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Traditional Irish Coffee is a popular coffee cocktail and a great recipe to have on hand for entertaining or just a quiet, chilly evening at home.
This time of year I love hot drinks. Coffee, tea, cider, and hot chocolate bring an extra level of warmth and comfort on a chilly evening. The only way to make it better is if you add a little something-something to get the chill out of your bones a wee bit faster.
Cocktail coffees have been around for a couple hundred years but the most popular was born in Ireland in 1943. Joe Sheridan was the chef at a restaurant and coffee shop at Foynes Airbase in Limerick. On a cold wintry night, a plane departed for New York but unfortunately, had to turn around and head back to Foynes because the weather was so bad.
Sheridan was asked to have something warm prepared for the passengers on their arrival. He was inspired to serve them coffee with some good Irish whiskey. When one of the passengers remarked on how good the coffee was and asked if it was Brazilian, Sheridan quite cheekily responded with, “No, it’s Irish!”
Before too long Sheridan perfected the cocktail. He decided to serve it in a stemmed glass and floating a collar of lightly whipped heavy cream on top so that the drinker has to drink the sweetened coffee and whiskey through it. After Foynes Airbase closed a couple of years later Sheridan brought his signature drink with him to the new Shannon airport and the Irish Coffee became the traditional welcome drink there.
A Traditional Irish Coffee is so easy to make and only requires four ingredients: coffee, heavy cream, brown sugar, and of course, Irish whiskey. You can use any Irish whiskey you prefer but Jameson is the only one for me! I love it, in my opinion, there are only two ways to drink it, in my coffee or neat.
The real trick of this traditional Irish coffee is getting the right consistency of the whipped cream. You want it thick enough to where it forms soft peaks, not firm ones. The idea is to thicken it yet keep it pourable.
In the end, you’ll have a beautiful and tasty cocktail coffee that’s perfect for a quiet night in or a great way to end an evening entertaining friends. I hope you enjoy this Traditional Irish Coffee as much as we do! Sláinte!
If you know of anyone who would love this coffee, please share this recipe with all your friends and family. Just click on the social media icons below! Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy it!
Traditional Irish Coffee
- 8 oz coffee hot and freshly brewed
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2-3 oz Irish Whiskey I prefer Jameson’s
- ½ cup heavy cream
- hot water for warming the mugs
- Fill two mugs with the hot water and let sit for two minutes to warm the mugs.
- While the mugs are warming and with a wire whisk or an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form and the cream is still pourable.
- Pour the water out from the mugs and add a ½ Tbsp of the brown sugar into each mug.
- Evenly pour the coffee into the two mugs. Stir the coffee and sugar together.
- Split the Irish whiskey evenly between the two mugs and stir.
- Gently pour the lightly whipped cream over the back of a spoon into the coffee so the cream is gently floating on the top of the coffee.