Whiskey cocktail

Whiskey Cocktail Hour, St Patrick’s Day Edition: Green With Envy

So, I’m not really a “desert cocktail” person. I like things to be really balanced and generally on the sour/bitter side. There are two exceptions to this rule, the espresso martini and Erin Rose’s Irish Coffee in New Orleans. Yeah, I know, it’s super specific, but that’s the kind of girl I am. The Irish Coffee at Erin Rose is not your standard Irish coffee. It’s an icy, sweet treat that refreshes you deeply, even in the midst of the blistering New Orleans heat.

The first time I drank this nectar of the gods was in New Orleans for my first Tales of the Cocktail, the annual celebration of all things alcohol and cocktails. Tales is a huge industry and enthusiast event that takes over the French Quarter for about 5 days every July. Yes, you heard right! The convention takes place in New Orleans, IN JULY! It’s arguably the hottest time of the year there, and it’s quite miserable. Even if you’re someone who handles heat and humidity well, there’s just no getting used to going over and over again from arctic levels of indoor air conditioning to sweltering heat akin to that of an outdoor sauna. This is a serious shock to the body.

As it was my first Tales, I didn’t know the city very well. I had no idea where all the “nice kids” hang out between seminars and such. I was still relatively new to the industry and didn’t know many people there, so I mostly stuck to my educational seminars and then went home to sleep after being trapped in conference rooms for 8 hours a day. On a particularly hot and muggy afternoon, I found myself with a bit more free time than usual, so I decided to wander around the Quartier for a bit. I rounded the corner on Conti Street and spotted some bartenders I recognized in New York. I walked around to what looked like a pretty average hole in the wall. They then extolled the virtues of Irish Coffee, which I shunned my nose as I generally hate sugary drinks. But they finally won me over by giving me a taste of theirs and I was glad I listened to them. It was so cold and so delicious and the caffeine gave me a nice little boost of much needed energy. I went from feeling overheated and ready to commit murders to feeling refreshed and energized. It’s a miracle cure, and I’m here to share my version of it with you on this St. Patrick’s Day!

Erin Rose’s real recipe is a secret, but suffice it to say it involves Irish whiskey, coffee, simple syrup and vanilla ice cream. I’ve taken the basics and added a little personal touch in the form of Green Chartreuse as it adds a fun herbal element and I love it! I wanted it to look a bit like old McDonald’s Shamrock Shakes, so I added green food coloring, because isn’t drinking something green all everyone wants for St. Patrick’s Day? Hope you enjoy this fun spin on a New Orleans classic!

Green with envy (image via Emily-Ross Johnson)

Green with envy

  • 1 1/2 cups of ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup vanilla ice cream
  • 2 oz dark roast coffee, chilled
  • 2 oz Tullamore DEW Irish Whiskey
  • 1/4 oz green Chartreuse
  • Green food coloring
  • Whipped cream
  • Green food coloring (as much as needed to achieve desired color)

Combine ice cream, ice cubes, coffee, food coloring and alcohol in a blender. Puree over high heat until the ice breaks down and the mixture is the consistency of a milkshake. Pour into a tall glass and garnish with whipped cream and coffee beans.

*For a more pronounced flavor, you can add instant coffee grounds to your mixture. I made it with Nescafe for an extra coffee.