Create a unique twist on classic coffee with our easy Irish Coffee recipe. A combination of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, brown sugar and whipped cream makes the perfect coffee cocktail to warm you up!
The Best Irish Coffee
Irish Whiskey Coffee is a classic hot cocktail enjoyed year-round that's especially popular around St. Patrick's Day! Not only does it make for an amazing drink, but it couldn't be simpler to prepare.
All you need is freshly brewed coffee, high-quality Irish whiskey, sugar, and real whipped cream - all of which only take about 10 minutes to prepare. It couldn't be easier!
Plus, who doesn't like a boozy coffee when it's cold outside? Or, if you're like us, all year long. Even during the summer!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Brown Sugar: Use either light or dark brown sugar. Good substitutes include granulated sugar or maple syrup. Adjust to your tastes.
- Whiskey: A good quality Irish whiskey, like Jameson brand, makes a big difference in the flavor of the drink. Look for middle to top shelf. Keep in mind that the whiskey should be Irish in order for this drink to be an Irish Whiskey Coffee cocktail.
- Brewed Coffee: Coffee makes up the majority of the cocktail. Use your favorite variety (light, medium, dark roast, etc.).
- Whipped Cream: A large dollop of whipped cream as garnish adds additional sweetness (assuming you've used sweetened whipped cream).
How To Make Irish Coffee
This classic coffee cocktail couldn't be easier. It's only a few simple steps and done!
Scroll to the recipe card below for ingredient amounts and full instructions.
- Brew your coffee using whichever method and variety you prefer.
- Add the whiskey and sugar to a glass and stir to combine.
- Pour in the coffee, and stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Add whipped cream and enjoy.
- 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.
- Make homemade whipped cream instead of using of store bought Cool Whip or Redi Whip. I'm a big fan of store bought whipped topping for desserts but for coffee drinks always opt for fresh made. As the whipped cream melts, it seeps into the coffee and gives it a creamy, silky texture.
- If you can’t have caffeine or can't mix alcohol and caffeine, try making this drink with a batch of your favorite decaf coffee.
- Add some Simple Chocolate Whipped Cream or Irish Cream Whipped Cream for a flavor variation.
- Swap out the whipped cream and mix in some Bailey's Irish Cream for a creamy twist.
- Add half and half, whipped cream, or a splash of your favorite coffee creamer for a lighter tasting version.
- Make it an iced coffee by swapping the freshly brewed coffee with cold brew.
Storing and Freezing
Refrigerator: While this 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 1 to 2 days.
When ready to serve, combine with the whiskey and pour over ice. Note: this isn't the same as a cold brew and the flavor will not be as good as freshly brewed.
Freezing: Because of the alcohol, this drink base may not freeze well. You can turn any extra coffee with or without brown sugar into ice cubes. Use the coffee cubes to keep iced coffee drinks chilled without watering them down.
What's The Best Irish Whiskey?
The best Irish whiskey is smooth with notes of vanilla, caramel, and spice. Popular choices include Jameson and Bushmills. Both of these bring a unique flavor profile, so the brand you choose is largely a matter of preference.
Of course, there are many brands of whiskey. These are a couple of our favorites.
What Kind Of Coffee Is Best For Irish Coffee?
We love an aromatic light or medium roast, but many people prefer a strong, dark roast. Either way, try to steer clear of flavored coffees like that may interfere with the whiskey and brown sugar.
Coffees with flavors, like blueberry for example, may not taste great with Irish whiskey. Avoid instant coffee or coffee granules as they lack in flavor and aroma which are important components in making this coffee cocktail.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, adjust to taste
- 1 ½ ounces whiskey, We used Jameson brand.
- 8 ounces freshly brewed coffee
- whipped cream, for garnish
- Place brown sugar and whiskey in a coffee mug, then add freshly brewed coffee. Stir to combine.1 tablespoon light brown sugar1 ½ ounces whiskey8 ounces freshly brewed coffee
- Top with whipped cream, and enjoy immediately.
- See post for storage options, tips, and variations.