Irish Coffee Recipe

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Our classic Irish coffee recipe comes from Dutch Kills, an equally classic bar in Long Island City, New York. The warm, revivifying cocktail was said to be popularized in the 1940s by Joseph Sheridan, a chef in the port city of Foynes, Ireland. In 1952, Irish Coffee was introduced to San Francisco by the Buena Vista Cafe. Sheridan’s recipe was written with the effortless poetry of the Irish: “Cream—rich as an Irish brogue; coffee—strong as a friendly hand; sugar—sweet as the tongue of a rogue; Irish whiskey—smooth as the wit of the land.” What to buy: Powers or Jameson Irish Whiskey is recommended. To change things up, consider Jamaican rum, tequila reposado, or bourbon. This drink was featured in our St. Patrick’s Day Recipes slideshow. For more, check out our Spiked Coffee with Pumpkin Spice, Coffee Flip, and Boozy Biscotti Iced Coffee.

  • 4 ounces freshly brewed coffee
  • 1 1/2 ounces irish whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Dollop of freshly whipped cream


  1. 1Place 4 teaspoons of the sugar, the whiskey, espresso, and water in a small saucepan and stir to combine. Set over low heat and stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot but not boiling, about 5 minutes.
  2. 2Place the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar and the cream in a medium bowl and whisk until the cream thickens and the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes.
  3. 3Transfer the hot coffee mixture to two 8-ounce heatproof glasses or mugs, top with a heaping spoonful of the whipped cream, and garnish with the mint leaves (if using). Serve immediately.
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