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Irish Coffee combines hot coffee, brown sugar and a good Irish whiskey then topped with freshly whipped cream. It’s a classic cocktail and the perfect start or end to enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. It’s sure to warm you from the inside out.
Ok, What is Irish Coffee Anyway?
Irish coffee is a popular cocktail made with hot coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and topped with a layer of whipped cream. It is believed to have originated in Ireland in the 1940s and gained popularity worldwide. The drink is typically served in a glass mug or coffee cup with a handle, and the whipped cream is floated on top of the coffee to give it a distinct look. The warmth of the coffee and the strength of the whiskey make Irish coffee a popular after-dinner drink or a comforting beverage to warm you up on a cold day.
What Kind of Coffee is Best to Use?
Ultimately it comes down to personal preference, but it’s best to use a strong and robust coffee with a bold flavor that can stand up to the other ingredients. A dark roast coffee or an espresso blend is ideal as it has a strong and bold flavor that can hold its own when combined with the whiskey, sugar, and cream.
It’s also important to use freshly brewed hot coffee and to avoid using instant coffee or coffee that has been sitting for too long, as this can affect the overall taste and quality of the drink.
What Kind of Whiskey is Best to Use?
The type of whiskey used in an Irish coffee is mostly a matter of personal preference, but traditionally, Irish whiskey is used. Irish whiskey is smooth and slightly sweet, with hints of vanilla and caramel, which make it an excellent choice for this cocktail.
Popular brands of Irish whiskey that are commonly used in an Irish coffee include Jameson, Bushmills, Tullamore Dew, and Redbreast. Experiment with different brands and varieties of whiskey to find the one that best suits your taste.
It’s important to note that while Irish whiskey is the traditional choice for an Irish coffee, other types of whiskey, such as bourbon or rye, can also be used. However, the flavor profile will be different, and it may not have the same traditional taste as an Irish coffee made with Irish whiskey.
How to Make Irish Coffee
Okay, let’s make these already! For full recipe details, including ingredients needed, see the printable recipe card down below. Here is step by step what to expect when making Irish Coffee:
Divide Brown Sugar + Coffee Between 2 Glasses
Divide brown sugar into 2 heat proof glasses or mugs. These glass mugs are really cute and festive, but totally optional. Divide and pour freshly brewed coffee and Irish whiskey over top of brown sugar and stir until dissolved.
Make Whipped Cream
Whip heavy cream with whisk until soft peaks form.
Gently float whipped cream into mugs by slowly pouring over the back of a spoon, dividing evenly between the mugs. Do not stir.
Serve + Enjoy!
Enjoy hot, drinking the coffee through the whipped cream.
What to Serve With Irish Coffee
Irish coffee is a delightful drink that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with some delicious treats. Here are some ideas on what to serve with Irish coffee:
- Biscotti or cookies: The sweetness of biscotti or cookies can complement the bitter coffee and rich whiskey flavors of the Irish coffee.
- Chocolate: Dark chocolate or chocolate truffles can be an excellent pairing with Irish coffee, as the bitterness of the chocolate can enhance the flavors of the coffee and whiskey.
- Cheese: A small plate of cheese and crackers can be a great snack to have with Irish coffee. Cheese with a bold flavor, such as sharp cheddar or blue cheese, can balance the sweetness of the drink.
- Desserts: Any dessert with a caramel, toffee, or vanilla flavor profile can complement the flavors of an Irish coffee. Examples include crème brûlée, flan, or bread pudding.
- Fruit: Fresh fruit, such as berries, can provide a light and refreshing accompaniment to the rich and creamy Irish coffee.
Variations to Try!
Here are a few Irish coffee variations that you might enjoy:
Baileys Irish coffee: Baileys Irish Cream is a popular addition to traditional Irish coffee, adding a sweet and creamy flavor to the drink. Simply substitute the Irish whiskey with Bailey’s Irish Cream and adjust the amount of sugar to taste.
Nutty Irishman: The Nutty Irishman is a variation of Irish coffee that includes Frangelico, a hazelnut-flavored liqueur. To make a Nutty Irishman, simply add a shot of Frangelico to your Irish coffee and top with whipped cream.
Irish coffee martini: For a more sophisticated take on Irish coffee, try an Irish coffee martini. Combine coffee liqueur, Irish whiskey, and espresso in a shaker with ice, shake, and strain into a chilled martini glass. Top with whipped cream and garnish with grated chocolate or cinnamon.
Irish coffee milkshake: To turn your Irish coffee into a dessert, blend vanilla ice cream, coffee, Irish whiskey, and a dash of cinnamon in a blender until smooth. Serve in a tall glass with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder.
More St. Paddy’s Day Recipes to Try!
- Smoked Corned Beef
- Reuben Sandwich
- Irish Soda Bread
- Corned Beef Hash
- Mint Brownie Bites
- Mint Nanaimo Bars
I hope you enjoy this Irish Coffee! Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. Have a great day, friends! 🙂
- 8 oz coffee hot, freshly brewed
- 1 tbsp brown sugar packed
- 3 oz Irish whiskey
- 2 oz heavy cream
- Irish Coffee Mugs optional, but so cute!
- Divide brown sugar into 2 heat proof glasses or mugs
- Divide and pour freshly brewed coffee and Irish whiskey over top of brown sugar and stir until dissolved.
- Whip heavy cream with whisk until soft peaks form.
- Gently float whipped cream into mugs by slowly pouring over the back of a spoon, dividing evenly between the mugs. Do not stir.
- Enjoy hot, drinking the coffee through the whipped cream.