How to Make Irish Coffee? | Krakatoacafe Recipes

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Whoever said drinking your coffee and having dessert had to be two separate activities? You can combine the two with Irish coffee in one delicious cup of caffeinated goodness. Whether it’s a windy fall day when all you want is something warming and comforting or celebrating a special occasion with friends – Irish coffee has that perfect balance of traditional tastes wrapped up nicely into a cozy mug. Plus, if you make it just right, you get an extra layer of flavor! Get your caffeine fix with a twist – learn how to make Irish Coffee from Krakatoacafe!

Irish Coffee History

Irish Coffee With  Whipping Cream and Cacao Powder
Irish Coffee With Whipping Cream and Cacao Powder

Irish coffee originated in the 1940s at Foynes Port, a seaplane base near Limerick, Ireland. A chef named Joe Sheridan created the first Irish coffee after American passengers arrived on a cold and wet day. He wanted to warm them up and added some Irish whiskey to their coffee. When asked if it was Brazilian coffee, he replied, “No, it’s Irish coffee.” And thus, the drink was born.

The popularity of Irish coffee grew in the 1950s when a travel writer visited Foynes Port and brought the recipe back to America. From there, Irish coffee became a staple at many bars and restaurants and gained recognition as an official beverage by the International Bartenders Association. Today, it remains a beloved drink all over the world.

Irish Coffee

How To Make Irish Coffee

Garry Wells
You can make Irish coffee using different variations, but the traditional recipe calls for only four ingredients: hot coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and heavy cream
Prep Time 4 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 person
Calories 3 kcal


  • 1 Heat-proof glass or mug for serving
  • 1 Spoon for stirring
  • 1 Jigger or measuring cup for precise measurements
  • 1 electric mixer or a handheld whisk to whip the cream
  • 1 pot or kettle for boiling water


  • oz Irish whiskey we recommend Jameson or Bushmills
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar (or to taste)
  • 6 oz hot coffee use freshly brewed, high-quality
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream, lightly whipped
  • Ground nutmeg or cinnamon optional for garnish


  • Step 1:
    Warm up your glass or mug
  • Step 2:
    Brew a fresh cup of coffee using high-quality beans. You can use a drip machine, french press, or pour-over method - the choice is yours. Just make sure to use hot water and good-quality coffee beans for the best flavor.
  • Step 3:
    Fill your glass or mug with about six ounces of hot coffee. Leave a little bit of room at the top for the whipped cream.
  • Step 4:
    Measure out 1½ ounces of Irish whiskey and pour it into your warm glass or mug. Then add in the teaspoon of brown sugar (adjust to taste). Stir until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  • Step 5:
    Add two tablespoons of heavy cream in a separate bowl and lightly whip it until it forms soft peaks. You can use an electric mixer or a handheld whisk for this step.
  • Step 6:
    Using a spoon, gently layer the whipped cream on top of your coffee mixture. Leave a little bit of room at the top for garnish.
  • Step 7:
    For the finishing touch, you can sprinkle some ground nutmeg or cinnamon on top of the whipped cream. This adds an extra burst of flavor and makes your Irish coffee look even more inviting. Serve immediately and enjoy!



Note: Tips and tricks
  • Use freshly brewed, high-quality coffee for the best taste.
  • Adjust the amount of sugar to your preference. You can also use white sugar or a sugar substitute if desired.
  • For added flavor, you can use flavored coffee syrups such as vanilla, hazelnut, or caramel.
  • Make sure to whip the cream lightly - it shouldn't be too stiff or too runny.
  • You can also use a spiced Irish whiskey for a twist on the traditional recipe.
Keyword Irish coffee

The Benefits of Irish Coffee

Aside from the obvious enjoyment factor, Irish coffee has some surprising health benefits. Here are a few advantages of this classic beverage:

  • Coffee is rich in antioxidants and can help improve brain function, boost energy levels, and lower the risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
  • Whiskey contains a compound called ellagic acid that may have anti-cancer properties. It can also help reduce stress and anxiety, promote better sleep, and protect against heart disease.
  • The combination of coffee and whiskey can give you the perfect balance of caffeine and alcohol that can help improve mood, increase alertness, and enhance memory. Just remember to drink responsibly!


