The Irish coffee needs no persuasion or recommendation to ease its path through the world. One taste of a properly executed example and its existence will always be with you. When you're cold, tired, or a little blue, it will help, and you know that.
Our mentor in all things mixological, legendary barman Dale DeGroff, taught us that there are five stations to the Irish coffee cross. The cream must be real heavy cream, whipped by hand and unsweetened. The sugar must be brown or raw, and it belongs in the coffee. That, in turn, must be poured with a restrained hand so as not to drown the whiskey. Which must be Irish, of course, and as good as you can afford.
1. Lightly whip 1/2 cup organic heavy cream (you want the kind that's pure cream) by whisking it in a bowl or shaking the bejesus out of it in an empty cocktail shaker.
2. Put 1 tsp of demerara sugar or turbinado sugar (aka Sugar in the Raw) in a London dock glass.
3. Add 3 to 4 oz hot black coffee and stir to dissolve sugar.
4. Add 1 1/2 oz full-bodied Irish whiskey, such as Redbreast, Bushmills Black Bush, or Powers, and stir again.
5. Top with a one-inch layer of cream.