Irish Coffee: Coffee & Whiskey, What More Could You Want?

While we’ve covered toddies and other hot beverages the past few months, it didn’t seem right to skip out on one of our favorite hot beverages, the Irish Coffee.  A classic cocktail through and through, the original recipes for the Irish Coffee was created by a chef from Foynes, County Limerick, named Joe Sheridan in the 1940s in an attempt to warm up some very cold travelers. Irish coffee then made its way to the States in the 50’s thanks to a San Francisco Chronicle travel writer named Stanton Delaplane.

As with any cocktail of merit, though, there are multiple claims to being the home and/or inventor of the drink. Some say that Joe Jackson of Jacksons Hotel in County Donegal created it, while stateside, Tom Bergin’s Tavern in LA lays claim to being the originator.

Regardless of who created it, we love it, and with January 25th being National Irish Coffee Day, we’ve gathered up a couple of recipes we thought would really get you into the spirit. (and give you a reason to start counting down to St. Patty’s Day!)

Related: The Basics of Blended Irish Whiskey

Tim Herlihy’s Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Coffee

  • 1 ½ parts Tullamore D.E.W. Original
  • 1 ½ parts Strong Brewed Coffee (Tim’s Pick: any premium dark roast)
  • ½ parts Sugar (Tim’s Pick: Demerara Sugar)
  • Lightly whipped heavy cream
  • Cinnamon or nutmeg

Method: Pre-heat a clear-stemmed glass with very hot water. Add the sugar and brewed coffee and stir well. Once the sugar has melted, stir in the Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey. Gently whip the heavy cream by shaking it in a protein shaker with a blender ball – you want a still somewhat loose, not stiff consistency. Pour the cream over the back of a hot teaspoon to top the drink (and prevent the cream from penetrating the top of the drink). Finally, garnish with grated nutmeg or cinnamon for a spicy finish. 

The OTT (over the top) Irish Coffee
(Created by by Joaquín Simó) 

  • 1.5 oz Knappogue Castle Irish Whiskey
  • .25 oz rich (2:1) Demerara syrup
  • 5 oz hot Coffee
  • 5 drops Saline Solution (or a tiny pinch kosher salt)
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • Cream*
  • Lightly toasted Little Boo Boo Bakery Knappogue Castle Irish Whiskey Marshmallow for garnish

* For the cream:

  • 5-6 oz Heavy cream 
  • 2 tbsp white sugar 
  • Zest from 1 orange 
  • 2 Dashes Regan’s No 6 Orange bitters

Method: Muddle the cardamom pods in the bottom of a pre-heated Irish coffee glass, add whiskey, Demerara syrup, hot coffee and saline solution and stir. Whip the cream with the orange zest, white sugar and Regan’s No 6 Orange bitters until thickened, but still pourable. Float cream over the top of the drink by pouring gently over the back of a spoon.

Dead Rabbit Irish Coffee
(Created by Dale DeGroff)

Method: Add all ingredients except the cream to a stemmed glass and stir. Hand whip the cream* so that it still pours and floats on top of the coffee.

*Never sweeten the cream.

The Teeling Whiskey Irish Coffee

Method: Preheat glass with some warm water and discard, add the Teeling Whiskey, stout syrup, brewed coffee and stir to combine. Warm a large spoon and gently pour the cream over the back of the spoon and onto the coffee. Garnish with a light dusting of grated nutmeg and enjoy with friends!