Friday, August 15, 2014

The Yankee Club & Irish Coffee

Our Drinks with Reads guest post comes today from Michael Murphy, author of The Yankee Club. 

The Yankee Club. In 1933, America is at a crossroads: Prohibition will soon be history, organized crime is rampant, and President Roosevelt promises to combat the Great Depression with a New Deal. In these uncertain times, former-Pinkerton-detective-turned-bestselling-author Jake Donovan is beckoned home to Manhattan. He has made good money as the creator of dashing gumshoe Blackie Doyle, but the price of success was Laura Wilson, the woman he left behind. Now a Broadway star, Laura is engaged to a millionaire banker—and waltzing into a dangerous trap.

Before Jake can win Laura back, he’s nearly killed—and his former partner is shot dead—after a visit to the Yankee Club, a speakeasy dive in their old Queens neighborhood. Suddenly Jake and Laura are plunged into a conspiracy that runs afoul of gangsters, sweeping from New York’s private clubs to the halls of corporate power and to the White House itself. Brushing shoulders with the likes of Dashiell Hammett, Cole Porter, and Babe Ruth, Jake struggles to expose an inconspicuous organization hidden in plain sight, one determined to undermine the president and change the country forever.

The Yankee Club Irish Coffee Recipe

Before they board the train to Hollywood, Jake and Laura make a final stop at The Yankee Club, a speakeasy in Queens owned by his childhood friend, Gino Santoro. Although Gino isn’t Irish, he’s always made the best Irish Coffee around. Wherever his travels took him, Jake never ordered Irish Coffee without thinking of Gino.

While Jake and Laura sat at the bar, Gino stood behind the counter and filled a cup with steaming hot water. He swirled the water without spilling a drop then poured it in the sink. “See, the secret is you warm the cup with hot water. The hot cup keeps the drink warm. Then you fill the cup three fourths full of strong coffee and drop in a sugar cube. Stir until the sugar’s dissolved then pour a jigger…or more of the best bootleg whiskey you can find, which I might add we serve at this joint. This drink won’t taste the same when they repeal prohibition.”

He topped the drink with a spoonful of whipped cream and set the cup in front of Laura. While she sipped he made another drink without whipped cream. “A lot of dames like whipped cream on top, but if a guy orders the drink that way I give him the bums rush and toss him in the gutter on his keister.” 

Gino set the Irish Coffee in front of Jake who sipped the drink then raised the cup toward his best friend. “The best, Gino. The best.”


  1. Gino makes the best Irish coffee in Queens, of course he would, he's the owner of The Yankee Club speakeasy. Love Friday's Drinks with Read, Deborah.

  2. Thanks for a great post Michael! Sounds like a great book and drink.

  3. I absolutely love this time period, and The Yankee Club sound great. There's just something about the 30s and the lure of a Speakeasy. Thanks for the drink recipe too.