How to Make Irish Coffee

I am a big lover of hot coffee cocktails, like Irish Coffee. And it is no small wonder, you do remember I live in cold Canada, right? The first hot coffee cocktail I ever had, was a Spanish Coffee. I don’t remember where it was, but I do remember it was pure heaven…and I may have had two!

For years, Spanish Coffee has been my hot coffee cocktail of choice and in place of dessert, has finished off many a special occasion meal.  

We have recently started adding Irish Coffee to our hot coffee cocktail (say that three times) repertoire and it is quickly gaining speed on Spanish Coffee as my “dessert” of choice.

Irish CoffeeWith St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon, a time when everyone either is or wants to be Irish, I thought it would be a great time to share our recipe for Irish Coffee. (Did I mention my maiden surname is Kelly, so I am not fibbing when I tell you my Irish roots run deep!)

Irish coffee is a hot cocktail made with strong coffee, Irish whiskey, brown sugar and topped with poured or whipped cream.

Although there are many “theories” about who invented Irish coffee, my research tells me this classic drink was invented at Foynes, a small town in the west of Ireland.

Foynes was an airbase near Limerick and by 1940, the airport was handling many passengers, including many American VIP’s from the world of politics and Hollywood.

In 1942, the airport opened a new restaurant and hired Chef, Joe Sheridan. Rumour has it that on a winter night, in 1942, a flight left Foynes for Botwood in Newfoundland and then on to New York. After several hours of battling a storm, the pilot decided to turn back to Foynes.

Sheridan decided to prepare something special to warm the passengers up. He brewed dark, rich coffee, added in some Irish whiskey, a little brown sugar and floated freshly whipped cream on top of each cup.

The story goes that there was a hushed silence as people drank this brew for the first time. “Hey Buddy,” said a surprised passenger, “is this Brazilian coffee?” “No,” said Joe, “that’s Irish Coffee.”

Irish Coffee

5.0 from 3 reviews
Irish Coffee
  • 1½ oz Irish whiskey
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 6 oz hot coffee
  • Whipping cream and whipped to soft peaks.
  • Grated chocolate garnish
  1. Combine whiskey, sugar and coffee in a mug and stir to dissolve.
  2. Float a couple of tablespoons of whipped cream on top and garnish with grated chocolate.

In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, treat yourself to your own tasty Irish meal or cocktail.

Are you Irish?


  1. Catherine White says:

    I’ve never had Irish coffee, but it sure looks good! Happy St. Paddy’s Day to you.
    Catherine White recently posted…Wordless Wednesday, Nov 13, 2013 {with LINKY}My Profile

  2. Patricia Bacon says:

    Since time is of the essence and cooking supplies are low, i am relegated to the only recipe that suits my situation….. the Irish Coffee!! Can’t go wrong. Happy St. Paddy’s Day!


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