Here’s the approximate nutritional information for a 8-ounces of Irish coffee (using Jameson Irish whiskey and regular heavy cream):

  • Calories: 176
  • Carbohydrates: 10.7g
  • Fat: 5.3g
  • Protein: 0.1g
  • BAC: 0.05-0.07% (varies based on the type and amount of whiskey used)

Tips for the Perfect Irish Coffee

  • Use freshly brewed coffee: This will give you the best flavor in your Irish coffee.
  • Don’t skimp on quality whiskey: Since the whiskey is a major component of Irish coffee, using good quality whiskey will make all the difference.
  • Adjust sugar to taste: If you like your drinks on the sweeter side, add more sugar. If you prefer a stronger taste, use less.
  • Whipped cream is key: The whipped cream adds a creamy and airy texture to your Irish coffee. Don’t skip this step!
  • Experiment with different garnishes: While ground nutmeg or cinnamon are traditional garnishes for Irish coffee, feel free to get creative and try out other spices or even chocolate shavings on top.
  • Use hot water to warm your mug: Warming up your glass or mug before making Irish coffee will keep your drink warmer longer. Plus, it adds a nice touch to the presentation.

Irish Coffee Variations

Irish Coffee With Cinnamon and Salt
Irish Coffee With Cinnamon and Salt

Feel free to get creative and put your own spin on the classic Irish coffee recipe. Here are some ideas for variations you can try:

  • Flavored Irish coffee: Add a flavored syrup, such as vanilla or hazelnut, to your coffee before adding in the whiskey.
  • Spiced Irish coffee: Infuse your whiskey with spices like cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg before making your Irish coffee for a warm and cozy drink.
  • Caramel Irish coffee: Add a drizzle of caramel sauce on top of the whipped cream for an extra indulgent treat.
  • Iced Irish coffee: If you prefer cold drinks, you can make a delicious iced version of Irish coffee. Brew your coffee ahead of time and chill it in the fridge. Then, follow the same steps as the traditional recipe, but pour it over ice instead of using hot coffee.
  • Espresso Irish coffee: For an extra caffeine kick, use espresso instead of regular coffee in your Irish coffee. This is perfect for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up or after-dinner drink.


Irish coffee is a delicious and popular drink that is perfect for cozy nights at home or as a special treat with friends. We hope our ins and outs of how to make Irish coffee and some fun variations have inspired you to try out this classic recipe. Just remember to savor it responsibly! Cheers!


Can You Get Drunk from Irish Coffee?

Yes, it is possible to get drunk from drinking Irish coffee. The amount of alcohol in a traditional recipe is relatively low, but it can vary depending on the type and amount of whiskey used. It’s important to drink responsibly and know your limits.

What Type of Whiskey Should I Use for Irish Coffee?

Traditionally, Irish whiskey is used for Irish coffee. Some popular brands include Jameson, Bushmills, and Tullamore Dew. These selections are smooth and slightly sweet, complementing the other ingredients in the drink. However, you can use any whiskey or even experiment with different types like spiced or flavored whiskeys for a unique twist.

Can You Use Anything Other Than Whipped Cream on Top?

Sure! While whipped cream is the classic topping for Irish coffee, you can also use other types of cream, such as Baileys Irish Cream or any type of flavored whipped cream. You can also use meringue for a lighter topping or even ice cream for a sweeter treat. The possibilities are endless! And that’s the beauty of making your own Irish coffee at home – you can customize it to your liking.

Can You Make Irish Coffee Without Alcohol?

Yes, if you prefer to make a non-alcoholic version of Irish coffee, omit the whiskey and add in a splash of vanilla extract for added flavor. You can also substitute the whiskey with apple cider or hot chocolate for a kid-friendly version. However, keep in mind that removing the alcohol will change the taste of the drink significantly. So try making it with Irish whiskey at least once to get the full experience!

Can You Put Whiskey First?

Technically, yes. However, it’s not recommended as pouring hot coffee over the whiskey can cause it to evaporate quickly and affect the flavor of your drink. It’s best to add the whiskey last after combining all other ingredients. So be patient – good things come to those who wait! Happy sipping!

Can You Add Ice to Irish Coffee?

While traditional Irish coffee is served hot, you can add ice to make a chilled version. Just follow all the steps normally and pour it over ice instead of using hot coffee. This is perfect for those who prefer cold drinks or during warmer weather. However, remember that adding ice will dilute the drink slightly, so you may need to adjust the other ingredients accordingly.

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