Drinks with Friends: Jeffrey Morgenthaler

Feb 02, 2020

Jeffrey Morgenthaler is an award-winning bartender (Tales of the Cocktail’s American Bartender of the Year, 2016), working since 1996 in everything from neighborhood taverns and college nightclubs to fine restaurants and upscale lounges. He currently manages the seven-time James Beard Award-nominated bar program at Clyde Common, and the celebrated Pepe Le Moko; both are located in Portland, Oregon. You may recognize him as the mastermind behind our cafes' seasonal beverage program in 2019.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters: Hey Jeffrey! How do you take your coffee?

Jeffrey Morgenthaler: I drink a café au lait every single morning. By the afternoon I've usually switched to straight espresso or shots of cold brew concentrate.

SCR: Tell us a little bit about how you developed your Irish Coffee recipe.

JM: The gold standard for Irish Coffee comes from the Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco, where the drink was essentially perfected. I wanted to stay true to that recipe, but with better ingredients (they don’t use Stumptown Coffee, for instance).

So we upgraded the coffee, upgraded the sweetener from sugar cubes to a brown sugar syrup, and came up with a great method to whip cream in smaller batches. The Buena Vista will put out hundreds of Irish Coffees an hour but we needed a solution for whipping cream just a pint at a time.

SCR: Any advice for lovers this Valentine's Day?

JM: In the words of Bill and Ted, be excellent to each other.

Irish Coffee

2 teaspoons brown sugar syrup
½ cup heavy whipping cream, lightly whipped
1 ½ oz. Irish whiskey
3 oz. hot coffee (we love our classic Hair Bender in this recipe)

To make the brown sugar syrup, combine one cup tightly packed dark brown sugar with half a cup of water in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Combine the whiskey, coffee and two teaspoons of the brown sugar syrup in a pre-heated Irish coffee glass (pictured) or small six-ounce wine glass. Float a generous spoonful of the heavy cream on top. Serve without a straw.