What is Irish Coffee and How is it Made?

Irish Coffee, or Irish-style coffee, originated in the 1940s. During the time when travel from America to Europe was by seaplane, travelers crossing the Atlantic would arrive very cold.

History of Irish Coffee

Many restaurants and bars offered hot drinks to travelers. But what warms up faster and better than alcohol? So in the winter of 1942, Joe Sheridan, the head chef at Port Foynes restaurant, came up with the idea of putting whiskey in coffee. 

When asked by a traveler what the origin of the coffee was, the chef replied, “it’s Irish coffee” and the name has stayed with it until today.

Later, in the early 1950s, it was brought to the United States. It was recreated at Buena Vista Cafe, a coffee shop in San Francisco that contributed to its popularity today. 

Stanton Delaplane is the travel writer who brought the recipe to the American continent and asked the chefs at Buena Vista to prepare it. Today, the restaurant serves about 2000 Irish Coffees a day.

About this Item

BrandFire Department Coffee
Item FormGround
FlavorVanilla, Butterscotch
Caffeine Contentcaffeinated
Package InformationCan, Bag

Therefore, to preserve the circumstances under which it was created, Irish coffee is perfect for cold winter days. 

However, this does not mean that it cannot be drunk in the summer or in warm periods in other seasons.

The main ingredients are coffee and whiskey, which is why it is considered a cocktail and can be served in bars. 

Over time, more and more countries have adopted the recipe. Most have modified it to match their own resources. 

There are cases where the recipe has been kept as close to the original as possible:

  • In Southeast Asia, ice is used and whipped cream is very rarely used
  • The Jamaican recipe uses rum instead of whiskey
  • Scottish restaurants and bars add Scottish whiskey
  • In Russia, even the name has changed. Irish coffee became Russian coffee and contains vodka

About this Item

BrandGhirardelli Chocolate Company
Weight3.1 Pounds
Caffeine Contentcaffeinated
Item FormPowder
Package InformationCanister

Irish Coffee Recipe

The original recipe has undergone numerous variations over the years, but the ingredients remain the same:

  • Freshly brewed coffee
  • Irish whiskey
  • Cream
  • Sweetener

Although many people do not drink sweetened coffee, sugar helps to maintain the cream on top. White sugar can always be replaced with brown sugar, molasses, or a combination of sweeteners.

The amount of each ingredient differs from source to source. However, it is recommended to have two parts coffee, one part whiskey, and 1-2 teaspoons of sweetener.

In a clear glass, heat-resistant glass, hot water is placed to warm it, then poured out. Pour in the coffee, add the sweetener, and stir well. Add the whiskey. Finally, decorate with a layer of cream.

It is recommended to use unsweetened cream, as the drink is already very sweet. To create the top layer and not mix in the coffee, pour the cream with a preheated spoon. Then position it above the drink.

Irish coffee is meant to be consumed hot. The intense aroma of coffee will be complemented by the sharp taste of whiskey. 

Cream is the ingredient that will balance the unique blend of flavors. However, you can opt for the recipe that suits you best.


Did you know that?

Irish coffee is one of the drinks that will pleasantly surprise your taste buds. It is also an ingenious combination of carefully selected ingredients.

Ingredients for Irish Coffee

You can use both classic coffee, brewed in a stovetop coffee maker, as well as espresso or coffee capsules.

If you want to enjoy pleasant experiences and authentic flavors, it is recommended to choose quality ingredients. 

The origin of coffee beans is very important in defining the unmistakable aroma of the drink. The most effective varieties are those from Ethiopia, Brazil, Costa Rica or other countries along the equator.

Whiskey, on the other hand, is very popular in Ireland and is sold by several companies. Some of the variants worth trying are:

  • Jameson Whiskey – it is slightly sweet and offers the classic Irish taste.
  • Paddy Whiskey – it integrates a fine aroma.
  • Teeling Small Batch – it also offers hints of rum.

Irish Coffee is a paradox of flavors. It also offers delicate textures and intense aromas that you can enjoy anytime, regardless of the season. 

It is easily prepared, and the original recipe can be modified according to needs. However, nothing compares to the charm of the classic version.