Why doesn’t National Irish Coffee Day (January 25) coincide with Saint Patrick’s Day? That’s because Irish coffee originated in San Francisco, not Ireland.
Want to try your hand at this classic cocktail? You can go with the traditional recipe or try out some yummy variations we’ve dug up for you, such as the Chocolate Irish Coffee which tastes like a mocha dream. Of course we tried them all out first! Consider all of these Drinkhacker approved!
Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Coffee
1 ½ parts Tullamore D.E.W. original Irish whiskey
1 ½ parts strong brewed coffee
½ parts white sugar
lightly whipped heavy cream
ground cinnamon or nutmeg
Pre-heat a clear-stemmed glass with very hot water. Add the sugar and brewed coffee and stir well. Once the sugar has melted, stir in the Irish whiskey. Gently whip the heavy cream by shaking it in a protein shaker with a blender ball—you want a still somewhat loose, not stiff, consistency. Pour the cream over the back of a hot teaspoon to top the drink (and prevent the cream from penetrating the top of the drink). Finally, garnish with grated nutmeg or cinnamon for a spicy finish.
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.)
To Make Irish Cream Whipped Cream
In a mixer bowl, add heavy cream, a splash of Irish cream, Whip until light and fluffy. In a mug, add strong coffee, 2-3 tablespoons whiskey, and a tablespoon of brown sugar.
Mint Irish Coffee
(from the Dutch Kills bar)
2 tbsp Demerara or turbinado sugar
3 oz. Irish whiskey
4 oz. freshly made espresso
4 oz. water
3 oz. heavy cream
2 fresh mint leaves for garnish
Place 4 teaspoons of the sugar, the whiskey, espresso, and water in a small saucepan and stir to combine. Set over low heat and stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot but not boiling, about 5 minutes.
Place the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar and the cream in a medium bowl and whisk until the cream thickens and the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Transfer the hot coffee mixture to two 8-ounce heatproof glasses or mugs, top with a heaping spoonful of the whipped cream, and garnish with the mint leaves. Serve immediately.
Chocolate Irish Coffee
2 oz. heavy cream
1 1/2 oz. chocolate syrup, divided
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 oz. Irish whiskey
6 oz. hot coffee
In a medium bowl, whisk cream vigorously until it begins to thicken. Cream should be thick, but still pourable. Whisk in 1/2 ounce chocolate syrup until completely combined. Set aside. In an Irish coffee glass, combine remaining chocolate syrup, sugar, whiskey, and hot coffee. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Top with a 3/4″ collar of chocolate whipped cream.
Maple Irish Coffee
2 oz. heavy cream
1 oz. maple syrup, divided
1 1/2 oz. Irish whisky
6 oz. hot coffee
In a medium bowl, whisk cream vigorously until it begins to thicken. Cream should be thick, but still pourable. Whisk in 1/4 ounce of the maple syrup. Set aside.
In a coffee glass, combine remaining maple syrup, whiskey and hot coffee. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Top with a ¾ inch collar of thickened whipped cream. Serve immediately.
Irish Coffee with Grand Marnier
4 oz. coffee
2 oz. Irish whiskey
1 oz. Grand Marnier
1 Demerara sugar cube
Mix all ingredients. Top with unsweetened whipped cream.
Note: Substitute hazelnut liqueur or amaretto for another variation.
- Recipe: National Irish Coffee Day 2015
- Recipe: Irish Whiskey Coffee — Tullamore D.E.W. Variation
- Recipes to Celebrate National Hot Chocolate Day 2017
- The Best Whiskey for Irish Coffee