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The Perfect Irish Coffee Recipe

The Perfect Irish Coffee Recipe

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Irish coffee definitely ranks among people's favorite Irish recipes. For Wade Murphy, the executive head chef at The Lodge at Doonbeg, nothing beats a classic Irish coffee when he needs to warm up. He’s shared his recipe for making the perfect version of this simple and delicious drink that is served around Ireland.

This coffee is best served in a glass mug with a stem, so that you can see the layers. When adding the hot water to the glass to warm it up, make sure to pour it over the back of a teaspoon so that the spoon takes the heat from the water, rather than the glass — so it doesn't break.


  • 1 ounce good-quality Irish whiskey
  • Good-quality coffee, about ½ cup
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar, to taste
  • About ¼ cup whipping cream


Put a teaspoon into an Irish coffee glass and pour some boiling water into the glass over the back of a spoon to warm it up. Pour out the water, and then add the shot of whiskey to the glass.

Pour in the coffee, leaving about a ½-inch space at the top.

Add enough sugar, to taste, and stir until it has dissolved. The sugar ensures that the cream will float.

Place the spoon onto the surface of the coffee where it meets the side of the glass, face up, so that the curved part of the spoon is touching the coffee. With the cream in a small jug, pour it onto the spoon. The cream will flow over the edge of the spoon and rest on top of the coffee.

What you should be left with is a glass of black coffee (not cloudy and with no trace of cream) with a white collar about ½-inch deep. Enjoy.

The Perfect Irish Coffee Recipe - Recipes

How to Make a Proper Irish Coffee, According to the Experts


It's more than coffee, Baileys, and whiskey—much more.

When the average drinker hears “Irish Coffee,” it, more often than not, conjures visions of a mediocre mixture of coffee, whiskey, and Baileys Irish cream. “Before ever stepping foot into The Dead Rabbit I barely understood what a real Irish Coffee was,” Samantha Casuga, head bartender at The Dead Rabbit, explains. “I think I haphazardly slipped Jameson into my black, lukewarm coffee on St. Patrick's Day and probably thought that's what it was.” Casuga isn’t alone in that thought.

Sadly, this bastardized version of the cocktail has become more popular than its classic form: an artful balance of freshly whipped cream layered on top of a blend of medium roast coffee, Irish whiskey, and demerara syrup. “To me the Irish Coffee is a humble, simple drink that encompasses comfort, tradition, and a sense of familiarity—much like the values of Irish hospitality,” Casuga says.

A proper Irish Coffee should be rich, inviting, warming, and subtly complex —when built in its authentic structure, it stands as one of the best cold weather tipples there is. “For us [from Ireland] an Irish coffee is a perfect physical representation of the emotional warmth we wish to show our guests,” Aaron Wall, co-owner of the London-based Irish cocktail bar Homeboy Bar, says. “It’s the closest thing we can get to giving a hug these days.” This sentiment is in alignment with how the Irish Coffee became popularized in the first place: at the Foynes terminal building.

In the winter of 1943, a flight departed from Ireland with the destination of New York, but the captain of the plane decided to turn the flight around after flying for several hours in bad weather to wait for safer conditions. Upon the plane’s return, the passengers settled in and got a bite to eat, and something to calm their nerves. They were welcomed with a coffee cocktail topped with freshly whipped cream, courtesy of bartender and chef, Joe Sheridan. Whilst most sources credit Foynes as the Irish Coffee’s place of origin, it wasn’t Sheridan’s first time serving that cocktail. He learned how to make the “whiskey coffee,” as it was originally named, from a man by the name of Michael Nugent who owned the Dolphin Hotel in Dublin, which is where the Irish Coffee was first served, and truly originated. What Sheridan and Foynes can be credited with, however, is the globalization, and popularization, of the Irish Coffee after he used his wit and bar savvy to deliver a hospitable serve for guests in their time of need.

The Irish Coffee is a thing of beauty, and it deserves to be crafted to perfection every single time. To ensure no detail is spared, and that it delivers on both comfort and flavor, we consulted with bar experts from around the world to get their take on how to make one properly. Here are their pro-tips.

