Get Your Irish Up!
Multi-talented actress and funny lady, Maile Flanagan, tells us a bit about Irish cocktails and tradition.
St. Patrick’s Day. One of my favorite days (that and Halloween, another story, different drinks and colors). I love it because it is simple and usually happy, until you start singing “Danny Boy” … but that’s another story.
I drink Irish Coffee about three times a year. Once on St. Patrick’s Day and the other two times when I feel like it. And the BEST thing about Irish Coffee is that it reminds me of my father Dick Flanagan. He lived in San Francisco as a young, single man and, as he did in the many, many cities he lived in around the world, had a great time. Several years ago I was in San Francisco for my cousin’s wedding — it was wasn’t St. Patrick’s Day, but just as festive. On the day before the wedding, I was walking with my Dad, my funny and smart Mom Winnie and my spectacular partner Lesa (I have to say that because she might read this, but she really is.…)
The four of us split off from my siblings and their kids, etc… My father said — in a great Boston accent, though he didn’t live in Boston for decades — “I think the place where they invented the Irish Coffee is up here”. We turned, saw the Buena Vista Cafe, and he said, “This is it!” My father had not been there since he was probably in his twenties and he was far, far beyond that then. The four of us went in and had the best Irish Coffees in the world. It was very crowded but we stayed for another. My Dad was so proud that he remembered how to get there. My Mom, Lesa and I were having a great time listening to his old stories and laughing, because he was hilarious.
My father Dick Flanagan is gone now, but I can never have an Irish Coffee without thinking of him. And those were, and remain, the best Irish Coffees I have ever had. If you are ever in San Francisco, go have one at the Buena Vista. I highly recommend it. And if you aren’t in San Francisco — have one somewhere else — they are delicious.
For more video and recipes check out our Facebook and see Maile Flanagan and Maeve Quinlan at Butch McGuire’s in Chicago.
ALSO… Rachel Maddow from 3/17/09 — Rachel, Kent Jones and author and Master Mixologist, Dale Degroff, make real Irish Coffee in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day.