The Night They Invented Irish Coffee

24" X 30" - acrylic on canvas

During the war years, passengers traveling between Europe and North America could take a flying boat from Foynes, Ireland to Botwood, Newfoundland. One such flight in late winter 1943 was forced to turn around by a storm over the Atlantic. Warned by radio, the Foynes crew returned to the terminal to greet the passengers. When Joe was asked to prepare something to warm the weary passengers, he was inspired to put some good Irish whiskey in their coffee. A few weeks later, Chef Sheridan knocked on O’Regan’s office door. He showed O’Regan his new beverage in a stemmed glass and asked, “How about that for eye appeal?” O’Regan answered, “Genius, Chef!” And so was born Irish coffee, which continued to be served to passengers at Foynes and is still the welcoming drink for dignataries landing at Ireland's Shannon Airport.