Don’t Sleep on the Cream

Courtesy Dead Rabbit

The first thing you’ll notice about a proper Irish Coffee is the head of fresh, lightly whipped, cream. Without this component, the drink loses its depth and complexity. “We're often asked what we put into the cream and the answer is simple: cream,” Casuga says. “We use a heavy cream, and just shake it enough to make it thick, but still pourable. By keeping the cream in its natural state (not sweetening it like you would whipped cream) it acts as a way to balance the sweet coffee part of the drink.”

Wall provides some intuitive advice for knowing when the cream is ready to be layered. “With the cream, my advice is shake it near your ear and wait for the sound to turn from flip to flop,” he says. Once it’s thickened, layer the cream on top of the base blend by pouring it over the back of a bar spoon.

Buy Good Coffee and Brew It Right

Lateef Photography/Courtesy Homeboy Bar

There are two components of the coffee that really matter: the temperature, and flavor. A weak, watered down coffee that provides little flavor makes for a flabby, underwhelming drink. The coffee should be hot (not scalding), flavorfully bitter, and be able to balance the sweet elements in the drink.

“Irish Coffee works very well with natural processed or honey processed coffees from South America with notes of candied fruits, chocolate, and sugarcane,” says Martin Hudak, global brand ambassador for Mr Black cold brew coffee liqueur and co-founder of the Sydney’s award-winning cocktail bar, Maybe Sammy. “Ideally brewed as a filtered coffee where you can have a nice clear black cup of it.”

Brent Herrig/Courtesy Dead Rabbit

Use a French Press, or pour-over, and ask your local coffee roaster for a recommendation. (You can use blends from large producers, but I always opt for supporting small businesses if possible—I recently used a Papua New Guinea coffee by Cozz Coffee in an Irish Coffee and it was perfectly balanced.)

The next detail to pay attention to is the temperature—you want to ensure there is a contrast between the cool cream, and hot coffee for textural complexity. “Temperature is everything,” Marlowe Johnson, beverage director at Flowers of Vietnam, says. “I can’t overstate that enough. [H]eat is finicky and fleeting. The coffee itself should be between 75 and 85 degrees [Fahrenheit], but it’s equally important to heat everything else [i.e the glass and syrup] beforehand.

Dial-In the Technique and Ratios

The Irish Coffee is a simple cocktail to make, but the devil is in the details. Start with a hot mug by pouring some boiling water and letting it sit for a minute, then toss in the sink,” said Tyson Buhler, national beverage director for Death & Co. “Just like a frozen glass for a Martini, the proper temperature for your glassware is crucial to great cocktails. Add the sugar [syrup], whiskey, and coffee and give it a quick stir. [Lastly] you want the cream to be just from the refrigerator to be sure it's cold. Because the cream is now thickened, it should layer on top of the drink without falling into the cocktail but to be sure you can pour slowly over the back of a spoon placed just above the cocktail.”

The one thing that’s gone unmentioned is the whiskey. Dublin-born Wall from London’s Homeboy says there is no such thing as a bad Irish whiskey, but treat yourself with a pot still Irish whiskey should you really care. Glendalough, Redbreast, Kilbeggan, and Bushmills are all brands to note. If you follow these steps, the correct ratios, and use quality ingredients, you’ve just taken your Irish Coffee game from mediocre to marvelous.

Irish Coffee Recipe

Lateef Photography/Courtesy Homeboy Bar

1 ¼ ounce Irish whiskey
½ ounce demerara syrup*
3 ½ ounces coffee
Topped with lightly whipped heavy cream
Garnish with nutmeg

Method: Add boiling water to your Irish Coffee glass to heat, then dump. Then add whiskey, demerara syrup and hot coffee to the glass, leaving about an index finger’s worth of space at the top of the glass for the cream. Layer with freshly whipped cream (pour over the back of the bar spoon), and garnish with a dusting of nutmeg.

Irish Coffee Recipe -Tips To Making The Perfect Cocktail

I&rsquove always heard the quote, &ldquoWhen in Ireland, do as they do!&rdquo Okay, maybe it was actually Rome, but you get the point.

Traditional Irish Coffee &ndash Slainte. (Cheers)

If you aren&rsquot in Ireland, but still want to celebrate their culinary traditions, this is an easy, yet authentic beverage recipe to follow!

