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Irish Coffee, a classic and beloved drink that has been enjoyed for decades. If you are a coffee lover, then this drink is an absolute must-try!
It is a delicious blend of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, brown sugar, and whipped cream, which creates a smooth and delightful flavor. Poured into glass Irish Coffee Mugs, you’ll love this!
Step-by-step photos and instructions are below!
Are you looking for a warm and delicious drink to cozy up with on cold winter nights, or looking for an easy way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Look no further than the classic Irish Coffee!
This is usually served as an after dinner drink, but I’m not going to judge anyone who needs some extra cheer at breakfast time.
This yummy beverage combines hot coffee, Irish whiskey, brown sugar, and topped with whipped cream for a delightful and satisfying drink that is perfect for any occasion.
Irish Coffee History and Origin
Irish Coffee has a long and fascinating history that dates back to the early 1940s. The drink was invented by a bartender named Joe Sheridan in Ireland at the Foynes airbase. The base was a stopping point for transatlantic flights, and Sheridan wanted to create a drink that would warm the passengers on cold nights.
Sheridan came up with the idea of adding strong Irish whiskey to the coffee, along with sugar and cream. The drink quickly gained popularity, and Sheridan continued to make it for the passengers on the flights.
The drink made its way to the United States in the 1950s, starting at The Buena Vista Café in San Francisco where Stanton Delaplane (a travel writer) was challenged to recreate the classic recipe from Shannon Airport.
Today, Irish Coffee is a staple in many bars and restaurants, and is enjoyed by coffee lovers all over the world. Including me.
I have included step-by-step photos and instructions, as well as tips and tricks in the post. If you’d rather skip all that, scoot right on down to the full recipe card located at the bottom of the post.
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- Very few ingredients. Just brown sugar, whiskey, coffee and whipped cream. With a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Super easy to make. Add your sugar and whiskey to a glass and whip your cream while your coffee brews.
- Using Stale Coffee
Using stale or old coffee can affect the taste, making it bitter or stale. Make sure to use freshly brewed coffee for the best taste.
- Using Too Much Whiskey
Adding too much whiskey can overpower the other flavors, making it too strong. Stick to a standard shot of whiskey, or adjust the amount to your personal preference.
- Not Sweetening Enough
Not adding enough sugar can make your drink taste bitter or too strong. Make sure to sweeten your drink to your personal preference. If you typically like sweetened coffee, then you’ll want to add plenty of brown sugar.
- Over-Whipping Your Cream
Over-whipping your cream can make it too stiff and difficult to pour, ruining the texture. Whip your cream lightly to soft peaks to create a smooth and creamy texture.
Recipe Ingredients and Possible Substitutes
The full list of ingredients and quantities is found in the printable recipe card below.
- Coffee. Hot brewed coffee, in a coffee machine, espresso machine or french press. Just plain coffee, nothing fancy.
- Brown Sugar. You can use brown sugar syrup (1 cup of brown sugar combined with 1 cup of water, and cooked until dissolved and syrup-y). Plain simple syrup, or maple syrup can also be used (pure maple syrup, not pancake syrup).
- Irish Whiskey. Look, you can’t call it a true Irish coffee if you use Scotch Whiskey or Bourbon. However, if that’s what you have, use it. Boozy coffee is fabulous and I won’t tell. I personally like Jameson Whiskey, and it can be found pretty much everywhere!.
- Brown Sugar. Use as little as a teaspoon, as much as a tablespoon.
- Homemade Whipped Cream. Add a teaspoon of sugar to 1 cup of heavy cream. Whip until you have thick cream (but not stiff peaks).
- Cinnamon. Optional, but looks pretty and adds a yummy warm flavor to the top of the cream.
- Espresso Machine, French Press or Coffee Maker.
- Measuring spoons.
- Shot glass for measuring whiskey.
- Hand mixer for whipping cream.
- Glass mug or cup.
How to make Irish Coffee at home
Making the perfect Irish Coffee requires a few key ingredients and some careful but easy preparation. I have written a step-by-step guide to help you figure out the best way to create your own!
Scroll for Recipe
The full list of ingredients, quantities and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.
Start by heating your glass or mug with hot water, so that your drink stays warm for longer.
Brew a strong cup of coffee using your favorite blend.
Whip the cream. Add a teaspoon of sugar to 1 cup of heavy cream. Whip until thick.
Add the sugar and whiskey
Add a teaspoon of brown sugar to your glass or mug.
Add a shot of Irish whiskey to the glass, and stir until the sugar dissolves.
Add the coffee and cream
Pour in the hot coffee and stir gently. Add a layer of lightly whipped cream to the top of the coffee. Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg, cinnamon, or chocolate shavings, if desired.
Variations on this recipe
While the classic recipe is delicious on its own, there are many variations that you can try to mix things up. Here are some fun and tasty variations that you can try at home:
Mint Irish Coffee: Add a splash of crème de menthe to your Irish Coffee for a refreshing twist.
Chocolate Irish Coffee: Add a spoonful of chocolate syrup to your Irish Coffee for a rich and decadent flavor.
Bailey’s Irish Coffee: Replace the whiskey with Bailey’s Irish Cream for a sweeter, creamier flavor.
Spiced Irish Coffee: Add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg to your Irish Coffee for a warm and cozy flavor.
More delicious coffee drinks:
- Pumpkin Spice Latte. Grab this easy recipe for how to make a Pumpkin Spice Latte at home and skip the line at your local coffee shop! Hello, Fall!
- Gingerbread Latte. Skip the lines (and the expense) at your local coffee shop, and make this creamy, sweet and spicy Homemade Gingerbread Latte at home! It’s just what you need for chilly mornings, or frosty afternoons!
- Raspberry Mocha Latte. Be your own barista and enjoy this yummy homemade recipe right in your own kitchen!
- Eggnog Latte Recipe. Creamy with a touch of spice, this super easy, super delicious Eggnog Latte is a holiday go-to! Get an amazing flavored coffee drink right in your own kitchen!
How to make Irish Coffee
- 2 cups hot coffee
- 3 oz. Irish whiskey
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar (or to taste)
- Brew fresh hot coffee.
- While the coffee is brewing, prepare your glass by warming it with hot water and lightly whip your cream with the sugar until it is a smooth and pourable texture.
- Empty the warm water from the glass and add the brown sugar.
- Add the Irish whiskey to the glass and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Pour the hot coffee into the glass and stir until everything is completely dissolved.
- Gently pour the whipped cream over the top of the coffee, so that it sits on top and creates a smooth and creamy texture.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.