Suzi's Blog

Whipped Cream and Irish Coffee

This is a truth, a fact, and not one of my modest exaggerations. Whipped cream can be an essential ingredient of a recipe, absolutely required by the laws of physics and chemistry.

This post is clearly going to be different. It’s serious and scientific.

Now, let’s just take a sideways step here. I know it’s hot during the days now — the 80’s here in New York. But, at night the temperature still drops into the low 50’s at our Catskills house. Even in the desert areas, the nighttime temperature can drop by 40⁰ or more. I can remember a summer in the Mojave Desert when it was 135⁰ at 1PM and down to 80⁰ by 11PM. I’d go for a walk and have to wear a jacket.

Which means, that still on many nights you might want an Irish Coffee. Below, I’ve got the classic recipe for Irish Coffee and an interesting option, Mayan Coffee, using agave nectar and tequila.

Both recipes call for topping the beverage with whipped cream. And that’s where the science comes into play. Your coffee may be hot. Well, it’s sure to be hot. But there is a critical temperature you have to be aware of: at 173⁰ many spirits, like whiskey or tequila, begin to boil. The alcohol will begin to evaporate and you’ll lose flavor.

Hence the whipped cream. Put immediately on top of the drink, it becomes a lid helping to keep alcohol vapors from escaping that hot liquid. The whipping cream is a physical requirement. That the whipping cream tastes so good is just a side benefit.

Honestly.

Classic Irish Coffee

Yield: 1 beverage

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 3 ounces hot brewed coffee
  • 1 ½ ounces Irish whiskey
  • Dollop of whipped cream for garnish [sweetened or unsweetened]

Preparation:

In a warmed mug or heatproof glass, stir the sugar into the coffee until dissolved. Stir in the whiskey, then garnish the drink with whipped cream.

 

 

Mayan Coffee

Yield: 1 beverage

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar
  • 3 ounces hot brewed coffee
  • 1 ½ ounces tequila
  • Dollop of whipped cream for garnish [sweetened or unsweetened]
  • Pinch of cinnamon for garnish

Preparation:

In a warmed mug or heatproof glass, stir the agave nectar into the coffee until incorporated. Stir in the whiskey, then garnish the drink with whipped cream and top off with the cinnamon.

Sources: Food and Wine Cocktails 2012

 

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