There is No Such Thing as
Irish Coffee Recipes

Irish Coffee,

Yep, there's no such thing as Irish coffee recipes, plural. There's only one way to make true Irish Coffee and it's more about technique than measurements. An elegant after-dinner or brunch drink, its certainly worth learning the simple technique.

Do you take cream in your coffee or cream on your coffee?

For Irish Coffee, a thick layer of cream sits atop slightly sweetened coffee and Irish whiskey and is ideally served in a goblet or footed mug. Irish Coffee mugs are like no other coffee cups; they are more like stemmed glasses, with handles. It's not that the coffee tastes any better in a see-through mug, but the layered beauty of the drink can certainly be better appreciated.

True Irish Coffee for Four

Hot water, 4 mugs and 4 teaspoons
4 to 8 teaspoons brown sugar (1 to 2 teaspoons per cup)
3 cups strong black coffee, give or take
6 ounces Irish whiskey (1 jigger or shot per cup or to taste)
1/2 cup heavy cream (give or take), lightly whipped but still liquid enough to pour

Place a teaspoon in each mug and pour very hot water into the mugs to warm them. Working with one drink at a time, discard the hot water and spoon the sugar into the mug. Add hot coffee to about 2/3 to 3/4 full, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the whiskey.

When the mixture has stilled, slowly pour the cream over the back of the warm spoon with the spoon almost touching the surface of the coffee. Gradually raise the spoon as the cup fills. Never mix it; sip the coffee through the cream.

Not So True Irish Coffee Recipes

If you're not a stickler for true versions, you might want to try one of these popular options:

  • Substitute Irish cream liqueur for the whipping cream
  • Substitute spray-can whipped cream for the whipping cream (ouch)
  • Top with a dash of nutmeg, shaved chocolate or sprinkles (okay, that hurt)
  • Drizzle a little caramel over the top
  • Use white sugar or 2 sugar cubes instead of brown sugar

Charming History of Irish Coffee Recipes

Irish Coffee Mugs


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