Skip to Content

Irish Coffee

This easy recipe for homemade Irish Coffee shows you exactly how to make this classic coffee cocktail with just 4 simple ingredients. Enjoy on a cold day when you need a relaxing pick me up with a coffee buzz. 

If you need a little extra buzz in your coffee, then this recipe for Irish coffee is for you! Irish coffee is a cocktail that uses coffee as the base. Sugar and whisky are mixed in to add a bold sweet and smoky flavor that pairs perfectly together. The drink is then topped with some whipped cream that sits on top. Irish coffee traditionally gets sipped through the whipped cream to help soften the flavor and add a bit of additional sweetness. 

One of the best parts about this coffee cocktail is that it can be customized whichever way you enjoy it. You can choose your favorite coffee and brew it however you like and you can also choose your favorite whisky to use. Sweeten it up with as little or as much brown sugar as you enjoy to match your personal tastes. You can even make an iced version! 

No matter how you make it, Irish coffee is one of the easiest cocktails to make when you’re short on time and need a drink with lots of flavor that’s comforting and satisfying.

Two mugs of Irish coffee.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • The entire drink is made with just 5 simple ingredients. 
  • You can use whichever whisky you enjoy making it customizable to your tastes.
  • Serve it hot on a cold day or add ice for a cold coffee cocktail. 
  • This cocktail comes together in just 10 minutes or less including the time it takes to brew your coffee. 

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Brown Sugar – Adds a sweet and caramel-like flavor to this coffee cocktail. 
  • Whiskey – Gives Irish coffee its classic boozy kick and smoky bold flavors that pair well with the flavor of the coffee. 
  • Brewed Coffee – Makes up the base of the drink giving it a rich coffee flavor. 
  • Whipped Cream – Gives the coffee a creamy garnish that brings all the flavors together. 

How To Make Homemade Irish Coffee

  1. Prepare the coffee: Brew your coffee using whichever method you like.
  2. Add the sugar and whiskey: Pour in the whiskey, then add the brown sugar and stir until fully combined. 
  3. Garnish with whipped cream: Add whipped cream on top of the mixed Irish coffee, and enjoy while hot.
Collage showing how to make Irish Coffee.

Recipe Tips

  • Make sure the coffee is still hot when adding the whisky and brown sugar. This will help the ingredients dissolve properly. 
  • The cream is meant to sit on top to be sipped through, but you can stir it in if you prefer a creamy mixed drink. 
  • Serve homemade Irish coffee in a tall glass that has enough room for the cream to sit on top. 
  • For the best tasting coffee cocktail, use a high-quality whisky and a quality dark roast coffee with smoky flavor notes.


  • If you can’t have caffeine, or if you cant mix alcohol and caffeine, try making this drink with a batch of your favorite decaf coffee for a decaffeinated Irish coffee. 
  • For an iced Irish coffee, mix in the brown sugar while the coffee is warm, then let it cool before adding the whisky. Pour it in a glass full of ice and top with whipped cream for cool iced version of this coffee cocktail. 
  • Add some Simple Chocolate Whipped Cream on top for a chocolatey twist. 
  • Swap out the whipped cream and mix in some Baileys Irish Cream for an even creamier and sweet version. 
  • You can easily make a vegan or dairy-free Irish coffee by using plant-based whipped cream or stirring in your favorite plant-based milk. 
  • Add a dash of cinnamon or Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice to the top of the whipped cream for a warming fall flavor. 
  • Instead of brown sugar, you can use maple syrup, agave, or honey to sweeten this easy coffee cocktail.
Top down view of irish Coffee with whipped cream.

Storing & Freezing

Storing: While Irish coffee is best served immediately, you can prepare a batch of brewed coffee, mix it with sugar and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. When ready to serve, warm up the coffee, then add the whisky and top with whipped cream. 

Freezing: Because of the alcohol, the Irish coffee base will not freeze well. You can turn any extra coffee with brown sugar into ice cubes to use in the future to make frozen Irish coffee or to make an iced version with an extra coffee kick.

How do you make Irish coffee?

This simple cocktail is made by mixing brown sugar and whisky right into brewed coffee. It’s then topped with whipped cream and served hot.

How do you get the cream to float on Irish coffee?

The best way to get cream to float on Irish coffee is to make sure you have an aerated cream. We love using whipped cream because it’s light and sits on top perfectly.

What goes well with Irish coffee?

Our favorite foods to enjoy with Irish coffee are chocolate desserts! Serve with a slice of decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Bundt Cake or a chunk of Chocolate Walnut Fudge for a perfect flavor pairing.
Yield: 1 (10 ounce) Drink

Irish Coffee

Top down view of dark coffee topped with whipped cream.

This easy recipe for homemade Irish Coffee shows you exactly how to make this classic coffee cocktail with just 4 simple ingredients. Enjoy on a cold day when you need a relaxing pick me up with a coffee buzz. 

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, adjust to taste
  • 1 ½ ounces whiskey (We used Jameson whiskey.)
  • 8 ounces freshly brewed coffee
  • Whipped cream, for garnish


  1. Place brown sugar and whiskey in a coffee mug, then add freshly brewed coffee. Stir to combine.
  2. Top with whipped cream, and enjoy immediately.
  3. See post for storage options, tips, and variations.


*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 drink. Actual calories will vary.

*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 drink

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 156Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 9mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 11gProtein: 0g

*The calories are an estimate and are based on the ingredients and serving size listed. The calories can vary depending on the brand of product purchased.

Don't forget to follow us on Pinterest!

Share this recipe by clicking the Pinterest button below!

Skip to Recipe