So, it seems the Irish Coffee recipe in San Francisco is changed. Oh, my. I give you the first part of the article in the Chronicle today.
Coffee, cream, sugar and -- Irish whiskey
... but Buena Vista changed brands
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
The Bay Area has been rocked on its heels in the last month or so. The 49ers may move to Santa Clara and the Athletics are going to Fremont. But just under the radar something really serious has happened -- the venerable Buena Vista cafe has altered the recipe for Irish coffee.
The Buena Vista, at the foot of Hyde Street, is where Irish coffee first came to America, 54 years ago this month. The Buena Vista is the largest single consumer of Irish whiskey in the country -- 18,720 liter-sized bottles a year. The Buena Vista is the cathedral of Irish coffee in the United States.
And now, the BV has switched from its own private brand of Irish whiskey, made by the Cooley distillery in County Louth, Ireland, to Tullamore Dew, mass produced in Dublin.
The change is so subtle it can hardly be noticed, but the difference between the two Irish whiskeys has sent shock waves though the world of Irish coffee drinkers.
The new Irish coffee has a bit of a bite not present in the old; even worse, the Irish coffee made with the new whiskey is not as traditional as the old Irish coffee.
The whiskey is the key to Irish coffee, made to the official recipe from Joe Sheridan, who invented the drink: "Cream as rich as an Irish brogue, coffee as strong as a friendly hand, sugar as sweet as the tongue of a rogue, and whiskey as smooth as the wit of the land.''
The Irish claim they invented whiskey -- the ancient Gaels called it "uisce beathe,'' the water of life.
It's always been something to fight over. Even now, it is not a good idea to serve Bushmill's, which is made in Northern Ireland, to an Irish person from the south, nor to serve Jameson's, made in the Republic of Ireland, to somebody from Ulster. So the changes, no matter how minor, are important.
And so it is!!