How to Make the Perfect Irish Coffee at Home

Irish cofee on the table

St. Patrick’s Day is literally just around the corner, yet this year it looks like none of us will be able to celebrate the usual way. Lockdown or not, what a better way to celebrate than mastering the Irish Coffee recipe at home! Irish coffee makes a great after dinner drink or works as a pick me up when such is needed. It sure will top off your morning!

There are few things to remember before you get started:

  • Make sure the coffee is very hot.
  • Cream should be cold, straight from the fridge.
  • Cream should be only slightly whipped, if it is too thick it will sink to the bottom of the glass.
  • Before you build the drink, heat your glass with hot water.
  • Do NOT stir the drink once the cream is added. The point is to allow the hot coffee and whiskey to come through the cream on each sip.
  • Choose a glass with a stem or a handle.

Which whiskey to use?

Obviously, if you can get your hands on an Irish whiskey, that would be an ideal choice. Jameson is the classic choice, but these days there are many great Irish brands on the market. Bushmills Black Bush is aged in sherry casks and it adds a nice touch of wintery spices into the coffee. Teeling Small Batch is aged in ex-rum casks and its spicy and rich flavour will complement the coffee and cream combo. If you like the rum influence, Tullamore D.E.W Caribbean Rum Cask Finish is full of vanilla, ripe banana, date and caramel notes. These all come at great price point and won’t break the bank.

If you’d like to learn more about Irish whiskey, see my previous post – A Brief History of Irish Whiskey.

Irish coffee served in an Iittala glassware
Irish coffee

How to make it


A small cup of black coffee

1 tsp brown sugar (or more if you prefer it sweeter)

50ml whiskey, ideally Irish

Lightly whipped cream

Nutmeg or cinnamon (optional)


Warm the glass first with hot water. Discard the water. Add coffee and stir in the sugar. Next add a shot of whiskey. Then carefully pour over the lightly whipped cream, add a touch of nutmeg or cinnamon and serve. Do not stir. Enjoy!

Tip: Make it into an iced coffee!


A small cup of black coffee

15-20ml sugar syrup (or use a flavoured syrup such as hazelnut or tiramisu)

50ml whiskey, ideally Irish

30ml heavy cream



Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into an ice filled glass. Serve. If you don’t have a cocktail shaker you can simply build the drink directly into the glass. Just give it a good stir and add more ice before serving.

Iced coffee with Irish whiskey

Have you tried Irish Coffee? Which whiskey do you like to use?

*Some of the links used are affiliate links. If you buy through the links, I may receive a commission for the sale. This has no effect on the price for you.

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