Paul Nolan, veteran bartender at the Buena Vista Café, shares the best method to perfecting the Irish classic, an Irish coffee.
San Francisco watering hole, the Buena Vista Café knows a good Irish coffee - and so too does its veteran bartender Paul Nolan.
While the bar and eatery opened its doors in 1916, it's largely thanks to Nolan that it has received national acclaim as the home of the Irish coffee. The Irish American bartender has been making Irish coffees, most days, for over 40 years.
He takes the bar owner's word for it that he has made between four to five million of them over the decades.
According to Nolan, Irish coffee first came to America back in 1952.
"The original recipe came from Ireland, by the inventor, Joe Sheridan, and he gave the recipe to the beat writer of the Chronicle, Stan Delaplane," Nolan said.
Irish Coffee, at a San Francisco institutionNovember 18, 2018
That recipe that Nolan prefers is two sugars, hot coffee, and an ounce and a third of Irish whiskey.
The pièce de résistance? A layer of decadently delicious heavy cream on top.
A recent CBS report revealed that a "truckload of Irish whiskey" is delivered to the bar every week. It's added that the Buena Vista goes through a staggering one hundred bottles of uisce beatha EVERY day!
The reporter also maintained that this one San Francisco institution is the single biggest consumer of Irish whiskey in the world.
Bob Friedman, who bought the iconic bar back in 2001, notes that they sell about 250,000 Irish Coffees per year. At first, he said he didn't even like the famed tipple - but some years later, he's grown to be quite fond of it.