Spirits: Cream liqueur gets popular as winter weather sets in

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Irish coffee is a popular cocktail for when the season turns chilly.

I would have to guess that more coffee is consumed during the winter months than any other time of the year. Since the invention of coffee, we have been adding things in it to soften the bitterness. Irish creams continue to be one of our hottest categories during the winter months, year after year. All of us can add Baileys to our coffee. Sometimes it’s more about the experience of it all.

The Irish coffee originated with Chef Joe Sheridan at the airport restaurant in Foynes, Ireland. The coffee was offered to cold and weary travelers as they waited for flights across the north Atlantic to New York. When one traveler asked if his coffee was Brazilian, Chef Sheridan replied “No, it’s Irish,” and the legend was born. The Irish coffee is meant to warm up your toes when the weather is at its worst.

The Irish Coffee

Glass mug

Hot water

Freshly brewed coffee

1 teaspoon brown sugar

Irish whiskey

Heavy cream

Fill your glass mug with hot water to preheat and then empty. Refill your warmed mug 3/4 full with freshly brewed coffee and stir in a teaspoon of brown sugar. Add 1.5 ounces of your favorite Irish whiskey. Slightly whip the heavy cream until thick but pourable. Slowly pour over an upside-down spoon so that the cream floats on top of the coffee. Sit back, relax, sip the coffee through the cream and enjoy.

If you haven’t seen the box office bomb “The Big Lebowski”, you have most likely heard someone quote a line from it. Released in 1998, the movie became a cult classic years after it tanked in the theaters. The main character “the dude” not only reintroduced the White Russian cocktail, but almost immediately, inspired bartenders around the world to create recipes related to characters in the movie.

One specific character, Jackie Treehorn, is a film producer in the movie that, during a party, spikes “the dude’s” signature cocktail, a White Russian, with a sedative. Although not the inventor of the cocktail, Chef Ken Baker and his crew at Pachamama’s introduced me to “The Jackie Treehorn” years ago. A White Russian spiked with espresso. Fantastic!! And still one of my favorite drinks to date. I have always liked a white Russian but the added espresso was a new take on a drink that people have been making the same way for over 70 years.

Originally the white Russian was concocted in Brussels alongside the black Russian. The “white” coming from the added cream and “Russian” coming from the vodka used at the time. Pachamama’s take on the White Russian was a bit richer in flavor than the traditional, which is nice in the colder weather, and the perfect after meal cocktail.

The Jackie Treehorn



Half and half

1 shot espresso


In a rocks glass filled half way with ice, add 2 ounces Vodka, 1oz Kahlua. Fill with cream leaving enough room for the coffee. Top with a shot of espresso and slowly stir. Drink until empty.

“Thank you, Donnie.”

­- Jon Smiley is the owner of Lawrence’s Cork & Barrel liquor stores. Look for his Spirits column to appear monthly in Crave, with advice and recipes on how to responsibly enjoy a variety of cocktails and beverages.


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