In the summer, the hottest cocktails are piña coladas, daiquiris, margaritas and other fun frozen drinks. Wintertime, however, calls for warm beverages that are as tasty as they are toasty. These fired-up cocktails are getting a warm reception in Columbia.
“Warm drinks are so popular because it just goes with the season,” says Kara Miller, general manager at The Bridge concert venue. “There is also the aspect of the comforting, homey feel to warm drinks that make them so popular.”
The Bridge has been serving Irish coffee since November, along with food from the Ozark Mountain Biscuit food truck, during weekend brunch. Miller says the Irish coffee has been a success at the venue.
Irish coffee was first created in the 1940s at an airport in the Irish city of Foynes when passengers where stranded during a winter storm. Airport restaurant chef Joe Sheridan added whiskey to coffee to warm the passengers. The drink spread to the United States in 1952 at the Buena Vista Café in San Francisco.
still serves its famous Irish coffee, which The Bridge tries to replicate.
“Our recipe is not the hot coffee, Irish whiskey and Bailey’s that people usually think makes Irish coffee,” Miller says. “It’s not the typical Irish coffee, and a lot of people in town aren’t doing it our way right now. We get the glass really, really hot and then drop in two sugar cubes so it dissolves quickly. Then we add a shot of Irish whiskey and top it with homemade whipping cream.”
Other popular warm drinks throughout the winter include peppermint schnapps and hot chocolate, hard hot apple cider and spiced wine.
“I would say these drinks are great drinks for everyone,” Miller says. “They can go with brunch or with dessert or even a meal. What makes them so great is how versatile they are. It’s what you make of it. They truly are drinks for the season.”
4 ounces brewed black coffee
2 cocktail sugar cubes
1 jigger (1½ ounces) Irish whiskey
Fill a 6-ounce heat-safe glass or mug with very hot water to preheat, then empty. Pour hot coffee into the hot glass until it is about ¾ full. Drop in 2 sugar cubes and stir until the sugar thoroughly dissolves. Add whiskey and top with a collar of lightly whipped cream by pouring gently over the back of a spoon. Serve piping hot.