Start St. Patrick’s Day With 3 Irish Coffee Recipes

Irish coffee was invented in — you guessed it — Ireland nearly 80 years ago, when a local chef decided coffee is even better with a little somethin’ somethin’ (eh hem, Irish whiskey) thrown in to take the chill off. The drink’s popularity soon spread across the pond, and St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect time to indulge.

Traditional Irish coffee is made with just a few ingredients: coffee, sugar, Irish whiskey and whipped cream. The first three ingredients are whisked together before a “collar” of whipped cream is carefully poured on top. But if traditional isn’t quite your style, you can always add a few twists to your drink with the tasty variations below.

Classic Irish Coffee Recipe

Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces (¼ cup) heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1½ ounces (1 shot) Irish whiskey
  • 6 ounces hot coffee
  • Instructions

    1. In a medium bowl, whisk heavy cream vigorously until it begins to thicken. Cream should be thick, but still pour-able. Set aside.

    2. In an Irish coffee glass, combine sugar, whiskey and hot coffee. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Top with a ¾” collar of thickened whipped cream. Serve immediately.

    Pro Tip: While many tout the power of Irish whiskey, whipped cream is the true key to an authentic Irish coffee. It needs to float on top of the drink in a distinct layer, but still be semi-liquid. To make it happen, whip heavy cream it until it’s slightly thickened, but doesn’t yet hold peaks. When assembling your drink, make sure the coffee is super hot, as that thick rim of cream will cool it down considerably.

    Chocolate Irish Coffee

    Yield: 1 serving

    Ingredients

  • 2 ounces (¼ cup) heavy cream
  • 1½ ounces chocolate syrup, divided
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1½ ounces Irish whiskey
  • 6 ounces hot coffee
  • Instructions

    1. In a medium bowl, whisk cream vigorously until it begins to thicken. Cream should be thick, but still pourable. Whisk in ½ ounce chocolate syrup until completely combined. Set aside.

    2. In an Irish coffee glass, combine remaining chocolate syrup, sugar, whiskey and hot coffee. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Top with a ¾” collar of chocolate whipped cream.

    Maple Irish Coffee

    Yield: 1 serving

    Ingredients

  • 2 ounces (¼ cup) heavy cream
  • 1 ounce maple syrup, divided
  • 1½ ounces Irish whisky
  • 6 ounces hot coffee
  • Instructions

    1. In a medium bowl, whisk cream vigorously until it begins to thicken. Cream should be thick, but still pour-able. Whisk in ¼ ounce of the maple syrup. Set aside. 

    2. In an Irish coffee glass, combine remaining maple syrup, whiskey and hot coffee. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Top with a ¾” collar of thickened whipped cream. Serve immediately.

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