St. Paddy’s in Fort Collins

MARCH: St. Patrick’s Day, Spring, Daylight Saving Time, Spring Break, National Nutrition Month, Palm Sunday, Easter….lots going on this month.

So, I would like to start with our town’s Irish roots…there are none! Camp Collins, later Fort Collins, was named after Lt. Col. William Oliver Collins, the popular commander of Ohio Cavalry troops whose headquarters were at Fort Laramie. The genealogy of Collins is English and/or Irish (Ó Coileáin) and that is as close as we get to Irish heritage in Northern Colorado.

Last Friday, we met friends at Lucky Joe’s in Old Town for their tasty Irish coffee: Jameson Irish Whiskey, brown sugar, fresh hot coffee, and homemade sweet cream. The presentation is what really elevates their coffee to “the best Irish coffee in Fort Collins!” Each cup is topped off with a cinnamon design. My wife and I ended up with a shamrock and our friends had a panda bear. #bestirishcoffee

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One of the McElroy St. Paddy’s traditions is making Irish coffee. Our recipe of choice is from the Buena Vista Café in San Francisco. Real cream is used, not whipped cream in the can.

Irish Coffee…the drink of music and magic…was conceived by Joe Sheridan at Shannon Airport. Stanton Delaplane discovered it there and brought it back to San Francisco. In 1952, Delaplane asked The Buena Vista to recreate the drink and today you can head to the end of the cable car line to get a cup of authentic Irish Coffee, just as it is served in Shannon. (Or, come to my home!)

1.    Fill glass mug with very hot water to pre-heat, then empty water.

2.    Pour hot coffee into hot glass until it is about ¾ full. Drop in 3 sugar cubes.

3.    Stir until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved.

4.    Add a full jigger of Irish Whiskey.

5.    Top with a collar of lightly whipped whipping cream by POURING GENTLY OVER A SPOON. (by pouring over the spoon, the coffee and whipping cream do not mix and you have a beautiful layering of your Irish Coffee).

What are your favorite Saint Patrick’s Day traditions?

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