Irish Coffee's "four essential food groups" quote (Alex Levine, 1986?)

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Sat Mar 17 06:41:04 UTC 2007

The Yale Book of Quotations doesn't have the famous Irish Coffee quotation.  
Maybe someone can check FACTIVA and ProQuest, but Alex Levine said--by at 
least  1986--that Irish Coffee contains the four essential food groups: alcohol,  
caffeine, sugar, and fat.
Irish Coffee
New York City has many Irish immigrants, but San Francisco claims the  
introduction of Irish coffee into America. San Francisco’s Buena Vista Cafe’s  
website states that writer Stanton Delaplane brought Irish coffee to the Buena  
Vista on November 10, 1952, and the drink has been served there ever since.  
However, Irish coffee has been cited in 1948 in the New York Herald  Tribune and 
earlier in 1952 by the Chicago Daily Tribune (citations  below). 

Irish coffee contains whiskey. Joseph Sheridan, the head chef at  Ireland’s 
Shannon Airport, is credited with serving the drink in the early 1940s  and 
popularizing it to the world. 

Irish actor and musician said that  Irish coffee contains the four essential 
food groups: “alcohol, caffeine, sugar  and fat.” 

_Wikipedia: Irish coffee_ (   
A classic Irish coffee consists of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, and  sugar, 
with double cream whipped until it begins to stiffen, floated on top.  Irish 
coffee can be considered to be a variation on the hot toddy. 

The  original Irish coffee, or so the lore would have it, was invented at 
Foynes by  Mr. Joseph Sheridan, the head chef there. (Foynes was the precursor to 
Shannon  Airport in the west of Ireland). The coffee was conceived as a 
warmer for  trans-Atlantic travelers in the 1940s. 

Stanton Delaplane, travel writer  for the San Francisco Chronicle claimed to 
have brought Irish coffee to the U.S.  when he convinced the Buena Vista bar 
in San Francisco to start serving Irish  coffee on November 10, 1952. Since 
then, the Buena Vista has become famous for  its Irish coffee. 

_The Buena Vista (San  Francisco)_ 

The historic venture started  on the night of November the 10th in 1952. Jack 
Koeppler, then-owner of the  Buena Vista, challenged international travel 
writer Stanton Delaplane to help  re-create a highly touted “Irish Coffee” 
served at Shannon Airport in Ireland.  Intrigued, Stan Accepted Jack’s invitation, 
and the pair began to experiment  immediately. 

Throughout the night the two of them stirred and sipped  judiciously and 
eventually acknowledged two recurring problems. The taste was  “not quite right,” 
and the cream would not float. Stan’s hopes sank like the  cream, but Jack 
was undaunted. The restaurateur pursued the elusive elixir with  religious 
fervor, even making a pilgrimage overseas to Shannon Airport.  

Upon Jack’s return, the experimentation continued. Finally, the  
perfect-tasting Irish whiskey was selected. Then the problem of the bottom-bent  cream was 
taken to San Francisco’s mayor, a prominent dairy owner. It was  discovered 
that when the cream was aged for 48 hours and frothed to a precise  
consistency, it would float as delicately as a swan on the surface of Jack’s and  Stan’s 
special nectar. 

Success was theirs! With the recipe now mastered,  a sparkling clear, 
six-ounce, heat-treated goblet was chosen as a suitable  chalice. 

Soon the fame of the Buena Vista’s Irish Coffee spread  throughout the land. 
Today, it’s still the same delicious mixture, and it’s  still the same 
clamorous, cosmopolitan Buena Vista. Both…delightful experiences.  

_Google  Books_ 
Renewal: The Anti-Aging Revolution 
by Timothy J. Smith  
Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press Inc. 
Pg. 217: 
Only Irish coffee  provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: 
caffeine, alcohol,  sugar, and fat. 
_3000  Drinks - Irish Coffee_ 
“Only Irish Coffee provides in a single glass all  four essential food 
groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar, fat.”—Alex Levine – Irish  actor and musician 

14 January 1940, New York Times, pg. X3.  
“‘There’s only one thing worse than Irish coffee,’ he says. ‘American tea.
(Not the whiskey kind of “Irish coffee”—ed.) 

17 March 1948, New York  Herald Tribune Clementine Paddleford column, pg. ?, 
col. 6: 
A recipe  for Irish coffee, the traditonal Gaelic drink as served to 
passengers in the  lounge at Shannon Airport. A thank-you to Maureen Grogan, Pan 
American Airways  gound hostess, for the recipe: Place two tablespoons of Irish 
whisky in a warm  glass, add one teaspoon sugar, pour in the hot coffee and float 
two inches of  whipped cream. Sip and the whiskey laces through coffee, 
through cream.  

20 October 1950, Austin (TX) Statesman, pg. 6, col. 6:  
Irish Coffee, 
Fixed Right— 
It’s “Perfect”  
by Frederick C. Oteman 
United Features Syndicate 

EN ROUTE, Oct.  20—You ever tried Irish coffee at 4 a.m. on a cold and rainy 
night in Shannon?  You haven’t lived. 

I’m rolling across Newfoundland at this writing on a  TWA Constellation and I’
m still smacking my lips over that astonishing nectar  the Irish provided at 
their snug little airport a few hours and one ocean ago.  The recipe is 

You take a water goblet with a long stem so you’ll  have something to hold on 
to. Into the bottom of it you sprinkle a teaspoon of  sugar. On this you pour 
a jigger of Irish whiskey. You stir it. Then you fill  the glass to within a 
half inch of the top with strong, black coffee. 

ON  TO THIS MIXTURE, carefully so it won’t mix, you ladle stiff sweet cream 
to the  brim. That does it. Now you sip appreciatively and silently thank the 
Irish for  inventing such a brew to warm the inner man and quell the terrors of 
the night.  

8 June 1952, Chicago Daily Tribune, “Tribune Travelers’ Guide:  Ireland Puts 
a Lot fo Beauty in Little Space” by James Doyle, pg. F17: 
The  Irish also do not serve elaborate dishes garnished with cunning sauces. 
But  Irish food is in the top European class—succulent grills, tender steaks,  
fresh-water salmon straight from the river, and Irish coffee, black, with a  
jigger of Irish whiskey, sugar and thick cream on top. 

2 September 1986,  Chilicothe (MO) Constitution-Tribune, Celebrity Cipher, 
pg. 11: 
“Only  Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food 
groups: alcohol,  caffeine, sugar and fat.”—Alex Levine. 

_Google  Groups: net.cooks_ 
Newsgroups: net.cooks 
From: _a... at mtxinu.UUCP_ (mailto:a... at mtxinu.UUCP)  (Alan Tobey) 
Date: Wed,  5-Feb-86 15:02:02 EST 
Local: Wed, Feb 5 1986 4:02 pm 
Subject: Re: the  food groups vs. the chinese 

> Here at Valid, we have what is known as  the “four Engineering food 
> groups”.  We try to eat some of each  every day: 
> 1) Caffeine 
> 2) Sugar 
> 3) Salt 
> 4)  Grease 

> Note that by simply eating pizza and drinking Dr. Peppper  you have 
> satisfied all four groups! 

Here in the Bay Area,  there’s a slight variant:  Nature’s most nearly 
perfect food is Irish  Coffee, which supplies THESE four essential food groups—
alcohol, caffeine, sugar  and fat.  EVERYBODY knows 
that salt is bad for you !  

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