One of the most delicious hot cocktails around, Irish Coffee! It’s perfect any day but it’s also a fantastic start ( or end ) to an eventful St. Patrick’s Day!! Learn how to make this simple cocktail using brown sugar sweetened hot coffee, Irish Whiskey, and heavy cream!
Irish Coffee Recipe
Also known as Gailic Coffee or Caife Gaelach ( the cocktail’s proper Irish name )
The Irish Coffee drink was created by chef Joe Sheridan in 1942. The story goes that chef turned bartender Joe Sheridan ran a restaurant at the Foynes Airbase, or Foynes Port, outside of Limerick, Ireland ( currently replaced by the Shannon International Airport, that has carried on the Irish Coffee tradition ).
It was after an evening flight failed to reach New York that Mr. Sheridan mixed up a round of Irish Coffees for the stranded passengers. One of the Americans that had been delayed asked if it was a Brazilian coffee, to which Joe Sheridan replied, ‘It’s an Irish Coffee.’
It was in 1947 at the new Shannon Airport that Stanton Delaplane, a San Francisco Chronicle travel writer, had his first Irish Coffee. Once home, Stanton and his friend Jack Koepple (owner of Buena Vista Bar ), went to work to recreate the Irish Coffee that Joe Sheridan had originated.
Cream, Rich as an Irish Brogue
Coffee, Strong as a Friendly Hand
Sugar, Sweet as the tongue of a Rogue
Whiskey, Smooth as the Wit of the Land
~ verse by Joe Sheridan on how to make a true Irish Coffee
What Makes Irish Whiskey Irish Whiskey??
Irish Whiskey, or ‘Irish Whisky’ or ‘uisce beatha Eireannach’, is whiskey produced in Ireland including the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
To be considered Irish Whisky, the whiskey must contain malted barley. The other ingredients and the method of distillation determines the four main Irish whiskey types, including:
Malt – malt Irish whiskey uses 100% malted barley that is distilled in pot stills. Single Malt Whiskey means that the whiskey comes from only one distillery.
Grain – grain Irish whiskey consists of no more than 30% malted barley combined with other unmalted whole cereal grains ( including corn, barley, or wheat ) that is distilled in column stills. Single grain whiskey comes from only one distillery.
Pot Still – pot still Irish whiskey is made from a mash consisting of a minimum 30% malted and 30% unmalted barley. It can contain up to 5% of other cereal grains, and is distilled in pot stills. Single pot still whiskey comes from only one distillery.
Blended – blended Irish whiskey is a mixture of any two or more of the styles above ( malt, grain, pot still ) whiskey.
Irish Whiskey Brands
Here are some great brands of Irish Whiskey ( in completely random order ) for you to enjoy any time!! With Irish Whiskey growing rapidly in popularity in the United States, there are literally tons to choose from!
Tullamore D.E.W. Original
Kilbeggan Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
Teeling Whiskey Single Malt
Jameson Triple Distilled Irish Whiskey
Bushmills Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Redbreast 12, 15, or 21 Year
The Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey
Writers Tears Copper Pot Irish Whiskey
Green Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
West Cork Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey
Knappogue Castle Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Glendalough Pot Still Irish Whiskey
Dingle Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Tyrconnell Single Malt Irish Whiskey
The Irishman Small Batch Irish Whiskey
Hyde Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Midleton Very Rare Irish Whiskey
The Quiet man Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Celtic Cask Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Slane Triple Casked Irish Whiskey
Sexton Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Peaky Blinder Irish Whiskey
What’s the Best Irish Whiskey?
Jameson is undoubtedly the most popular of all Irish Whiskey served. It’s what any good bar will have stocked on hand!
Bushmills is the second most popular Irish Whiskey, and claims to be the oldest, licensed Irish Whiskey distillery in the world.
Both are exceptional whiskey brands, as are many mentioned above. Personally, and for today’s Irish Coffee, I use Jamesons!
How To Make Irish Coffee
Start with a heat proof cup and some really good dark brewed coffee. *It is recommended that you add hot water to your cup to warm it prior to mixing your cocktail.
Slightly warm and then aerate your heavy cream by stirring rapidly with a whisk or fork, or whip heavy cream to a whipped cream consistency. Set aside.
Remove hot water from your glass. Begin with your brown sugar, add hot coffee and stir. The coffee should fill your mug to between 2/3 to 3/4 full.
Add the Irish Whiskey and stir lightly.
Pour aerated heavy whipping cream over the back of a spoon and into your coffee mug, or dollop whipped cream onto the top of your Irish whiskey cocktail. Do not use the aerated cans of commercial whipped cream, as they can ruin your coffee drink.
Top with optional garnish of nutmeg, shaved chocolate, or 2 – 3 coffee beans if desired.
- 1 1/2 fl oz Irish Whiskey
- 4 fl oz black coffee (hot, filtered)
- 2 tsp light brown sugar
- 1 fl oz heavy cream (or whipped cream)
- nutmeg, chocolate shavings, or 2-3 coffee beans (optional, garnish)
- Start with a heat proof cup and some really good dark brewed coffee. *It is recommended that you add hot water to your cup to warm it prior to mixing your cocktail.
- Slightly warm and then aerate your heavy cream by stirring rapidly with a whisk or fork, or whip heavy cream to a whipped cream consistency. Set aside.
- Remove hot water from your glass. Begin with your brown sugar, add hot coffee and stir.
- Add the Irish Whiskey and stir.
- Pour aerated heavy whipping cream over the back of a spoon and into your coffee mug, or dollop whipped cream onto the top of your Irish whiskey cocktail. Do not use the aerated cans of commercial whipped cream, as they can ruin your coffee drink.
- Top with optional garnish of nutmeg, shaved chocolate, or 2 - 3 coffee beans if desired.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma’s kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!