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How to Make a Real Irish Coffee

I thought you'd like to have this recipe for my Irish Coffee, as Christmas is around the corner and you might have far too much Irish Whiskey lying around the house but they're delicious at any time of year!

The important rules for making a perfect Irish Coffee are:

1.  Whip the cream before you start!
2.  Make sure your Coffee is hot.
3.  Heat the Glass with boiling water before you assemble the drink, but place a teaspoon into the glass before you add the hot water and this will stop the glass from cracking.
4. Pour out the water and 3/4 fill your glass with hot strong coffee.
5.  Stir in the sugar until dissolved, but don't take too long doing it!
6.  Add the whiskey and stir it well so that the coffee is still turning gently when you are putting the cream on top.
7.  Never mind about pouring the cream over the back of a spoon or any of that nonsense! Simply dip your teaspoon into a glass of hot water and quickly, but carefully, scoop the whipped cream and place it on top of the hot coffee. The hot spoon will make it slide on to the Irish coffee.
8.  Three or Four teaspoons of lightly whipped cream will be sufficient and it will float perfectly on top of your Irish Coffee if you have followed all of the above simple steps.


You can right-click on this picture below, save it as a image, Print it out on card and stick it on your fridge for Christmas. By New Year's Day you should have perfected the recipe and method for making a yummy Irish Coffee!




Enjoy!

Zack

28% of Irish people are drinking less wine than they did a year ago

At this time of year, wine consumption is front and centre of celebrations, but it's been a turbulent couple of years in the wine trade and its effect on the Irish wine drinking public. It has been found that the number of consumers who would stop buying a particular brand of wine almost doubles with each €1 increase in price!



Below are the results taken from the Wolf Blass & Lindeman’s Wine Intelligence Survey carried out in Ireland in July 2013 where 1,038 wine drinkers were canvassed about their wine drinking habits and perceptions.

Though the results are not a surprise to most in the industry, it is nevertheless alarming to have general perceptions confirmed so baldly. The survey was commissioned by Wolf Blass and Lindeman’s wines, two of the most popular brands in Ireland and firm favourites with consumers for their unbeatable balance of quality, taste and price.


DEMOGRAPHICS

Of 2.3 million drinkers in Ireland, 71% of Irish adults drink wine. Of this, 1.9 million are regular wine drinkers. So, 60% of Irish adults drink wine at least once per month.
This is compared to:
78% of adults drink wine in England, 73% in Holland, 86% in Sweden and 91% in Denmark.




CONSUMPTION HABITS

Irish adults drink around 17 litres of wine per year compared to:
France 45 litres, Portugal 42 litres, Italy 41 litres, Germany 25 litres, U.K 21 litres per adult per year.

Changes in frequency of wine consumption: 
28% of people are drinking less wine than they did a year ago. Under 35s consumers are drinking more wine while 55+ are drinking the same amount.


The reasons given for drinking less wine than before were:
I generally drink less alcohol (59%)
Wine has become too expensive (27%)
Wine is bad for health (13%)
The people I’m usually with drink less wine (11%)
The quality of many wines has declined (3%)
The wine I like is no longer available (2%)
Other reason (12%)

In the 4 weeks before the survey, the respondants consumed the following beverages:
72% Still white wine, 65% Still red wine, 65% beer, 47% spirits (not pre-mixed), 38% Cider, 17% Sparkling White



In the 6 months before the survey, respondents have drank wine from the following countries:
France 62% Chile 55%
Australia 51% Spain 46%
Italy 46% New Zealand 30%
USA 30% Argentina 19%
Portugal 14%

Irish Consumers find the following important when making choice:
91% - Quality of wine
89% - The taste
87% - The price
75% - Colour
69% - Promotional Offer
58% - Recommended by friend/family
58% - A brand I’m aware of
55% - Country of origin
52% - It accompanies food I’m preparing
46% - Grape variety I’m aware of



The Importance of occasions: 
7 out of 10 wine consumers will buy differently depending on the occasion. 1 million Irish people drank Australian wine in 6 months prior to the survey.
Brand awareness: Four Australian brands feature in top ten including WolfBlass & Lindeman’s


IMPACT of PRICING

The number of consumers who would stop buying a brand almost doubles with each €1 increase. 44% of people are spending more on wine that they did one year ago. 42% spend the same and 14% spend less on wine.

Attitudes towards special offers or promotions:
Familiarity is a major driver but can be over-ridden by price and promotions:
42% - Generally same store but I will look at offers from other stores
40% - I take advantage of promotions but only on my favourite brands
32%- Take advantage of promotions no matter what the brand
29%- I take advantages of promotions but only on my favourite country/region
26%- I always check offers before deciding where to shop
24%- I take advantages of promotions but only on my favourite grape variety


Source: WolfBlass & Lindeman’s Wine Intelligence Survey, Ireland, July 2013, base = 1,038 Irish regular wine drinkers via picocommunication.com


Zack

WIN an Irish Hand-Crafted Wooden Pen from Turning Point Design

Turning Point Design, in Laghey, Co Donegal, was created by my friend Michael Doherty after he retired. He has been wood turning for over 10 years. Spending most of his time in his workshop, Michael spends hours creating pieces of art. He ensures that each is finished to a high standard and when he's done with a piece he signs them all so that wherever in the world it might end up, he feels that its still connected to him.



