This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more
An Irish coffee is a rich, creamy, and boozy beverage. It is made with espresso, Irish whisky, brown sugar, and thick Irish cream.
Whether to kickstart the day or dance the night away, this cocktail is a must-try when visiting the Emerald Isle. If you can’t travel there, here’s how to make it at home!
So What Makes an Irish Coffee “Irish”?
Coffee-based cocktails topped with cream, like the Viennese Cafe Maria Theresia, have been around in Europe since the late 1800s and possibly even before. So, while the combination isn’t an Irish innovation, the cocktail itself has a few defining characteristics that make it an Irish Coffee.
Arguably, the most important is the use of Irish whiskey. Also, a traditional Irish Coffee uses chilled Irish cream and is served in an Irish coffee mug like these ones.
The IBA lists Irish Coffee as a recognized cocktail, stating 50ml Irish whiskey, 120ml hot coffee, 1 tsp sugar, and 50ml fresh cream as its specified ingredients. However, throughout Ireland, and the rest of the world, in fact, you’ll find plenty of different tweaks and takes on this beloved Irish combination.
I am in no way claiming this to be the traditional recipe. This is simply my take on this absolute barnstormer of a beverage. It is so rich, smooth, and creamy, and that Irish whiskey kick really brings the heat!
Ingredients You’ll Need
If you want to wow your friends with your very own Irish Coffee, you’ll need the following:
- Coffee – 1/2 cup freshly-brewed coffee
- Irish Whiskey – 3 tbsp Irish whiskey
- Sugar – 1-2 tsp sugar
- Cream – 3 tbsp heavy cream (lightly whipped) or ready-made whipped cream
Note: For sugar, ideally, use demerara or brown, but you can use any sugar.
How To Make It (Step-by-Step)
Step 1 – Lightly whip the cream with a whisk in a small bowl. You just want to give it some body without reaching soft peaks.
Step 2 – Brew the coffee.
Step 3 – Warm up the glass.
Step 4 – Add the sugar and coffee to the glass and stir for the sugar to dissolve.
Step 5 – Add the whisky and stir.
Step 6 – Add the cream carefully on top.
It really is that simple. This is such a rich and easy cocktail to make, and is ideal for dinner parties, the holidays, and St. Patrick’s Day get-togethers.
Let me know in the comments what whiskey you used for your Irish Coffee, and enjoy the smoothness, heat, and creaminess that comes with every sip!
- 1/2 cup freshly-brewed coffee
- 3 tbsp Irish whiskey
- 1-2 tsp sugar
- 3 tbsp heavy cream (lightly whipped) or ready-made whipped cream
- Lightly whip the cream with a whisk in a small bowl. You just want to give it some body without reaching soft peaks.
- Brew the coffee.
- Warm up the heatproof glass.
- Add the sugar and coffee to the glass and stir for the sugar to dissolve.
- Add the whisky and stir.
- Add the lightly whipped cream carefully on top so it doesn't mix with the coffee.
You Might Also Like to Read
Want to make this cocktail at home? Save my recipe to one of your drinks or party recipe boards, so that you can easily find it when it’s time to prepare.