Walk into the Buena Vista, and you sense the laughter and camaraderie of days past. You see the row of Irish Coffee glasses standing at attention, filled with warm water, waiting for someone to say: “Make two.” And you know you are in an unforgettable place.
In San Francisco, near Fisherman’s Wharf, Buena Vista’s building was a boardinghouse until the owner turned the first floor into a saloon in 1916. Hundreds of fisherman and workers from the nearby Sardine Cannery tipped whiskies back as they waited for the boats to come in.
But the site is best known as the American birthplace of the Irish Coffee.
According to the Buena Vista, it was 1952 when the then owner Jack Koeppler challenged San Francisco Chronicle travel writer Stanton Delaplane to help recreate the popular Irish Coffee served at Shannon Airport in Ireland. Challenge accepted. After testing many recipes and techniques, a trip to Ireland, and the help of the local mayor and dairyman to perfect the airy, floating cream, the Irish Coffee recipe was perfected. First served November 10, 1952, the recipe hasn’t changed since that date. They serve up to 2,000 Irish Coffees a day.
This is the perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! Here’s the original recipe as illustrated on the Buena Vista web site.
And if you happen to overindulge on the day o’ the Irish, make these hangover fighting foods the next day. Sláinte!
Image Credit: Mary Gerush and http://www.thebuenavista.com/home/home.html