To some people&rsquos disbelief, they don&rsquot actually drink green beer in Ireland on St. Patrick&rsquos day. With the dark hues of standard Irish beers, you wouldn&rsquot even be able to see the green food coloring.

However, Irish coffee is a common drink found in almost all Irish restaurants, pubs and homes. It is not only served during and after Happy Hour, it is served during all hours of the day, every day of the week.

For the best Irish coffee, grind your own medium or dark roasted beans.

While touring Ireland I stopped at a quaint establishment for a quick bite to eat. It was late morning on a brisk weekday, and all the locals were sipping on an Irish coffee.

Of course, I wanted to follow their lead and ordered one as well. The bartender was more than happy to demonstrate to this tourist the proper way to make an Irish coffee.

It is not as simple as pouring a little Irish whiskey in mug of hot coffee. There are specific steps you must follow to achieve the perfect Irish Coffee.

Tips For The Perfect Irish Coffee

First of all you must make a rich, thick coffee. A medium to dark roast is ideal and of course using freshly ground beans helps the flavor tremendously!

Stir the whiskey and brown sugar together until dissolved in a warmed glass before adding the coffee.

Preheat your coffee glass. While the coffee is brewing, pour hot water into the glass. Dump the water right before making the drink to keep the glass as warm as possible.

Choose a great Irish whiskey. Where we live favorites include Jameson or Bushmills.

It is important to pour your whipped cream over the back of a spoon so that it floats on top of the coffee.

Use freshly whipped cream. Whisk heavy whipping cream vigorously with a whisk or fork until it is light and fluffy. You must pour the cream over a spoon that is placed across the rim of the glass so that it floats on top of the coffee.

You don&rsquot want it to sink into the coffee. And never, I mean never, use pressurized whipped cream from a can!

If you liked our Irish Coffee recipe, be sure to check out our Irish Soda Bread and Instant Pot Irish Beef Stew recipes.

Check out the printable recipe below and all of our recipes and let me know what you think!

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You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. This article may contain affiliate links.

6 Recipes for the Perfect Irish Coffee

National Irish Coffee Day may have blown unknowingly blown past us back on January 25 (since the beverage originated in San Francisco and not Ireland we suppose we can excuse the non-March celebration) but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of thirsty revelers looking to sip on the sweet caffeine treat this St. Paddy’s Week.

With snow threatening most of the northeastern part of the United States and parade day promising to be a blustering affair, you might want to stay in and warm up with one of six delicious Irish coffee variations offered up by

Their traditional version is as follows:

Traditional Irish Coffee
1 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp Irish Cream liqueur
1/2 cup Irish whiskey
4 tbsp brown sugar
4 cups strong hot coffee

With an electric mixer, whip cream and Irish cream together until stiff. Set aside.

Into each of four large coffee mugs, add 2 tablespoons whiskey, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, and 1 cup coffee. Top with a very generous layer of the Irish cream whipped cream. (Almost a third of the cup should be taken up by the whipped cream.)

For mint, maple, chocolate, Tullamore Dew, and Grand Marnier variations (plus a deliciously boozy spin on whipped cream), head on over to the original piece ASAP!

The perfect Irish Coffee Recipe

The perfect Irish Coffee starts with the whipped cream. Don't go buy a can! It is so simple to make and you will impress everyone with the best-whipped cream of their lives. Simply put the mixing bowl and beater in a freezer for a half hour and get nice and cold. When you get your mixer bowl and beater from the freezer and place it back on the mixer to get your needed supplies:

  1. 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  2. 2 heaping tablespoons of sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon of Bailey's Irish Cream

Simply place all ingredients into the mixer bowl and mix on high for approximately 1 minute. If you whip it too little it will be runny, mix it too much and you have butter. The whipped cream will be ready when you put a spoon in it and it makes nice mounds. Now we are ready to make our perfect Irish Coffee!

