The strip district is one of my favorite spots in Pittsburgh. You can find exotic spices, a whiskey distillery, the freshest seafood, and most ridiculous t-shirts nestled between a handful of lively blocks. The other week, our friends and we hit up some of our favorite watering holes in the Strip. While walking from one awesome place to the next, this t-shirt stopped me in my tracks…
How I honed in on this shirt amongst a million other green St. Patrick’s Day shirts is beyond me BUT it definitely caught my attention and got me thinking…Yes, of course St. Patrick’s day festivities should start with the break of dawn! BUT then the thought of cheap, green beer- served up in a plastic yardstick kinda makes me gag. Yeah, not exactly my style these days. Okay, yes college was a whole different story. Well…ahem…anyways, so I started to wonder; how can we celebrate St. Patty’s Day appropriately and deliciously? At that moment, I decided to turn this t-shirt’s message into a personal challenge. I’ve got some of that Irish fight in me and I knew the perfect place to start…
Whiskey! Whiskey is about as Irish as it comes. And we have an awesome Whiskey Distillery in the Strip, Wigle Whiskey. Their latest whim, Sassafras, has been on my radar since it was released a few weeks ago. It’s their Allegheny Wheat Whiskey that’s aged with Sassafras Wood for 6 months. The sassafras wood imparts these beautiful vanilla and rich oak flavors, and ends with a note of cool peppermint. Okay Wigle, you had me at vanilla…
Next, I thought coffee. I am literally one of those people who cannot function without a cup in the morning. No coffee= no workee, talkee, or movee. One of my favorite roasts, Papua New Guinea Kunjin, comes from the awesome coffee house- Commonplace Coffee. It’s a delicious blend with a smooth body and subtle flavors of cocoa and sweet grapes. It’s rich, satisfying, and completely balanced. And it sure gets my blood movin’ in those early hours.
Then, it hit me like a PAT bus on Penn Ave. Whiskey and coffee go perfectly together with the help of some good ol’ Irish Cream. I’m sure you’ve tasted, or at least heard of the national brand, Baileys. Well, I think we can do one better. We adapted Saveur’s Irish Cream Recipe by throwing our favorite Pittsburgh flavors into the mix, and man was I ever right. This is the tastiest Irish Cream I’ve ever laid lips on, bar none.
Without further ado, we present a very delicious way to start your St. Patrick’s Day festivities before you head dahn to the parade in Market Square.
Sassafras Irish Cream N’at
MAKES 3 CUPS
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp Papua New Guinea Kunjin, finely ground and sifted*
- ½ tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¾ cup Sassafras whiskey
- 1 tsp vanilla whiskey extract**
- 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
*Ask your Commonplace Coffee barista to grind it to “Turkish” level. Take it home and throw it into a spice grinder for one last spin (min or so) and then strain it through a tiny sifter to remove any chunks. Easiest way to get fresh, instant coffee powder.
**If you haven’t made our homemade Whiskey Vanilla Extract yet, go ahead and use REAL vanilla extract. The imitation vanilla extract leaves a very off-putting taste, so avoid that at all costs.
- Combine 1 tbsp. cream, coffee and cocoa powders, stir to make a smooth paste
- Add remaining cream, stir
- Add whiskey, vanilla whiskey extract, and sweetened condensed milk; stir until combined
And that’s it! Brew up your favorite cup of coffee (we are partial to Papua New Guinea Kunjin for this recipe) and add a few tablespoons of Irish Cream. OR just pour it into a tumbler filled with ice and serve. Store the Sassafras Irish Cream in a large jar and keep refrigerated until ready to serve, up to 2 weeks. Done and Done Deliciously!
Stay tuned for our next boozy St. Patrick’s Day breakfast recipe….
Cheers N’at Devon and Tim