Irish coffee, a delightful blend of coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and whipped cream, is a classic beverage that I was first introduced to in college back when I could drink coffee at night and still sleep. Those days are long gone for me. But I still think an Irish coffee is the perfect compliment to a holiday lunch (like Thanksgiving or Christmas) and it’s perfect for brunch when you’re not in the mood for a mimosa.
The tale of Irish coffee begins in the early 1940s when a transatlantic flight was forced to return to Foynes, a small airport located on the west coast of Ireland, due to bad weather. To provide a warm and comforting welcome, Joe Sheridan, the chef at the airport’s restaurant, decided to blend some of Ireland’s finest ingredients – Irish whiskey and freshly brewed coffee – creating the now-iconic Irish coffee.
- Irish whiskey – like Jameson
- Whipped cream – I love fresh whipped cream but canned is OK too
Add the brown sugar to the glass or mug. Pour a small amount of hot coffee over the sugar and stir until fully dissolved. Pour in the Irish whiskey and stir gently to combine with the sugared coffee.
Fill the glass almost to the top with freshly brewed hot coffee, leaving enough space for the whipped cream.
Carefully layer the freshly whipped cream over the back of a spoon onto the surface of the coffee. The cream should float on top, creating a delightful contrast to the dark coffee below.
Tips for Making
- You can make the coffee with any method you prefer. Here’s how to make Chemex coffee, French Press coffee, and Aeropress coffee.
- While you can add any whiskey to this drink, it’s not an Irish coffee without Irish whiskey such as Jameson, Bushmills, Redbreast, Tullamore Dew, and more.
- I love a clear coffee mug for this cocktail as it allows you to see the division between the black coffee and the white whipped cream. But any coffee mug or glass that can hold hot liquid (so a handle is nice) can work.
I love an Irish coffee along with a big holiday brunch or lunch. But here are some treats you could serve alongside it.
- Classic Shortbread Cookies
- Butter Cookies
- Ricotta Cookies
- Pinwheel Cookies
- Snowball Cookies
- Molasses Cookies
Irish coffee is more than just a beverage; it’s a heartwarming tradition with a story that transcends time and borders. From its humble origins at Foynes Airport in Ireland to its widespread recognition across the globe, Irish coffee has become a beloved classic that brings people together and warms souls with each sip. Cheers!
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- 6 ounces hot coffee
- 1-2 teaspoons sugar
- 1½ ounces Irish whiskey
- ½ cup whipped cream
- Add the brown sugar to the glass or mug. Pour a small amount of hot coffee over the sugar and stir until fully dissolved.
- Pour in the Irish whiskey and stir gently to combine with the sugared coffee.
- Fill the glass almost to the top with freshly brewed hot coffee, leaving enough space for the whipped cream.
- Carefully layer the freshly whipped cream over the back of a spoon onto the surface of the coffee. The cream should float on top.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.