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Saturday 21 April 2018

A black day for coffee lovers as iconic tipple to face free-for-all

There is now no official standard on how Irish Coffee should be made Photo: Getty Images
There is now no official standard on how Irish Coffee should be made Photo: Getty Images
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Actresses and revolutionary leaders have succumbed to its world-famous charms.

But precisely how an Irish Coffee should be made has often led to heated fireside debate.

Now the arguments will be reignited after the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) ditched a 1988 standard that dictated exactly how the famous elixir should be prepared.

The standard - technically known as IS 417:1988 - determined the ingredients that an Irish Coffee should contain, how it should be mixed, and even the minimum fat content of the cream to be used.

But the NSAI has just revoked the standard because of changes in EU legislation concerning Irish whiskey, meaning there's now no official recipe for the drink created at Shannon Airport's predecessor, Foynes, in 1943. Marilyn Monroe and Che Guevara are among those who sampled the tipple at the airport.

The 1998 Irish Coffee standard was designed to ensure consistency in making the drink. It also meant that, at least in Ireland, no beverage could be called Irish Coffee unless it adhered to the standard.

"Shortcomings in either the quality or quantity of the ingredients or in the method of preparation can have undesirable effects on the resultant beverage," the now defunct standard insisted.

The standard went on to say that a serving of Irish Coffee needed to contain 130ml of very hot, strong, black coffee, sweetened with no less than one teaspoon of sugar (brown, white and other alternatives including fructose could be used).

It also required sufficient Irish whiskey "to impart the organoleptic properties which are a distinctive characteristic of and Irish Coffee".

It instructed that the coffee, sugar and whiskey solution should fill the glass (which had to be pre-heated), to within 20mm of the rim.

The remainder of the glass had to be filled with the cream (with a fat content of no less than 35pc), which had to float.

The cream had to be stored in a fridge, and needed to be poured into the glass over an inverted spoon.

A spokeswoman for the NSAI confirmed that no standard for making Irish Coffee now exists.

"At this time there is no plan to revise the standard," she added.

Irish Independent

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