Irish Coffee Cocktail

No reviews yet.
Please wait...


Cocktail Type


Great for

Dinner Party



Two Irish Coffee glasses on wood

What could be better than an after-dinner coffee? A classic Irish Coffee cocktail! Don’t let its worldly status intimidate you – it’s a simple recipe with just a few easy-to-find ingredients. A good whiskey is a must, teamed with a good rich coffee, (sweetened if you like) and a little cream to top things off. Let’s go… 



Pre-warm your glass with hot water to ensure your cocktail stays warm longer. 


Fresh is best for flavor. Avoid UHT or pasteurized cream and it won’t whip beautifully.  


Brew your best cup of coffee in a French press or make an espresso with a hot water top-up. 



1 Person

4 Oz

120 Ml

4 Parts

Strong coffee
Teaspoons soft brown sugar to taste
1.5 Oz

45 Ml

1.5 Parts

Irish whiskey
1 Oz

30 Ml

1 Parts

Heavy creamy, lightly whipped



Pour the coffee into a heatproof mug or glass with the sugar.  


Add the whiskey and stir to dissolve the sugar. 


Pour the lightly whipped cream slowly over the back of a spoon to allow it to float on top of the coffee. 


Sip the coffee through the cream for the full effect. 

What whiskey works best?

An Irish Coffee cocktail deserves to be poured with a decent whiskey for the best results! Irish whiskey is known to be triple distilled, a process that John Jameson insisted on since the 1780s, so check the label for that. If you don’t have an Irish whiskey, put your trust in a Glen Grant whiskey for an excellent alternative!

When to serve an Irish Coffee cocktail

Shouldn’t the question be: when isn’t it a good time to serve an Irish Coffee cocktail? It’s an excellent low alcohol cocktail to round up any night. But here are a few more specific suggestions for you to try!

  • As a dessert: Let this warm and sweet creamy sip take the place of dessert at casual suppers with friends.
  • Chilly pick me up: It’s a perfect serve for chilly wintery evenings around the fire.
  • St Patrick’s Day: Everyone is Irish come St Patrick’s day, so this cocktail is a must!
  • Christmas: It also works at Christmastime (or you can serve any of these hot Christmas drinks).

Try these variations for a twist on the classic

What would a classic cocktail be without creative mixologists around the world shaking things up a little? If you’re feeling adventurous, here are a few to try:

  • Garnish your Irish Coffee cocktail with a sprinkle of cocoa for chocolatey vibes or dip roasted coffee beans in melted chocolate and freeze for an easy garnish for coffee cocktails.
  • If your guests are weary of the caffeine buzz late at night, make it with a good decaf coffee. All the taste, less the awake-awake!
  • Tequila fans, we don’t want you feeling left out! Try our Mexican Coffee cocktail for a perfect post-dinner caffeine kick.
  • On hot summery nights, just make a cold Irish Coffee cocktail using cold coffee or pour the coffee over plenty of ice for an iced Irish Coffee cocktail. It’s just as tasty and refreshing!

History of the Irish Coffee cocktail

The story goes back to a cold winter in the early 1940s at Foynes Port, near Limerick, in Ireland (of course!). The small Foynes Airbase flying boat terminal became popular for fuel stopovers on transatlantic routes between Europe and the States during World War II. This tiny airport often hosted politicians and leaders from around the world, whose short fuel stops often became overnighters due to bad weather, creating the need for a restaurant.

One night, a storm forced a flight to return to the base. The restaurant chef, Joe Sheridan, warmed up and cheered up the group of disgruntled passengers by serving them a boozy coffee. As expected, the first Irish Coffees were a hit and added to the menu.

Soon, travel writer Stanton Delaplane decided to take Irish Coffee cocktail recipe Stateside to San Francisco’s Buena Vista Bar and Café. But bartender Jack Koeppler couldn’t stop the cream from sinking! Joe Sheridan’s spoon trick wouldn’t be a secret for long, when Delaplane went back to Ireland to and coxed Joe to show him how it was done.

And so, the Irish Coffee story was carved in history. If you’re ever in Foynes, pop down to the museum where they honor Sheridan and still make his authentic Irish coffee cocktail today.

Please wait...


To honor Joe Sheridan, pour an Irish Coffee cocktail with triple distilled Irish whiskey. However, our very own Kentucky-based Wild Turkey makes a fantastic bourbon or rye whiskey. Both are a great substitute!

Coffee partners with most alcohol, take our word for it or put our coffee cocktails to the test. An Irish coffee with whiskey is obviously right up there with the best but a Mexican Coffee cocktail with tequila is equally as good. The caramel notes of rum would work perfectly with coffee, as would the neutral nature of vodka. Be sure to try a Black Russian or a White Russian.