Quick Cocktails | How To Make an Irish Coffee

A classic cocktail which, when done right, is simple, delicious and addicting.

Christopher Osburnby Christopher Osburn

More than just dumping whisky into a coffee mug and squirting whipped cream on top, the Irish Coffee is a cocktail that, when done right, is simple, delicious, and addicting. Versions of the drink have existed for hundreds of years, but the modern day Irish Coffee was invented in 1938 at Ireland’s Shannon Airport by a chef named Joe Sheridan, who welcomed some shivering American visitors by adding Irish whiskey to their coffee and topping it with a floating inch of whipped Irish cream. 

How To Make an Irish Coffee

Irish coffee is a cocktail with few ingredients, so the flavors of each need to play off each other well and contribute to the drink in a meaningful way. Different spices can be added to capture the flavor of a particular season (Pumpkin Spice during the fall, Peppermint during the holidays), but one thing is set in stone – the whiskey needs to be Irish whiskey. 

Irish Coffee Ingredients

  • 1 ½ oz Irish Whiskey
  • 4 oz Dark roast coffee
  • 1 Sugar Cube
  • Chilled heavy cream 

Irish Coffee Preparation

Warm a toddy glass by filling it with hot water. Once the glass is warm, dump out the water. Add your sugar cube and Irish whiskey. Fill with dark roast coffee leaving about a ¼-inch of room at the top. Whip the heavy cream until it is just thick enough to stick to an overturned finger. Gently float the cream on top.

 


For an in depth look at the history of the Irish Coffee and possible variations, check out:

MIX IT UP: The Irish Coffee