Pre-heating glass with hot water

Ingredients as we were told them

Rich as an Irish Brogue

Strong as a Friendly Hand

Sweet as the tongue of a Rogue

Smooth as the Wit of the Land

1. Pre-heat a clear stemmed coffee glass with very hot water
2. Empty the water from the glass and add 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
3. Add in freshly brewed rich coffee or coffee granules and a bit of water, stir
4. As soon as the sugar is melted add in a generous measure of Irish Whiskey
5. Stir again, then top off with a bit more coffee
6. Add a topping of freshly whipped cream
7. enjoy

The perfect Irish Coffee will look like the other famous Irish Drink . Guinness

The 5 Key Elements of Irish Coffee

The Coffee
Some people prefer light roast Colombian java while others only drink dark French roast, and you can pick pretty much any coffee for your cocktail. Although Morgan Carney, general manager and bar manager of Boston’s Grafton Street, uses an extra bold roast, he’s also used Americano and, for an iced version, cold brew. Flavored coffees are fine too, but if you go that route, the flavor of the coffee will be the dominant feature of the drink as opposed to the whiskey, says Kieran Aherne, regional manager at Fado Irish Pub. In that case, he advises, you may want to add less sugar. Whatever your preference, for classic Irish coffee, your joe needs to be HOT. Boil water and let it sit inside the glass for about 30 seconds. Then immediately add the hot coffee after you toss out that water. This will keep the glass hot and prevent your drink from cooling too quickly.

The Whiskey
For this cocktail, Irish whiskey is a given. While Jameson and Tullamore D.E.W. are often used, you can choose any brand. The go-to whiskey at Grafton Street is Glendalough Double Barrel, which adds a peppery kick to the drink. Most of the time, you’ll want to choose a blended whiskey, rather than single malt or pot still, whose more robust flavors would overpower the drink. Just remember to adjust the amount and type of sweetener and cream you use to suit the flavor profile of the whisky and achieve a balanced drink. (More on that below.)

The Sweetener
Brown or demerara sugar is the standard for Irish coffee, as it gives a rich, caramel note—just stir well to dissolve it. Swapping in simple syrup, honey, agave, or maple syrup can also work, but bear in mind that using liquid sweeteners will change the drink’s consistency.

The Cream
Whipped cream not only looks impressive crowning the cocktail, but its flavor and texture are an important part of the experience. “If you ask an Irish person, the cream is floated—no other option,” Carney says. “Some people have Americanized the drink by adding Baileys to it in lieu of whipped cream.” Grafton Street serves a compromise between the two techniques, whipping heavy cream with Baileys, powdered sugar, and cinnamon, and layering it on top of the coffee. But a sweet cream isn’t a necessity, according to Aherne, who doesn’t add sugar to his whipping cream. “If you have sugar in the drink, it’s sweet enough,” he says.

The trick for floating is to whisk or whip the cream until it’s lightly aerated—the whisk should leave lines behind. A hand or electric blender will work, but a stand mixer is best, according to Aherne. “Whisk it hard and fast by hand or at 75% on a blender, and this will take only a few minutes,” he says. It’ll be thick, but still liquid enough to flow right off the spoon and sit on top of your coffee. You can also pour it over the back of a spoon, or use two spoons and turn one upside down. “Pour the cream off one spoon onto the back of the other, which should be sitting right on top of the coffee, and it will float,” Aherne explains.

If you don’t eat or drink dairy, you can still make an Irish coffee. Whip refrigerated, full-fat canned coconut milk—it’ll float too.

Whatever you do, as much as possible, skip the canned whipped cream. “Fresh anything is always going to taste better than something that comes out of a can, and the aesthetic of the fresh whipped cream siting on the glass is also better,” Aherne says.

The Temperature
Visual presentation, with the contrast between black and white, is a big part of the Irish coffee. To avoid streaks of cream wisping into the black coffee, keep the cream as cold as possible until the last minute, and make sure the coffee is piping hot.

Making a non-traditional iced Irish coffee requires a different technique: infusing the whiskey. “I’ve made cold brew coffee, and thought, ‘What if you steep coffee grounds in whiskey instead of water?’” Carney says. “I tried it, and it’s super bitter and undrinkable on its own. But add brown sugar and some cream, and it’s fantastic.” (Full instructions below.)


Step 1

The Perfect Irish Coffee


1. Fill a heatproof glass with hot water and leave to stand. Whip the cream until it forms ribbons underneath the whisk then put back in the fridge.

