During wintry climes, a decadent blend of coffee liqueur and indulgent, premium quality malt whisky is the perfect soother to warm freezing toes and chattering teeth. Curled up with a good book, in front of a glowing fire with a spot of creamy Irish liqueur is the sweetest treat when chilly winds blow. The creamy liqueur is also a decadent drink for festive occasions, with a texture so silky that it perfectly complements the warm and smooth gulp of freshly brewed coffee required to make this Irish beverage.
As mixology has evolved, so too the classic Irish coffee recipe has witnessed many variants which add little twists to the original blend to enhance its flavour. Adding a spot of Baileys Irish Cream to freshly brewed coffee might be a traditional phenomenon but infuse it with a dollop of chocolate ice cream and what you have is a luxurious version, the Baileys Coffee Float, complete with the creaminess of the liqueur and the sweet and bitter notes of a quality frozen dessert.
The origins of Irish coffee can be traced back to the Foynes Airbase in Ireland where it is said to have been created by the chef Joe Sheridan during World War II. When a group of weary passengers landed at Foynes after a particularly hard flight, Sheridan wanted to warm them up, so he added a swig of whiskey to their coffee and topped it with cream. When he went to work at the Shannon Airport following the war, he continued to serve this concoction to the patrons there and soon the popularity of the drink travelled across oceans to reach America.
Adding Baileys or Irish cream liqueur to the cocktail means doing away with whisky to instead use this creamy mix made from generous helpings of cream, cocoa and the Irish spirit. So, having a bottle of Baileys handy during wintertime can be rather useful to brew such indulgent mixes.
Use quality chocolate ice cream, preferably a dark chocolate version, to introduce a bitter-sweet taste into the float. Too sweet an ice cream would douse the bitterness of whisky in the creamy liqueur. While brewing coffee, use freshly roasted beans to arrive at an aromatic brew with just the right hint of acidity and bitterness that will pair splendidly with the liqueur and ice cream. Serve this drink in an Irish coffee glass garnished with chocolate sprinklers or a chocolate wafer for festive feels.
Find out below a quick recipe to brew a couple of mugs of the signature Baileys Coffee Float at home:
Brew the coffee.
Measure 60ml of Baileys Irish Cream and pour into a mug of coffee.
Place 2 scoops of ice cream in the mug.
Garnish with chocolate syrup and sprinkles if you like.