3 Insanely Delicious Irish Coffee Recipes

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Irish coffee over fireplace light

Nothing can warm us up quite as much as a good Irish coffee. The combination of smooth Irish whiskey and sweet black coffee topped with cream is a delicious cocktail that can be enjoyed on its own or as a tasty finish to a meal.

The first versions of the Irish coffee were served from the mid-19th century in coffee houses in Vienna. The modern recipe was created in Ireland in the early 1940s by Joe Sheridan, best made with care and attention. The Irish coffee became famous in the United States when travel writer Stanton Delaplane wanted a San Francisco bartender to make the drink after he'd enjoyed it in Ireland. When the bartender, Jack Koeppler, tried to make the drink and found that the cream kept sinking, he traveled to Ireland to learn how to make it. The rest, as they say, is history!

In terms of alcohol content, when you make an Irish coffee with 80-proof whiskey, you'll get a cocktail that's about 9 percent ABV (18 proof). If you are making these in the evening, you may want to use decaffeinated coffee if you don't usually drink caffeine at night. 

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Let's look at three delectable Irish coffee recipes for you to choose from. Each recipe serves one.

Classic Irish Coffee

irish_coffee_with_coffee_beans_on_table

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 tsp. Sugar (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz.) Strong and rich hot coffee
  • 3 tbsp. (1 ½ oz.) ​Irish whiskey
  • 1 oz. Heavy cream (lightly whipped)

How to Make

  1. Warm-up a tall mug or a heatproof glass, and put the brown sugar at the bottom.
  2. Add the coffee and Irish whiskey, and stir till the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Pour your lightly whipped heavy cream gently into the top of the glass or mug by pouring it over the back of a spoon. Using the back of a spoon will help to keep the cream on top of the coffee.
  4. Serve hot, sipping the coffee through the cream (rather than stirring them together).

Mocha Irish Coffee

Homemade Irish Coffee

Ingredients

  • 1-2 tsp. Vanilla syrup or other preferred flavored syrup (to taste)
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz.) Strong and rich hot coffee
  • 2 tbsp. (1 oz.) ​Irish whiskey
  • 1 oz. Heavy cream (lightly whipped)
  • Chocolate shavings (optional)

How to Make

  1. Warm-up your mug or glass, and pour in the syrup.
  2. Add the coffee and Irish whiskey, and stir till the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Pour your lightly whipped heavy cream over the back of a spoon so that it lands gently on top of the coffee.
  4. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings, if using, and serve.

Iced Irish Coffee

iced_irish_coffee_in_rocks_glass

Ingredients

  • 3 or 4 Ice cubes
  • 3/oz. Hazelnut syrup
  • 1 1/3 oz. Irish whiskey
  • 3 oz. Dark roast coffee
  • 1-2 oz. Heavy whipping cream

How to Make

  1. Use a standard rocks glass and add your ice cubes.
  2. Pour the hazelnut syrup over the ice, along with the Irish whiskey. Stir well.
  3. Pour the coffee over the ice mixture.
  4. Top with heavy whipping cream, letting the cream sink to the bottom and down the sides.
  5. Stir till all ingredients are well combined and serve.

Best Irish Coffee Tips

Here are some tips to make sure your Irish coffee is the best, no matter which version you decide to make.

  • For the best, richest-tasting Irish coffee, you want coffee that is full-bodied and strong. Brew your coffee using an Uno Casa pour-over brewer or a French press with freshly ground beans.
  • Use medium or dark-roasted coffee for the best flavor.
  • Be sure to preheat your glass since a warm glass helps keep the Irish coffee warm, and it helps marry the ingredients. To warm your glass, pour hot water into it while the coffee is brewing. Let it sit in the glass, discarding it just before mixing your drink.
  • While you can use a mug, a tall glass is even better for drinking and admiring your cocktail. Try using a tall, thin glass coffee mug or a sturdy wine or beer glass that will allow you to hold the hot drink by the stem. Make sure the glass is heat-resistant, though, before pouring in your coffee!
  • Use freshly whipped cream rather than pressurized cans or a whipped topping. If you use heavy whipping cream, all you have to do is beat it with a wire whisk or fork till it is light and fluffy.
  • For the whiskey, use one that you'd be happy to drink on its own. Standard brands like Bushmills and Jameson whiskey are perfect, along with some newer brands like Teeling and Slane.

So, which Irish coffee recipe is your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comments. Also, make sure you have the essential bar tools before trying your hand at these delicious drinks.

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