2. Dissolve the sugar in two tablespoons of hot water in a small pan and bring to the boil. It should go syrupy almost immediately. Take the sugar off the heat and stir in the whiskey.

3. Empty the glass and pour the sweetened whiskey into the bottom, then stir in the coffee. Take the cream out of the fridge, whisk once, then pour it on over the back of a spoon (this helps to stop it sinking). Add a little nutmeg over the top and serve immediately.

The Perfect Irish Whiskey Coffee Recipe

A St. Paddy’s Day staple, Irish coffee is a cocktail made with hot coffee, Irish whiskey, and sugar, and topped with fluffy cream.

RELATED: What Happens To Your Body When You Drink Coffee

The cocktail is simple enough, but if you’re looking to impress your guests or you have a little extra time on your hands on St. Patrick’s Day morning, then there are some tricks (courtesy of Gillian Murphy, bartender and Tullamore D.E.W. Brand Ambassador), to make your Irish coffee top-notch.

For starters, Murphy recommends heating up your glass before making your cocktail. This way, it’ll stay warmer for longer. No need to pop the glass in the microwave or anything—simply pouring some hot water into the glass will do.

The next step is mixing together your sugar and coffee in the glass. Sweeten to taste and if you’re looking for a low-sugar version, you can also use a zero-calorie sweetener like stevia or monk fruit.

Now the fun part: add your whiskey of choice! We recommend Tullamore D.E.W. for its spicy and malty notes with charred wood undertones. Unlike other whiskeys, there’s no harsh burn with Tullamore D.E.W.—its smooth finish is the perfect complement for this warming coffee.

The final ingredient (and perhaps everyone’s favorite) is the whipped cream topping. And Murphy has a clever hack: all you need is a protein blender bottle with a small, springy metal ball that helps you mix up your protein powder and liquid. Not everyone has an electric whisk, so this tip makes it easier for you to whip up this cocktail.

To take this cocktail to an impressive level, Murphy explains a classic bartender trick of pouring the whipped cream onto the top of the Irish coffee using the back of a hot teaspoon. This helps to keep the cream on the top of the coffee rather than mixing in—as drinking the coffee through a thick but fluffy layer of cream is a key feature of this classic Irish drink and truly gives meaning to the classic phrase “Top o’ the morning to ya!”

The perfect Iced Irish Coffee Cocktail Recipe

One of my favorite trips we have taken was to Ireland a few years ago. It has been said that I have the gift of gab which was perfect for Ireland. I loved talking with EVERYONE and learning about them. We enjoyed a few Irish coffees while we were there and loved them. I thought it would be fun to make an Iced Irish Coffee Cocktail.

The perfect drink to enjoy by a fire or who am I kidding any time you want a delicious cocktail.

How to make an Iced Irish Coffee Cocktail Recipe! his cocktail is perfect for St. Patricks Day parties or really any day of the week. We live in Spokane which is cold normally in March so we tend to bounce between this iced cocktail and a Hot Irish Coffee.

Irish Coffee

Coffee cocktails are just about as sinful a beverage as we can think of. They are a direct jolt of caffeine and booze straight to the system that is perfect for the start or end of the night. Irish coffee is one the most classic coffee mixed drinks. It is the perfect combination of sweetened coffee, Irish whiskey, and (of course) whipped cream . It's cozy, delicious, and incredibly easy to make.

First, you'll want to warm the mugs. The best way to do this: let hot water sit in the mug, then dump it out. Irish coffee is traditional served in a glass mug, and the quick step of preheating the mug prevents cracking upon pouring. It'll also take the chill off of your mug and ensure that your drink stays warm for longer.

Next, dissolve brown sugar in hot coffee then add the whiskey. You could use granulated sugar, but we the caramel and molasses notes from the brown sugar pair well with the booze.

Finally, make whipped cream! You're looking for the mixture to hold soft peaks while remaining pourable. To pour the whipped cream, pour whipped cream over the back of a spoon to form a pillowy, foamy topping.

Have you made this recipe? Rate it below and let us know how you liked it!

Watch the video: Γεύσεις και Οίνος - Irish Coffee


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