January 25, 2012

National Irish Coffee Day

“Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat” - Alex Levine

It's National Irish Coffee Day!

I can honestly say that when I lived in Ireland, while I drank my weight in Bailey's, I never actually had an "Irish Coffee." I did, however, eat a tremendous amount of Irish Coffee Truffles from Butler's Chocolate Cafe on Grafton Street in Dublin's city centre.

They were, perhaps, my favorite splurge item (and since I was an au pair, I always had a few extra euro to spend on lush snack items . . . including chocolate covered honeycomb!). My bus would drop me off right around Trinity College, I'd walk past the Molly Malone statue, grab a coffee from Bewley's, and then walk all the way up Grafton Street - totally mesmerized by the array of street performers - until I almost reached St. Stephen's Green where Butler's was, and it always had a line out the door.

That particular walk was one of my favorite things about living in Ireland, and I did it often because I found it so peaceful, so personal.

The older I get, the deeper my roots certainly grow, and I miss traveling more than anything else. I miss the freedom of being able to up-and-go, to absorb a culture around me and blend in the locals, to discover a new me away from everything that everyone - including myself - expects me to be.

Thankfully, we live in a time where if we can't go to the world, we can bring the world to us. So, tonight, I'm bringing a little bit o'Ireland to my own culturally ambiguous flat here in Maine. Irish Coffee is said to have originated in 1942 after a chef named Joe Sheridan whipped together the concoction for some cold, tired, weary airline passengers. When asked if they were drinking something Brazilian, Sheridan responded: "No, it's Irish Coffee!" So...

Cáisc Nnáisiúnta Lá Caife Gaelach!

Happy National Irish Coffee Day!