This St. Patrick’s Day, venture 2.2 miles from your NEMA San Francisco doorstep and visit The Buena Vista Cafe for their Famous Irish Coffee paired with bread pudding. If you can’t make it there, we’re sharing a recipe to try at home to serve up some delightful Irish Coffee alongside your corned beef and cabbage.

How did the Buena Vista Irish Coffee come to be? The historic venture started on the night of November the 10th in 1952. Jack Koeppler, then-owner of the Buena Vista, challenged international travel writer Stanton Delaplane to help re-create a highly touted "Irish Coffee" served at Shannon Airport in Ireland. Intrigued, Stan Accepted Jack’s invitation, and the pair began to experiment immediately.

They tried reproducing it on their own, but it never seemed to come out like the original. They just couldn’t get the cream right. After much experimentation and a trip back to Ireland, the perfect-tasting Irish whiskey was selected and discovered that when the cream was aged for 48 hours and frothed to a precise consistency, it would float as delicately as a swan on the surface of Jack’s and Stan’s special nectar. Success was theirs and the Buena Vista Irish Coffee was born.

With the recipe now mastered, a sparkling clear, six-ounce, heat-treated goblet was chosen as a suitable chalice. Soon the fame of the Buena Vista’s Irish Coffee spread throughout the land. Today, it’s still the same delicious mixture, and it’s still the same clamorous, cosmopolitan Buena Vista. Both…delightful experiences.

What to try your hand at making an authentic Buena Vista Irish Coffee in your NEMA kitchen? Try this recipe:


2 sugar cubes
4 ounces hot coffee, (Buena Vista uses Peerless Coffee Organic Italian Roast) smooth blends work best
1.5 ounces Irish whiskey (Buena Vista uses Tullamore Dew)
1.5 ounces heavy cream (lightly whipped, not stiff)


Fill an 8-ounce clear heatproof glass with hot water. Swirl a bit and then pour out when the glass feels warm to the touch. Add 2 sugar cubes to the bottom of the glass. Then fill 3/4 of the way with hot coffee.

Stir until completely dissolved. Now add whiskey.

Holding a spoon over the glass. Start to slowly pour the slightly thickened, whipped cream over the spoon into the glass until full. Enjoy your authentic Buena Vista Irish Coffee!

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