A little buzzy, a little boozy, and a whole lot of delicious, Irish Coffee is the ultimate night cap cocktail recipe or brunch drink.
Table of Contents
At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.
- Irish whiskey: A simple blended Irish whiskey like Jameson or Bushmills works great.
- Coffee: Use piping-hot, freshly-brewed coffee. Espresso, warmed-up cold brew, French press, pour-over, or even percolator-brewed will do.
- Sugar: Aim for equal amounts of white and brown sugar; the warm and slightly smoky molasses in the brown sugar complements the whiskey well.
- Whipped cream: It’s worth the effort (and easy) to make homemade whipped cream. For best results, start with chilled bowl, chilled whisk, and cold heavy cream.
- Add 5 ounces of fresh, hot coffee to a glass. Stir in white and brown sugar until dissolved. If you have a clear glass, peek at the bottom to ensure no sugar remains at the bottom of the coffee.
- Add in Irish Whiskey and stir. Top with whipped cream.
Recipe tips and variations
- Yield: Each recipe makes 1 drink. Rather than making this punch-style in a big batch, I recommend assembling as many individual glasses of 1-serving Irish Coffees as you need to share with your guest list.
- Preheat your glasses: The alcohol in the drink can cool things off, so if you have time, preheat the glasses with a splash of hot water (then dump it out) to prime them for the hot coffee.
- 1/4 cup heavy cream chilled (see note 1)
- 1 1/2 ounces Irish whiskey (3 tablespoons, see note 2)
- 1-2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 4 ounces freshly brewed coffee hot (see note 3)
- In a small bowl, add heavy cream and beat until soft peaks form, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- In the bottom of a mug, add whiskey. Add brown sugar and stir to dissolve.
- Top with hot coffee. Pour the thickened cream over the back of a chilled spoon so it floats on top of the coffee.
- Heavy cream: Look for 50% to 60% heavy cream. You want to whip it just enough that it will float on top of the coffee when poured over the back of a chilled spoon.
- Irish whiskey: Jameson or Paddy’s Irish whiskey are best. Bushmills is a little too sharp for Irish coffee.
- Coffee: The coffee needs to be HOT in order to dissolve the brown sugar completely.
- Yield: Each recipe makes 1 drink and should not be made in big batches.
- Glassware: An Irish Coffee mug is great, but if all else fails, just choose something clear.