In the cold weather, there’s nothing better than sipping on a hot Irish Coffee. The Irish know how to drink their coffee, that’s for sure! This rich and sweet whiskey-spiced coffee, topped with thick whipped cream, is the perfect winter elixir.
» If you are looking for more cocktails, try these Festive Holiday Cocktails and 8 Irish Whiskey Cocktails.
A good Irish coffee is both rich and stiff, without feeling that way as you drink it. That might sound strange, but think about it for a minute. When you sip an Irish Coffee, it’s robust and boozy, but it just goes down so easy!
Irish Coffee is quite easy to make, but it’s not as simple as just adding whiskey to coffee. There are steps to follow and tips that help make the drink as smooth and delicious as it should be.
Read on to learn the secrets to the perfect Irish Coffee
Irish Coffee Ingredients
- Brown sugar – I prefer to use brown sugar. It lends a caramelly richness to the coffee, so it’s preferred over regular white sugar. You can use light or dark brown sugar. Raw cane sugar can work as well.
- Whiskey – Since this is an Irish drink use Irish whiskey if you have it. Jameson’s Irish Whiskey is always a good choice, as is Bushmill’s Original.
- Strongly brewed coffee – You don’t want the coffee to overpower the balance of the drink, so a medium-roast Colombian coffee blend is a great choice for this drink.
- Heavy whipping cream – Whipped until soft peaks form.
What Glass is Perfect for an Irish Coffee?
While you can use any mug you have, there is a perfect glass to use for an Irish Coffee and we’d be remiss not to tell you about it.
A lot of the magic of an Irish Coffee comes from the mug. It’s best served in a glass mug that is tall and not too big. Since you only use 4 oz of coffee, 1 1/2 oz of whiskey, and a whipped cream topper, there’s no need to use a mug that’s bigger than 6 to 8 oz.
A larger mug might encourage you to use more coffee, which would throw off the balance of the drink.
These 7.75 oz glass mugs that you can buy on Amazon are the perfect size and shape for an Irish Coffee.
What Coffee to Use
You don’t want the coffee to overpower the balance of the drink, so a medium-roast Colombian coffee blend is a great choice for this drink.
However, any medium-roast coffee will work. Make sure it’s brewed strong and that it’s piping hot when you begin to make the drink.
Note that espresso is to strong and bold for an Irish Coffee.
What Whiskey to Use
Well, it’s an Irish drink, so an Irish whiskey is appropriate, we think! Jameson’s Irish Whiskey is always a good choice, as is Bushmill’s Original.
Any whiskey with more spicy and vanilla notes and a smooth finish will work well. We use Jameson’s for all of our Irish Whiskey drinks, and we add it to our homemade Irish cream too. It’s got great flavor and balance, so you really can’t go wrong.
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What Sugar to Use
I prefer to use brown sugar because I always have it on hand. It lends a caramelly richness to the coffee, so it’s preferred over regular white sugar. You can use light or dark brown sugar. Raw cane sugar can work as well.
If you’re tempted to leave the sugar out because you don’t like sweet coffee, you’ve chosen the wrong drink. The sugar is necessary in this drink, so please don’t leave it out.
It’s what makes this drink an Irish Coffee and not just spiked coffee. It also helps the cream float on the top of the drink, even as you drink it. Without the sugar, the cream would just fall into the drink.
How to Make an Irish Coffee
First, fill the mug with hot water and let it sit for a few minutes to warm the glass. This will help ensure that the drink doesn’t go lukewarm as soon as it’s added to the glass.
While the mug is warming, whip the cream until soft peaks form.
When you’re ready to go, pour the hot water out of the mug. Add the brown sugar to the mug. Top it with the coffee and the whiskey. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Top the drink with a couple of spoonfuls of the whipped cream. It should form about a 1″ head. Sprinkle with nutmeg and serve.
>> For more warm fall drinks try these one of these. There are alcoholic and non-alcoholics options.
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This rich and sweet whiskey-spiced Irish Coffee is topped with thick whipped cream.
- 4 ounces hot brewed coffee (medium or dark roast)
- 1.5 ounces Irish whiskey
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 ounce heavy cream
- Warm the glass by pouring in hot water and letting it sit for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, whip the cream until soft peaks form.
- Pour the hot water out of the mug. Add the coffee, whiskey, and brown sugar to the mug and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Top with an inch of whipped cream. Sprinkle with nutmeg as a garnish.
Medium or dark roast filter-brewed or French press coffee is best. Avoid espresso as it's too bitter for this drink.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 226Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 13mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 1g
Other Irish Drink Recipes To Try
- Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur
- Irish Whiskey Margarita
- Festive Boozy Shamrock Shake
- Super Tasty Guinness Milkshake
Click for Even More Irish Drink Recipes
- 15 Festive St. Patrick’s Day Cocktails
- 8 Irish Whiskey Cocktails
- 12 Hot & Boozy Drinks for Cold Weather
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Laura is the founder and editor of the travel blogs Savored Sips and Savored Journeys. She is dedicated to sharing the best information about drinks found around the world.
7 thoughts on “Classic Irish Coffee Recipe”
This is such an amazing treat for all coffee lovers like me!
Coffee lover here. Thanks for sharing this. I would love to try this soon. Pinned!!
I can’t wait to try this! It sounds so amazing and will perfect for a cold fall day.
I can never get enough of Irish coffee. This looks so easy to make and looks so inviting.
Oh wow, this Irish coffee sounds amazing! I’m definitely going to be making this from now on.
We are getting the first snowfall of the season today so this coffee is calling my name!
That’s perfect, Sue!