David Jameson

UK Coffee In Good Spirits Championship 2015 – Part 2

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Irish Coffee – a tricky beast.

I had decided to use Yayu Wild Forest Geri in my Irish Coffee and I wanted to accentuate the positives in that coffee as an Irish coffee. Florals, Citrus and Fruit.

I did some pretty thorough research into Whiskies, light, floral and delicate whiskies.

For some reason, no matter what I did, all I could taste was nasty, woody and hot. The acidity of the coffee was overpowering and the overall feeling of the Irish Coffee experience was pretty much like Heartburn.

It was getting much too close to the competition for my liking, and I was running out of whiskies to try and money to spend.

Reluctantly I had to pull the plug and revert to my previous year’s Irish Coffee – Los Lajones Natural Caturra with Dalmore 15 Year old.

I was pleased that I knew my Irish was going to be good, but I was a little frustrated that I was essentially recycling an old drink I had prepared.

I wanted to find a route to make this different, interesting, and unique. I scoured the rules and found a loophole that I don’t believe anyone has expoited. It never said your Irish Coffee had to be hot.

Tristan Stephenson has an Irish Coffee recipe in one of his books, where the coffee is cold and the cream is hot. I chose to do the whole thing cold instead.

I would make a syrup from Mexican Orange Blossom honey and water, and I would add this to 25ml of Dalmore 15 year old, 3 shots of Los Lajones Natural Caturra espresso, with the crema filtered off through an Aeropress filter, then topped with ice, cold water then cream.

Drinking through the cream, you would find a refreshing, cold tropical fruit experience, with the sherry-casked whisky bringing a fruit sweetness. The whole experience was great – much better than the same coffee hot, and my mind was made up. Even if the judges hated it, even if I finished last, it would be worth upsetting the apple cart to show this fantastic creation to the UK!

So I now had two cocktails to show, neither of which drew on the inspiration from my Australian experience or Scotland trip. Funny how things work out, and where the journey takes you.

I spent a long time preparing, practising, and rehearsing, trimming my timing down from 13 minutes to just under 8. It was a real challenge to make it in under 8 minutes but I managed it eventually.

I packed up my ingredients and headed to the Olympia to compete.

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