How to prepare Irish coffee, three great recipes!

Today I will teach you how to prepare the best Irish coffee that, to be honest, I never order in bars since I know they are not using quality coffee. This is an ideal recipe to prepare at home, enjoy a relaxed weekend afternoon, or share with friends after lunch.

To find the best Irish coffee recipes, I have had to research for a long time, making dozens of tests, and after trying many variants over the years, I have 3 very easy recipes that never fail.

Irish coffee recipe
Irish coffee recipe

Basic ingredients to prepare Irish coffee

The key to an excellent Irish coffee, as always, comes from the ingredients. Good coffee beans are essential since they represent a large part of the beverage. I usually use medium roast, single-origin coffees for these recipes rather than blends.

The whisky I use is Tullamore Dew, which is the one originally used for this drink. Also, I find it goes very well with coffee; it has a sweet profile with notes of vanilla and caramel, spice, and is slightly citrusy.

This whisky is quite modest, with a light body, and does not steal the coffee’s thunder, leaving you with a delicious aftertaste in the mouth.

A brief history of Irish coffee

This drink was invented by a chef named Joe Sheridan in the 1940s in very harsh winter in Ireland. Precisely in an airport and with a delayed flight, it occurred to Joe to add a little whisky of his country to the coffee and thus counteract a little of the cold of the passengers.

One of them asked him if the coffee was of Brazilian origin, and he smilingly replied: “No, it is Irish coffee“.  This recipe ended up arriving in San Francisco in a bar called “Buenavista” where Joe Sheridan was offered a job and ended up serving this delicious beverage for over 10 years.

The original Irish coffee recipe

  1. For this recipe, I use the little glass called “Georgian Irish coffee glass, to which I add boiling water to heat it while I prepare the coffee.
  2. I recommend using coffee prepared with a manual pour-over coffee maker. Use a Hario V60 or similar and grind 15 grams of coffee to medium fine size for 9 ounces of water.
  3. While the coffee finishes draining, place white sugar in the cup. Originally two sugar cubes are used.
  4. Add 3 ounces of freshly brewed hot coffee and about 1.4 ounces of Tullamore Dew whisky. With the help of a spoon, incorporate all the ingredients until the sugar is well dissolved.
Step by step for the preparation of the original Irish coffee
Step by step for the preparation of the original Irish coffee
  1. Place a little milk cream or cream, approximately 1 ounce, over the coffee, helping you with the back of a spoon.

Note: For the cream, I added it to a cocktail shaker and shook it quickly for about 10 to 15 seconds, try not to overdo it since the cream thickens very quickly, and we want it moderately liquid and not so whipped.

How to add the cream to the original Irish coffee
How to add the cream to the original Irish coffee

This way, you will have the original Irish coffee served like the one in the Buenavista Bar. It is served without a spoon because it is interesting to feel the warmth of the coffee and the whisky contrasted with the coldness of the cream.

This Irish coffee recipe is delicious; the whisky is quite sweet without the presence of the coffee.

Irish coffee recipe with vanilla

Now I will show you a small variation of the original recipe, which adds more flavor and highlights the coffee more than in the original recipe.

  1. Heat the cup with boiling water while you prepare the coffee. On this occasion, for the article, I prepared the coffee in the Chemex.
  2. While the coffee finishes draining, prepare brown sugar syrup, adding the same amount of sugar as hot water. I use approximately 10 grams of sugar and 0.3 ounces of water.
  3. Add 0.7 ounces of the whisky to the preheated glass, and add about 3.4 ounces of the freshly brewed coffee.
  4. Finally, place the cream in the shaker, but this time add 20 grams of the previous syrup and a teaspoon of natural vanilla extract. Cover and shake lightly for a few seconds.
  5. Finally, serve this delicious cream with the back of a spoon.
Irish coffee with vanilla
Irish coffee with vanilla

The coffee has more presence in this recipe than when drinking it; you can feel it with the unsweetened whisky. With this delicious sweet cream, the top part is a nice contrast.

Double” Irish coffee recipe

Finally, I bring you a third version of the original recipe: a delicious flavor bomb.

  1. In this case, first, I prepare the coffee. This time I did it with the Aeropress.
  2. Put hot water in the cup and then discard it to place 20 grams of brown sugar syrup in the cup.
  3. Add 0.7 ounces of whisky and about 3.4 ounces of freshly brewed coffee.
  4. Return the cream to the shaker, but now add about 20 ml of Baileys.
  5. Serve the cream with the back of the spoon and garnish with a little grated nutmeg.
The Irish coffee version with Baileys
The Irish coffee version with Baileys

This recipe is my favorite; scrumptious, delicious, and nothing more to say. Try it, you won’t regret it.

The cold version of Irish coffee

Irish coffee is a very good option for dessert on cold days. But if where you live it’s hot and you want to try this coffee, don’t worry, you can also make the cold version by adding good ice in a glass, and you can make the version you like the most.

I used a Cold Brew I had prepared the day before for this version. For the rest of the procedure, you already know it, add the coffee, and the whisky, mix and put whipped cream on top.

The cold version of Irish coffee
The cold version of Irish coffee

Drink it as you like it. This cold version is also very tasty; I think I like it more than the hot one since you can feel the coffee much more.

Now you have no excuses to prepare an Irish coffee. With only 4 ingredients, coffee, whisky, cream, and sugar (or 5 if you want to add Baileys), it is very simple and easy to make. Besides, you have several options for choosing the one you like the most, so go ahead and make it.

Written by Pablo Barrantes Nevado
I am Pablo Barrantes, a coffee lover. I decided to start this website to solve all the doubts that arise every day when preparing our favorite drink: coffee. I am an industrial engineer by profession, but I have worked in coffee shops for many years, where I have learned all the secrets about coffee machines and coffee. My passion for coffee has led me to investigate and study beyond the obvious, and thanks to this, I can offer solutions and give news about coffee and coffee makers. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I research, document and write here.

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