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Want to honor the Irish? Skip the green dye, please

Skip the green dye and make a good Irish Coffee for St Patrick's Day.
Skip the green dye and make a good Irish Coffee for St Patrick's Day. Observer file/T. Ortega Gaines.

Green bagels, green beers, green rivers. You know what you don’t need for St. Patrick’s Day? More things dyed green.

Drinks that taste good are more fun than drinks that look good. Luckily, a good Irish coffee looks good, too. Just remember a couple of things:

1. Whip your own cream. You can do it faster than opening and shaking one of those cans.

2. Skip the little straw. A true Irish coffee is topped with whipped cream so that it cools the coffee as you sip it. It’s messy, but really good.

3. A good Irish whiskey, like Jamison’s (my favorite), Bushmills or Tullamore Dew, is a fine thing. But there are enough Irish roots in the South that I think you could make a case for a bourbon or an Tennessee whiskey.

Great Irish Coffee

1 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons light brown or raw sugar

2 tablespoons whiskey of your choice

Strong, hot, brewed coffee

Place the whipped cream and granulated sugar in a bowl. Whisk or beat it until thickens and mounds when you drop it from a spoon, but not until it’s stiff enough for form peaks. Set aside and keep cold. (You’ll have more than you need for a single serving of coffee. Be nice and share.)

Pour hot tap water into a heat-proof glass mug. (It’s not fancy, but a good coffee mug is fine.) Let stand for a minute to warm the glass, then empty it.

Place brown sugar and whiskey in the warmed mug or glass. Add coffee to about 1 inch from the top. (Remember, you need to leave room for the whipped cream.) Stir well.

Spoon whipped cream on top. Serve, sipping the coffee through the cream.

Yield: 1 serving, with enough whipped cream for several servings.