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Irish Coffee Recipe

Start your evening festivities with a mug of delectable Irish coffee recipe!

The blend of sweetened coffee, whiskey, and whipped cream creates a perfect harmony of flavors.

Glass of Irish Coffee with Whipped Cream
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This coffee cocktail is ideal for coffee lovers and dessert fanatics alike.

It’s cozy, warm, and the perfect way to cap off a dinner party. It’s also a wonderful addition to winter brunch.

So, let’s transform regular coffee into a party-worthy Irish coffee!

Why Is It Called Irish Coffee?

There are several theories surrounding Irish coffee’s name. Here’s the most convincing one:

In the early 1940s, the head chef of the restaurant at the Foynes Flying Boat terminal in Ireland added a splash of booze to coffee.

His name was Joe Sheridan, and he just wanted to give it a little extra oomph. When asked if it was Brazilian coffee, he replied that it was “Irish coffee.”

Thus, a legend was born.

The cocktail later became popular in the USA in 1952 when a review of it appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Cozy and Warming Irish Coffee

Ingredients

For the perfect St. Patrick’s Day cocktail, you’ll need:

  • Irish Whiskey: I’m partial to Jameson, but any brand will do.
  • Freshly Brewed Coffee: Medium to dark roast works best.
  • White and Brown Sugar: For sweetness
  • Whipped Cream and Ground Nutmeg: Purely for decadence’s sake!
  • Irish Cream Liqueur: This is optional, and not all Irish coffee recipes include it. However, it makes the drink sweeter, creamier, and richer.

What Is the Best Whiskey for Irish Coffee?

Jameson is my go-to because it’s smooth and tastes great every time. 

Bushmills is also a good choice if you like a traditional flavor.

If you want something a bit sweeter, go for Teeling. It’s especially ideal if you don’t plan on adding sugar or cream to your cocktail.

How Do You Make Irish Coffee? 

Making a classic Irish coffee is as easy as 1-2-3! Okay, technically there are four steps. But you get the idea.

1. Preheat a coffee mug. Pop a spoon inside to keep the mug from cracking, then add hot water. Discard it when the mug is hot to the touch.

2. Add the whiskey and sugars. Give them a quick stir.

3. Pour the hot coffee over the whiskey. Stir until the sugars have dissolved.

4. Add the toppings. Gently pour the cream over the back of a spoon so it’ll float on top. Then, sprinkle it with a dash of nutmeg, and enjoy!

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What about the Irish Cream, you ask? Well, as I said, it’s optional.

But if you want to include it, add it with the whiskey. You might also want to reduce the sugar by half since it’s quite sweet.

Do You Stir Irish Coffee? 

Yes and no.

You’ll stir the whiskey, sugar, and coffee. But don’t stir it after adding the cream.

Part of the experience of drinking Irish coffee is to enjoy the contrast between hot coffee and cool cream.

Plus, it looks so much better with the cream floating on top!

Homemade Irish Coffee with Whipped Cream

Tips for Making the Best Drink 

Transform your Irish cocktail from good to great with these tips.

  • Pick an appropriate mug. Considering the ingredient measurements, a 12-ounce mug is perfect. It’s a hot cocktail, so use a mug with a handle.
  • Preheat the mug with hot water. It helps the cocktail stay warm for longer.
  • Use high-quality coffee. It’s the base of the cocktail, so use coffee that you actually enjoy.
  • Use freshly whipped cream. Cool Whip won’t work here. You can make your own cream by whipping heavy cream until it’s frothy.

Irish Coffee Variations

Customize your cup with these unique takes on traditional Irish coffee.

  • Make it decaf. Just switch out the coffee.
  • Double down on the Baileys. If you have a major sweet tooth, skip the whiskey and add two shots of Baileys instead.
  • Tweak the garnishes. Apart from whipped cream, try chocolate shavings, cocoa powder, caramel sauce, etc.

Also, be sure to serve it with fun Irish potato candy for a real treat!

More Beverages You’ll Love

Irish Coffee

Course: CocktailsCuisine: Irish
Servings

1

serving
Prep time

2

minutes
Calories

356

kcal

Wind down with a delicious Irish coffee this evening! Made with sweetened coffee, Irish cream, whiskey, and whipped cream, it’s a treat you’ll crave.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 ounces Irish whiskey (3 tablespoons)

  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee

  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon whipped cream, for topping

  • 1 dash ground nutmeg, for garnish

  • 1.5 ounces Irish cream liqueur (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat an 8-ounce coffee mug with hot water. Discard when the mug is warm to the touch.
  • Pour the Irish whiskey* into the warmed coffee mug.
  • Add the granulated and brown sugars, then top it up with the brewed coffee.
  • Gently stir to dissolve the sugar. Then top with whipped cream and nutmeg.
  • *For a creamier drink, add the Irish Cream with the whiskey, then make the drink as instructed.

Notes

  • Use high-quality coffee. It’s the base of the cocktail, so use coffee that you actually enjoy.
  • Use freshly whipped cream. Cool Whip won’t work here. You can make your own cream by whipping heavy cream until it’s frothy.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 356kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 19g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Fat: 11g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 17mg
  • Sodium: 11mg
  • Potassium: 136mg
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugar: 16g
  • Calcium: 18mg
  • Iron: 0mg
Irish Coffee

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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