Irish Coffee

Coffee cocktails are just about as sinful a winter-time staple as we can think of. They are a direct double hit of caffeine and booze straight to the system that is perfect for the start or end of the night. Irish coffee is one the most classic coffee mixed drinks. It is the perfect combination of sweetened coffee, Irish whiskey, and (of course) whipped cream. It's cozy, delicious, and incredibly easy to make.  

History Lesson

Why is it called Irish Coffee?Irish coffee was first created in 1943 by an airport chef named Joe Sheridan, who whipped it up for passengers whose flight had been rerouted back to his small airport near Limerick in Ireland. The passengers were both delighted and soothed by the warm drink, and one passenger ventured to ask, “Is this Brazilian coffee?” “No,” Joe Sheridan said, “it’s Irish coffee.” And the name stuck!

Do I really have to warm my mug?

Well . . . no. Traditionally Irish coffee is made in a glass mug, and preheating the mug with hot water ensures that it won’t crack when the hot coffee goes in. If you’re using a ceramic coffee mug, you probably don’t need to worry about this. But warming your mug will take the chill off and help your drink stay warm for longer, so we highly recommend!

Can I use other sweeteners besides brown sugar?

Absolutely. We like brown sugar, because the caramel molasses notes pair well with the booze, but you could also use granulated sugar or natural sweeteners such as coconut sugar, honey, or maple syrup. Just be aware that each of those will bring their own distinct flavor that will affect the finished drink.

How whipped should my cream be?

You’re looking for the cream to hold soft peaks while still remaining pourable, so not too stiff. The best way to tell if your cream is ready: plunge a whisk into the middle of it, pull the whisk out, and flip it over. The little peak at the end of the whisk should flop and curl over on itself. If it doesn’t form a peak, it’s not ready. If the peak doesn’t flop but stays pointing straight up, you’ve gone too far. For more tips on this, check out our whipped cream tutorial.

Can I make this vegan?

Sure! If you’re vegan or avoiding dairy, there are tons of options for vegan whipped cream. If you don’t mind a little coconut flavor, we highly recommend whipping coconut cream, which you can get from the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk. Check out our recipe for Keto Ice Cream, which uses the whipped coconut technique, for more tips on this. If coconut isn’t your thing, you could try whipping aquafaba instead (the liquid in chickpea cans), or even check out some of the rice and soy products now being marketed in grocery stores nation-wide.

Have you made this recipe? Rate it below and let us know how you liked it! 

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Yields: 2
Prep Time: 0 hours 0 mins
Total Time: 0 hours 10 mins
Ingredients
16 oz.

hot water

2 tsp.

light brown sugar

1 c.

brewed coffee

2 oz.

Irish whiskey (such as Jameson)

1/2 c.

heavy cream for topping

Chocolate shavings, for garnish

Directions
  1. Fill 2 mugs with hot water and let sit 2 minutes. Pour out water and add 1 teaspoon light brown sugar to each mug. Pour over hot coffee and stir to dissolve sugar, then pour in whiskey.
  2. In a separate bowl with an electric mixer or by hand, whisk cream until soft peaks form. Cream should be thick but still pourable. Top coffee with cream by gently pouring over the back of a warm spoon to form a thick layer on top of coffee. Garnish with chocolate shavings.

Ethan Calabrese
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