Howdy, and best wishes for a joyous and lucky St. Patrick’s Day! Chris has prepared a traditional whiskey drink for you today, and it has a black coffee base. The Irish whiskey or the strong coffee, or both, will quickly warm you up, and the recipe couldn’t be easier.
The Origins of Irish Coffee
The history of this coffee cocktail is as murky as that of other mixed cocktails. The most widely accepted origin story places its inception in 1943 at Ireland’s Foynes Port airport, where chef Joe Sheridan likely made it for a group of New York-bound passengers whose flight was diverted due to bad weather.
This is the most often told version of Irish Coffee’s origin tale, however some believe it was truly invented in 1940 at Dublin’s Dolphin Bar. Although the city of San Francisco is often mentioned in connection with the drink, it is highly unlikely that this is where it was first made.
The popularity of this famous cocktail may be traced back to 1952, when Joe Sheridan reportedly traveled to San Francisco to assist the Buena Vista bar in creating their own version of the drink.
The Components of Irish Coffee
Hot coffee, Irish whiskey, Demerara simple syrup, and whipped cream; what more could you want from a traditional coffee drink? It’s like getting three meals and a drink in one sitting.
Take into account that the taste of this beverage will mostly be determined by the coffee you use. A cup of Brazilian coffee is not going to taste like a cup of Jamaican coffee or a cup of Mexican coffee or a cup of Starbucks dark roast. I think you get my meaning.
The variety of coffee preparations available means that you may have a lot of fun experimenting with different tastes.
Different types of Irish Coffee
Irish coffee, made with Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur or coffee with cream (normal or heavy cream, depending on your desire) and a shot of whiskey, is quite widespread but not our preferred way. We highly recommend trying either one of these options for your next cup of coffee. All the different ones, please!
There are a ton of ways to customize this drink, but here are a few ideas:
- Do you drink coffee frequently? The combination of whiskey, Kahla coffee liqueur, and black coffee is another popular choice.
- If you’re trying to avoid caffeine at night so you can get to sleep on time, decaf coffee is another option. You may mix and match decaf coffee with any of the other tastes without worrying about a negative impact on either.
- How about substituting cold brew coffee for the hot coffee in this cocktail? Sure thing!
- No Demerara sugar on hand? You may use granulated sugar (it’ll be lacking the caramel flavour but will still be wonderful) or brown sugar for your simple syrup instead. There’s no one method to create this drink, so do what works for you.
- Add agave nectar or maple syrup as the sweetener substitute.
- Add a dash of nutmeg or cinnamon for a little more flavor.
- Swap out the base alcohol instead of staying with Irish whiskey.
- Try numerous varieties of coffee for diverse flavor characteristics.
- Avoiding alcohol? Use a non-alcoholic spirit as an alternative for whiskey, cutting back on the simple syrup a touch to allow for the increased sweetness.
- Additional coffee cocktail variations: Keoke Coffee (crème de cacao, brandy, coffee, Kahlúa), Spanish Coffee (rum, Kahlúa, triple sec, coffee, torched sugar rim), Mexican Coffee (subbing in tequila), and the Nutty Irishman (equal parts Bailey’s and Frangelico over ice)
- Chris’ favorite variation: Add Amari into the cocktail for a bitter spice that truly alters the drink!
OK, now that you’ve watched the video and read about all the ways you can create this wonderful drink, go switch on your coffee maker, get the recipe below, and let us know in the comments which iteration is your favorite. Cheers!
- 1 Standard Bar Spoons
- 2 ounces Irish Whiskey
- 0.5 ounces Demerara Syrup
- 4 ounces Freshly Brewed coffee To top
- 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream For topping/garnish
- Heat your glass with hot water for 10-15 seconds; dump the water.
- Assemble the drink into a coffee cocktail cup, and stir until blended together.
- Whisk up heavy whipping cream in your cocktail shaker using a whisk or the coil on your Hawthorne strainer; shake (or whisk) the cream in shaker with the coil.
- Use a bar spoon to float the freshly-whipped cream on top of the drink.