How the Irish coffee was born, and The Dead Rabbit perfected it: S12E9

The Dead Rabbit's Irish coffee book: When whiskey met its match

Opened in 2013 by Northern Irishmen Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry, New York City bar The Dead Rabbit is famous for its Irish coffee.

It’s also one of the world’s most awarded bars. I can’t possibly list all the accolades Sean and Jack have picked up over the years, but they include multiple prizes for World’s Best Bar at both the prestigious Spirited Awards and the World’s 50 Best Bars.

In this episode of the Drinks Adventures podcast, Sean Muldoon recounts the messy incident that put The Dead Rabbit on the path to perfecting the Irish coffee, a somewhat neglected cocktail, with further inspiration coming from the legendary bartender Dale DeGroff.

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Also with us this episode is The Dead Rabbit beverage director Jillian Vose, who explains how the sous vide cooking technique enables the team to serve the Irish cocktail perfectly and consistently every time.

And if like me you’re based in Sydney, here’s a tip. You can try an Irish coffee that’s very similar to the Dead Rabbit’s at a bar in the city. Jillian visited the Duke of Clarence a few years ago to show them how it’s done, and they’ve since kept up the tradition.

Sean, Jack and Jillian have now published the definitive story of the Irish coffee in a new book titled When Whiskey Met Its Match: How Irish Coffee Captivated The World, which sets the record straight once and for all, that the cocktail was invented by a Northern Irishman, Joe Sheridan.

I hope you enjoy about this chat about one of my favourite cocktails. We also talk a bit about Irish whiskey, and the second Dead Rabbit book that launched on February 22, called Paddy Drinks: The World of Modern Irish Whiskey Cocktails.

Paddy Drinks includes an illustrated guide to Irish whiskey production and the differences between the various different styles of whiskey, plus flavour wheels and tasting notes.

It aims to equip readers to create their own drinks using a range of Irish whiskies, while also presenting a collection of The Dead Rabbit’s cocktail recipes that Sean hopes will help fuel Irish whiskey’s ascendancy in cocktail bars across the world.

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