A Traditional Road House, Famous for its Irish Coffee:
If you’re doing a coach tour of the Ring of Kerry, you will no doubt be making an early morning stop at the Red Fox Inn, midway between Killorglin and the scenic village of Glenbeigh.
Most visitors touring the Ring of Kerry usually start from Killarney and coaches travel the Ring of Kerry in an anti-clockwise direction. Depending on your time of departure from Killarney, you’ll probably arrive at the Fox Inn at about 10:00 a.m.
Not everyone has the constitution to absorb alcohol in the morning, but the Red Fox Inn has a reputation for its Irish coffee and that’s why we’ve stopped here.
The Red Fox Inn is an old traditional road house situated next to Kerry Bog Village Museum. Their website says that they cater for coach tours and when we entered the pub, rows of glasses were already filled with generous serves of whiskey, ready for the coffee and cream to be added.
The Red Fox Inn have their own method of making this delightful Irish drink and if you want to find out their method, you can buy tea towels and cards which lets you in on their Irish coffee recipe secret.
The Mulvihill family have been running the Red Fox Inn for over 17 years and it’s renowned for its good food as well. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to try the food or visit the Kerry Bog Village Museum on our whistle stop at Glenbeigh.
The creation story of Irish Coffee
Irish coffee, was reportedly invented in 1940 by Joe Sheridan, a chef at Shannon Airport. According to the Irish Post:
“Irish Coffee’s origins can be traced back to 1943 when Joe Sheridan, the head chef at a restaurant and coffee shop at flying-boat base in Foynes, County Limerick, came up with the recipe.
Late one night, the County Tyrone cook got word that a flight that had previously departed Foynes for Botwood in Newfoundland was returning after several hours flying in bad weather conditions.
Knowing the flight’s disgruntled passengers would be cold, tired and thoroughly fed up, Sheridan decided to serve them something that was warm, welcoming and capable of raising their spirits.
Thinking on his feet, he decided to combine Irish whiskey with coffee to create the ultimate cold weather comforter.
It proved a hit with the returning passengers too with one even approaching the chef to ask if they were being served Brazilian coffee.
Sheridan’s response was simple: no, it was Irish coffee.”
Here’s how to make Irish Coffee, although which whiskey to use is a matter of debate!
The classic Irish coffee involves just four ingredients: Irish whiskey, brown sugar, coffee, and fresh cream. Here is Sheridan’s recipe, reproduced by John and Olive Mulvihill of The Red Fox Inn in Glenbeigh along the Ring of Kerry.
- Take a steamed glass.
- Pour in 1/4 gill (four tablespoons) of Irish whiskey.
- Add 2 teaspoons brown sugar and boiling coffee to within 3/4 inch of the top of the glass.
- Stir briskly until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Add cream, lightly whipped, and pour into the glass over the back of a teaspoon so that the cream will not sink.
To enjoy the full flavour of the Irish coffee do not stir when cream is added.
On the Killorglin to Glenbeigh Road, 4.5km outside Killorglin on the main Ring of Kerry Route, the N70.
Red Fox Inn
Glenbeigh, Co. Kerry
Republic Of Ireland