Irish Coffee is a sweet beverage that combines Irish whiskey with coffee to create one of the most popular coffee cocktails ever.

Liquor and coffee go hand in hand and have done so for hundreds of years. What started as something more of a trick to warm you up in the coldest of winters (vodka in Russia, grappa in Italy, and so on) ended up becoming something artful in the hands of the Irish.

History of the Irish Coffee


As with many such coffee drinks, the invention of the drink contends among several candidates. However, almost all sources seem to point to Ireland as the birthplace of the drink. One travel writer claimed to have brought the drink over to the United States. He said he tried it himself during his stay in Ireland (implying he’s responsible for its discovery).

A more consistent tale among drinkers is that the drink was invented during World War II by an Irishman. He used Irish whiskey to mix it with the coffee rations as a means to stay awake and warm. Upon returning to Ireland, he shared his discoveries, and thus Irish Coffee was born!

How To Make Irish Coffee

The popular version of Irish coffee has evolved quite a lot throughout the years. What once consisted of mere brewed coffee and Irish whiskey is now a careful blend of espresso, Irish whiskey, brown sugar, and whipped cream.

In this recipe, we’ll be using muscovado sugar. It has a richer flavor that compliments your java. Muscovado sugar is unprocessed, unrefined sugar. You can also use brown sugar with very similar results.

Irish Cream Coffee Ingredients:

  • 60 ml hot coffee or espresso
  • 30 ml Irish whiskey of your choice
  • 30 ml whipped cream
  • 1 tablespoon muscovado sugar (or substitute with brown/white sugar)

Irish Cream Coffee Ingredients


  • Pour sugar into your coffee cup.
  • Heat up whiskey and, once it’s hot, pour into your glass.
  • Stir with a spoon until sugar is dissolved completely.
  • Brew a double shot of espresso directly into your glass. Or brew into a pitcher, then pour.
  • Whip heavy cream lightly (~1 minute) and pour very carefully into your glass using a spoon to limit the amount of cream being poured. Little by little is best: the goal is that it sits on top of the drink.
  • Garnish, if desired, with cinnamon or nutmeg.
  • Enjoy!

If you enjoy exotic coffees, you might want to check these out too!

One of the best things about Irish coffee is that it’s a very versatile drink and can be prepared in a myriad of ways, adding different ingredients. As long as you have this recipe as its base, you can try adding things like Irish cream, coffee liqueur, and so on.

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Sherry Harris

Sherry Harris, a bonafide coffee brewing and tasting enthusiast, is the founder of Coffee Shop Lady. She writes for regular coffee drinkers who like being informed about the best coffee beans from around the world, espresso machines, coffee makers, grinders, and delicious coffee drinks and recipes.