Mix It Up: Make Pint + Jigger’s Iced Irish Coffee at Home
Elevate your brunch game beyond basic with this chilled spin on the classic cocktail.
Photo: Jennifer Fiedler
Editor’s note: Mix It Up is a new series where we feature the stories behind local cocktails and their recipes. Let us know what you think in the comments!
Move over bloody mary, there’s a better brunch cocktail in town: the iced Irish coffee. Pint + Jigger’s Dave Newman introduced a killer version for his restaurant’s menus last year, and we asked him to share the recipe.
Newman’s version is an homage to the hot Irish Coffee served at the Buena Vista Café in San Francisco, where the drink—a mix of whiskey, coffee, a couple of sugar cubes and lightly whipped cream—was made famous in 1952 when the owner and a travel writer teamed up to recreate a drink served at an airport in Ireland. The restaurant still makes Irish coffees today—to the tune of 2,000 a day—some of which have gone to Newman, who is a big fan. “Sometimes I find myself there a few times on the same visit,” he says about making the pilgrimage.
But when Newman considered making a version of the Buena Vista’s at Pint + Jigger, he swapped iced for hot. “We have this tiny window every year in Hawai‘i when we can get away with serving hot drinks,” he says. “I wanted to create a drink that we could enjoy year-round.”
“The beauty of this is that it is so simple,” says Newman of his recipe. “Use amazing ingredients and let them speak for themselves—and in this case each additional ingredient just makes the drink better and better.”
A quick note about the coffee: Newman brews an extra-strong cold brew at Pint + Jigger, with the aid of the super-cold beer refrigerators, which allow him to do a super-long extraction of the coffee beans. For making the drink at home, Newman says it’s fine to use regular cold brew. “The cocktail will still taste amazing,” he says, “but may be just worth coming into Pint for one from time to time.”
Iced Irish Coffee
2 ounces Irish whiskey, such as Tullamore Dew
2 sugar cubes
4 ounces cold brew coffee
House Vanilla Whip Cream (see note)
Garnish: grated nutmeg
Glassware: Rocks or highball glass
In the serving glass, muddle the sugar cubes in the whiskey until dissolved. Add the cold brew coffee, add pebbled ice*, and top with a float of whipped cream.
House Vanilla Whip Cream
At Pint + Jigger, Newman makes a special vanilla-infused whipped cream to top the coffee. This is an approximation you can make at home.
1 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3 tablespoons sugar
In a small saucepan, heat all the ingredients until the sugar has dissolved, then remove from heat. Allow to cool completely, then remove the vanilla bean. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat the cream with a whisk or whisk attachment until it forms soft peaks.
*To make pebbled ice, wrap six to eight ice cubes in a dishtowel or Lewis bag and hit the covered ice with a wooden mallet until it forms small jewel-like shards.