Summer dinners usually start with refreshing summer cocktails then ease into something light to drink with your dinner, which is usually light fare, not too heavy for the summer. After dinner, you want dessert but nothing heavy. Well, I have a suggestion for you: a frozen Irish coffee.

So I’m sitting outside at my bar at the house and I started to reflect on some of the great experiences that I’ve had in my life. There have been many. One of those experiences was my trip to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast after Katrina hit when my close friends and this fine radio station (New Jersey 101.5) delivered toys to those kids who were devastated by the ravages of this massive hurricane.

I had been to New Orleans a few times before Katrina and I’ve been there a few times since. The city has become an adopted sister home for me after Katrina. When Katrina hit 15 years ago last month I was on vacation with some close friends in a rented house in Martha’s Vineyard. It so happens that we all had the same purpose of concern over the welfare of the children of the area having a “normal” Christmas holiday with gifts and hope of a better time ahead.

Every one of my friends on that trip stepped up to a level unheard of. We wanted to collect about 5,000 toys on a toy drive campaign with New Jersey 101.5 and it garnered an amazing 80,000 toys all thanks to the people of New Jersey once again stepping up. It was an incredible trip that was truly life-changing for me and developed a bond for my friends and co-workers that I will never forget.

Another one of the many positive experiences that came out of our trip was a visit to a local New Orleans saloon, The Erin Rose. The first two days after arriving in New Orleans I was playing Santa and was wiped out after communicating with hundreds of kids. So after each long day I went back to my room and crashed. My team, however, with the stamina of world-class athletes was on a mission to find a great saloon. Boy did they ever!

I kept hearing about their trip to The Erin Rose, which was steps off of Bourbon Street. Every day my team would say Big Joe, you have to go. On the third day, I went.

The Erin Rose is on Conti Street and was at that time home to many locals and one of the few saloons not affected by Katrina.

At The Erin Rose, they make a frozen Irish Coffee that blew me away. It was in an ice cream maker and they blended coffee with brandy, because it’s less expensive, and served it up.

I was with my friend Tom Young, a Hall of Fame Bartender, and he suggests putting a floater of Jameson’s whiskey on the top of the Irish Coffee for an extra added kick. Well, after 100 of them we all agreed that this was the best.

So in trying to recreate and better what the legendary Erin Rose has created, here is my take on probably the best after-dinner drink you’ll ever have. Thanks to Tom Young for the consultation.

Big Joe’s Frozen Irish Coffee (A tribute to The Erin Rose)

In a blender:
2 scoops of good vanilla ice cream
4 ounces of chilled brewed coffee (decaf if you don’t want the caffeine)
3 ½ ounces of Jameson Irish Whiskey
2 ounces of Bailey’s Irish Cream
1 ounce of Kahlua
½ cup of ice
2 dollops of whipped cream for topping
Squirt of green Crème de Menthe on top of whipped cream

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour into frozen glass, top with whipped cream and Creme de Menthe and enjoy!


Here are some other ideas for libation inspiration:

What Are the Signature Drinks From Every State?

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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