Happy National Irish Coffee Day! January 25 2015

With its blend of warming whiskey and eye-opening caffeine, the Irish coffee may be the ideal drink for getting through a long winter night. So it makes sense that National Irish Coffee Day comes in the dead of winter—January 25, to be exact. And it also makes sense that the drink was invented to warm people up in cold weather.

That was back in November 1943, at an airport in Foynes, Ireland. When a flight to Nova Scotia was stranded there by a snowstorm, the chef at the airport’s restaurant took pity on the waiting passengers, and began adding a small tipple of whiskey to their coffees. When asked if coffee was Brazilian, he jokingly responded that no, it was “Irish coffee”—and a new cocktail was born. (You can read more about the history of Irish coffee at the website of the Foynes Flying Boat Museum.)

Today, we celebrate National Irish Coffee Day—and the unique warming qualities of Irish whiskey—with a brand-new Rejigger cocktail recipe. Traditional Irish coffee contains nothing but whiskey and brown sugar, with a dollop of cream on top. But for the Rejigger version, we decided to fancy things up, adding Kahlua instead of sugar and replacing regular cream with the Bailey’s Irish variety. The result is a rich and boozy drink that could sustain any traveler through a long, cold wait for a trans-Atlantic flight.

Small compartment - Bailey’s Irish Cream
Large compartment - Jameson Whiskey
Medium compartment - Kahlua
About 8 oz. strong black coffee

Brew up a full cup of coffee, and pour it into a pint glass (you’re going to have more drink than the average coffee cup will hold). Pour the contents of the Rejigger into the glass slowly, so the Bailey’s doesn’t curdle. Once everything is mixed, pour it out into your chosen container—which could be a Irish whiskey glass with a handle, a tulip glass with a short and sturdy stem, or your favorite coffee mug. Enjoy!