Legendary political reporter Warren Hinckle recently had a piece in the San Francisco Chronicle about the demise and rebirth of one of San Francisco’s classic cocktails: the Irish Coffee. Apparently due to a supplier ceasing to make the traditional glassware, there had been a decline in the ability of local establishments to serve it. The main purveyor, Buena Vista Cafe, had switched their supplier from a company in Ohio to China, with the plans to resell the Chinese glasses of lower quality to other Bay Area restaurants. Unfortunately the Chinese glassware was no substitute and in San Francisco, the glassware makes this cocktail. Fortunately the original purveyor of 6 ounce Georgian Irish Coffee glasses, Libbey Glass Company, was convinced to re-start production (at a great cost) so the city could continue to serve proper Irish Coffees in their proper glasses.
The whole article is an interesting read and I recommend you check it out yourself. In the mean time, here’s a recipe for a San Francisco-style Irish Coffee:
6 ounces brewed coffee
2 sugar cubes
1 1/2 ounces Irish whiskey
heavy cream, lightly whipped
Fill glass with very hot water to pre-heat, then empty. Pour hot coffee into hot glass until it is about three-quarters full. Drop in two cocktail sugar cubes. Stir until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved. Add full jigger of Irish Whiskey for proper taste and body. Top with a collar of whipped cream by pouring gently over a spoon. Enjoy it while piping hot.