors to blend beautifully for an outstandingly tasteful sip. Ahead, Aida walks you through how to whip up a round of Dublin-Style Irish Coffees for your friends and family this holiday season.
Heat a medium heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium heat. Grate the nutmeg into the pan then immediately sprinkle the brown sugar evenly across the pan. Carefully watch the pan as the sugar will begin to melt and caramelize.
Once the sugar is caramelized, add a splash (say 2 to 3 tablespoons) of the hot coffee and swirl it around the pan. Move quickly for the next few steps: remove the pan from the heat then add the alcohol (off the heat) and carefully ignite it. Keep it off the heat and let the flame burn out. When the flame dies down, pour in the remainder of the hot coffee and swirl to mix.
Transfer the mixture to a glass and top with just-whipped cream. You want it to have a little texture so it will sit on the coffee, but not so much that it forms peaks.
If you want to get fancy, float the cream by: placing the tip of a spoon perpendicular to the inside edge of the glass, turn the curve of the spoon toward the ceiling, and slightly angle the spoon downward. Slowly pour the cream down the spoon toward the inside of the glass and, so long as the liquid is less dense than the other liquids in the glass, it will float. Top with a little more nutmeg and serve.
For more globally-inspired recipes from Aida Mollenkamp, visit
Salt & Wind