Michael is also environmentally conscious. He believes that trees are a beautiful and important part of the natural landscape. "Trees protect our world by preventing erosion and providing shelter in and under their foliage for all the natural flora and fauna of the area, he says. "They also play an important role in producing oxygen and reducing carbon dioxide in the air around us.. so why would we chop them down just for art?"




Michael will only use wood from trees that have fallen naturally, have been blown down  in storms or from trees which needed to be cut down due to health and safety reason or for development purposes.

He believes his function is to release the beauty of the wood so that it may remain forever a testament to its self. You can be sure that any product you buy from him didn't come from a tree that was chopped down for the sake of wood turning. They are all just beautiful hand crafted by-products!



Michael also does commission work. If you have a suitable piece of wood with sentimental value in your garden, or elsewhere, Michael can turn this into a piece which will hold its sentimentality for decades. Do take a look at the commission section of his website for more info and samples of previous commissioned pieces.

I offered to write a post for Michael's Turning Point Design to help him get some attention for his work and he offered me a gift to give away as a prize. So I have a superb hand-turned Beech Wood Pen to give away to one lucky winner before Christmas.




To Enter: Simply Click the LIKE button to "Like" Turning Point Design on Facebook
 
And Leave a Contact Detail in the Comments Box Below. If you're not on Facebook just Leave a Comment and your Name. 

One Winner will be picked out on Monday 16th December, so make sure you leave a contact detail in the comments. For more on Michael Doherty and Turning Point Design see www.turningpointdesign.org. His online shop is coming soon and you can contact him through his Facebook page facebook.com/turningpointdesign.

Good Luck
Zack

UPDATE WINNER PICKED!

And the Winner of the Pen (picked by random number generator) is .... Evelyn Egan
Thanks to all who entered. I'll be contacting the winner to get postal details.
zack

Foodie Quiz on Monday 2nd December in County Donegal

Think you know your Blaa from your Baps? Can you name the ingredients for a classic Bouquet Garni?

If you love your food and all things foodie you'll have to get yourself down to the Village Tavern in Mountcharles, 4 miles west of Donegal Town, for a fundraising All Food Quiz on Monday night!


In aid of the Northwest Culinary Team for Olympia, the quiz starts at 7.30pm and the entry fee for teams of four is simply by donation. The Chefs, all based in the Northwest of Ireland have come together and founded a new Regional Culinary Team which intends to compete as an independent Culinary Team at Hotelympia, London, in April 2014.

Joe Clinton, Dee Clinton, Gabriel McSharry, Billy Grimes

John Kelly, Alan Fitzmaurice, Tony Campbell, Sylvester Dolan

The Northwest Culinary Team comprises some of the top chefs from counties Donegal , Leitrim & Sligo who have all taken part, very successfully, in international culinary competitions in the past. Earlier this year the North West Culinary team took 4 Golds, 4 Silvers and 6 Bronze Medals at the Chef Ireland International competition held in the RDS Dublin. From this achievement was born their desire to enter a team into one of the world’s most prestigious culinary competitions, Hotelympia.

Enda O'Rouke, proprietor/chef at the Village Tavern, has been at the forefront of developing the reputation of County Donegal as a food destination for many years. His restaurant serves some of the best local food in the county and Enda is always on the look out for new producers and products to use on his menus. Some of the award winning chefs on the Northwest Culinary Team have work in the Village Tavern over the years and Enda is delighted to be able to help them raise funds for their trip to London next year.

"I have great believe in the Northwest culinary team", said Enda. " These chefs are at the top of their game and as I see them develop their food strategy for the Hotelympia competitions I have full faith in them coming back with several gold medals. Any thing I can do to help them raise the funds to go I will do. If anyone out there wants to help or make a donation I would encourage them to do so".



The Foodie Quiz in the Village Tavern, Mountcharles, starts at 7.30pm on Monday, 2nd December, with the entry fee for Teams of 4 being by donation. You can make a donation to the Chefs Fund of as much as you wish!

Do support this excellent venture and test your foodie friends out for what they really know!

Zack

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The Irish Food Guide Blog www.IrishFoodGuide.ie includes news, foodie chat, recipes, award results, links and other general information on the Food & Tourism Industry in Ireland.

It is written & curated by Zack Gallagher, Donegal Town, Co Donegal, Ireland.

“My Blog is a slice of the Irish Food ‘Network’. I’m a Chef with over 27 years experience and also have a background in media. I’m passionate about Irish Food Tourism and I believe that a rising tide really can lift all boats!”

Supporting Irish Food created by passionate producers and encouraging the Irish food & hospitality industry to use modern social media methods to increase their business.

Zack is building an all-Ireland Food Tourism network to assist Tour Operators bringing guests into Ireland to connect easily with artisan Irish food producers, so as they can experience the provenance and personality behind our Irish food Visit www.IrishFoodTours.ie

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