St. Patrick’s day: for some, a fervent paean to the emerald motherland, a devout and sacred deference to Ireland’s protector and patron saint; for others, the chance to claim tenuous Irish heritage in order to launch full throttle into socially sanctioned, day-long Guinness benders while dressed as ‘sexy’ leprechauns.
Edmund Weil, founder of esteemed London speakeasy Nightjar, has different ideas about how to celebrate St Paddy’s day. And they’re distinctly more balanced: in other words, they involve tales of legend and a hefty serving of booze. Everyone’s a winner.
Riffing on the classic Irish coffee – heretofore considered a naff 1980s throwback reserved for down-at-heel hotels and budget cruise liners – Weil delved into the history books for her creation.
The Murad Reis, named after a Barbary pirate who raided the South coast of Ireland in 1631, and later welcomed many Irishmen into his crew, is a hotbed of Turkish-Irish influences that offers combustible spice notes atop a deep, earthy underbelly. “I wanted to bring some spice to the classic Irish coffee,” says Weil. “And, because we’re heading into spring, we wanted to be able to serve the drink cold.”
“We imagined how Murad Reis might have taken his Irish coffee,” he adds. “My recipe is the perfect blend of Turkish and Irish roots. The Guinness syrup brings a lovely malty finish, and the spiced rum and blackberry liqueur add much-needed fruity dimensions.”
The classic Irish coffee is unique among cocktails in that it has an unambiguous provenance: in the winter of 1943, Joe Sheridan, barman at Foynes Port in Limerick, spied some cold, weary travellers whose boat was forced to return to Irish shores as a result of tumultuous weather. Piping hot, reinforced by fortifying whisky and comforting sweet cream, it was the perfect antidote to their experience. It’s been an airport staple ever since.
“But you won’t have tried Irish coffee like this before,” Weil promises. And something tells us he’s right.
Murad Reis (Serves 2)
1 tsp sugar
40ml Jameson Select Reserve
40ml Kraken spiced rum
20ml Blackberry liqueur (Creme de Mure)
30ml Guinness syrup
80ml stovetop espresso, mixed with green cardamom and spice (Turkish coffee)
10ml condensed milk
Turkish coffee cup
Dried rosebud, to garnish
- For the syrup, add Guinness and sugar to a saucepan and reduce over a medium heat (without boiling) until it has a syrupy consistency.
- Decant into a sealable container and set aside until needed.
- Put the Jameson, rum, Creme de Mure, Guinness syrup and Turkish coffee into a cocktail shaker and shake well until completely combined.
- Add the ice to your glass then, using both hands, strain the drink through a Hawthorne strainer (held flush with the opening of the shaker) and a small fine sieve positioned over your Turkish coffee cup.
- Finish with a cream float: turn a spoon upside down and place it inside the coffee cup, just above the level of the cocktail. Gently pour the condensed milk over the spoon, raising the spoon as you pour.
- Garnish with a dried rosebud.
From delicious to stratospheric…
“Play around with light spice dustings on top of the drink; these can add a beautiful aromatic element and make the drink your own.”
“Kraken is a particularly rich and sweet dark spiced rum, which stands up brilliantly to the coffee flavours here. Jameson Select Reserve includes lots of bourbon and sherry casks in the blend, bringing a richer flavour.
“Giffard makes an excellent Creme de Mure. You can buy Turkish coffee off the shelf in any Turkish supermarket, but simple espresso will work here too.”