Friday, August 31, 2012

The Buena Vista's Irish Coffee - San Francisco, California


When I was buying Irish coffee mugs for my flight attendant friend from Ireland who was getting married, I wanted to find an exceptional recipe to include with the gift. (I ended up buying a book instead about speciality coffees). In my searches, I found the location of The Buena Vista in San Francisco, which brought over the Irish coffee via an international travel writer for the San Francisco Chronicle who had been served this coffee at the Shannon, Ireland airport in the early 1950’s.

This is a perfect drink for the often blustery, fog-shrouded City by the Bay. The recipe calls for one full jigger of Irish whiskey, which even though it is poured into the coffee and is drunk though the cream that floats on the top, the first pull will let you know this drink means business. After my first sip, feeling the power of the Irish whiskey over the coffee and cream, I wondered how many patrons have sat on the same barstool I was sitting on and after a few of these potent coffees, ended up on the floor at some point.

The Buena Vista had a fair mix of locals and tourists; most of the locals sat at the booths while most of the non-residents sat at the bar to have their obligatory one Irish coffee in order to tell their friends and family back home this was checked off of their to-do list. I watched the musical chairs of customers rotate filling the seats at the bar, then head across the street to jump on the famed cable car for the ride to Union Square. There is no doubt, if I lived in San Francisco, I could easily become a regular drinking these hot toddies. Mine seemed to disappear way too fast.  

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