The Emerald Experience: National Irish Coffee Day & Riverdance

Irish Coffee combines three of the most delicious substances — coffee, whisky and cream. It’s a wonderfully delightful concoction that’s devilishly simple and devilishly delicious.

Celebrate National Irish Coffee Day on January 25 by planning to see another Emerald Isle export: Irish step Dancing. Hot off a sold-out tour of Europe and Asia, Riverdance, the 20th Anniversary World Tour will bring its famous energy to The Smith Center January 26-31.

Riverdance’s origins date back to performances created for the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest, which Ireland hosted. Irish coffee goes back slightly further, to 1942, when Joe Sheridan served it to warm frigid travelers in Ireland’s Shannon Airport.

Now that we think about it, the fast-paced, vibrant show is a  lot like Irish coffee. Both will give you a jolt of energy and fun.

So how do you make your own per-show cocktail? According to Sheridan’s “recipe,” you need “cream as rich as an Irish brogue; coffee as strong as a friendly hand; sugar sweet as the tongue of a rogue; and whiskey smooth as the wit of the land.” While that may be more poetic than informative, it’s worth it to use the best coffee, whiskey and cream you can find. Because Irish Coffee is such a simple drink, its quality depends on the ingredients. In an article entitled How to Make the Perfect Irish Coffee, The Guardian’s Felicity Cloake says, “Mediocre coffee, cheap whiskey and bland, spray-can cream are hardly going to have the leprechauns beating your door down for a nightcap.”

Once you have your ingredients, play the soundtrack to Riverdance and pre-heat the glass with hot water. Stir brown sugar and piping hot black coffee till dissolved. (This isn’t time to start a diet, the sugar is needed to help the cream float). Add a shot of your favorite Irish whisky. Next comes the best part: lightly whip some cream and gently pour it onto the coffee. Do not stir. Drink the coffee through the cream. Delicious.

Riverdance runs Jan. 26-31 in Reynolds Hall. To purchase tickets, click here or call 702.749.2000.






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