Irish coffee is one of the most popular ‘cocktails’ in the world. Almost every bar/restaurant offers it and it is mainly enjoyed around winter time or in the colder months. That being said, while there is a recipe and method for making Irish coffee, we have found that everywhere we go, the drink is prepared, presented, or tastes different.
Some have been presented like a science experiment, some in a plain mug, some taste overly strong with coffee, and some come with 90% alcohol. That’s what makes it hard to recreate the perfect Irish Coffee at home, as standards are different everywhere and you have nothing to compare it to.
However, as with any recipe, you should experiment and adjust the ingredients to suit your taste preferences. This is just an Irish Coffee recipe guide, feel free to adjust any of the ingredients.
It is also worth understanding that this is for the original Irish coffee, as there are many variations and adjustments for different recipes.
Related Recipe: Coffee Martini Recipe
The History of Irish Coffee
The drink’s origins are not clear and the history of the recipe has become a point of contention for some. The two most popular theories claim that they originated in either Ireland or North America.
One theory states that the cocktail was invented in 1951 by Joe Sheridan at Foynes Flying Boat Base in County Limerick, Ireland when he ran out of whiskey for his customers and decided to add some Kahlua, Crème de Cacao, and whipped cream to the cup of black coffee he had at hand.
This location was by an international airport and sparked interest for many international travellers. This could explain the reason for the coffee recipe reaching so many countries. A few years later the coffee recipe was brought to a bartender in San Francisco to recreate. This was around the 1950’s when coffee was becoming more popular in the US.
The recipe was as follows:
Cream – Rich as an Irish Brogue
Coffee – Strong as a Friendly Hand
Sugar – Sweet as the tongue of a Rogue
Whiskey – Smooth as the Wit of the Land
And here you can see the bartender serving the irish coffee to marilyn monroe:
Why is Irish so Coffee Special?
Irish coffee is usually served as a quick pick-me-up or as a nightcap. Since its creation, Irish coffee has taken the world by storm, and it’s not just because it tastes great, but also because of the way it looks.
There is something warm and refreshing about a cocktail drink that is mixed to perfection and tastes as smooth as anything you have ever tasted. If Irish coffee is made correctly, you will get the right balance of cream, smoothness, slight burn of alcohol, and a coffee buzz. It will be sweet with a kick and sit just right in your stomach, keeping you warm and cosy.
Is Irish Coffee Actually Irish
Yes, Irish Coffee is actually Irish. The story goes that it was created back in Ireland in the 1940’s in a bar in Limerick Ireland. It did spread to the US a decade later, and has since become an iconic drink in bars around the world.
What Is an Irish Coffee Called in Ireland?
The Irish coffee in Ireland is called a ‘Caife Gaelach’. This translates to Gaelic Coffee. However, you can still ask for an Irish coffee if you want to order this drink when you are out.
How to Make an Irish Coffee at Home
- 1 Irish Coffee Glass
- 1 cup Brewed Coffee
- 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1 – 2 oz Irish Jameson Whisky
- 1 Layer Heavy Cream
- The first thing that you need to do is brew a fresh cup of coffee. Remember that for you to get the best flavors, you need to grind your coffee beans for brewing instead of pre-ground coffee grounds or pod/instant coffee.
- Next, preheat the coffee glass/mug. You can do this by pouring boiling water inside the glass and letting it rest.
- When you have your preheated glass, pour your freshly brewed coffee until you fill it up to ¾.
- Mix in your brown sugar and continue stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved.
- Once your brewed coffee and sugar and properly mixed, pour in your Irish whisky and mix the drink properly.
- Top your drink with a whipped heavy cream slowly making sure that you don’t spill the drink.
- Drink and enjoy your Irish Coffee.
The Perfect Cup of Irish Coffees from Start to Finish
The perfect cup of Irish coffee is a drink that balances the flavors of both coffee and whiskey.
Irish coffees are made with hot coffee, whiskey, sugar, and whipped cream. The person making the drink will pour a shot (or two) of hot coffee into a mug then add an ounce or two (depending on how strong you like your drink) of whiskey. They will then add 2 teaspoons of sugar to sweeten it up. Finally, they will top the mug off with whipped cream and garnish it with ground cinnamon or nutmeg (if desired).
Related Recipe: Dalgona Coffee
The Final Sip
With any Irish Coffee recipe, you can use different types of coffee, different whisky, add syrups, other alcohol, and adjust the amount of each ingredient. Test different styles and find what you enjoy with your Irish Coffee.