The Gay Globetrotter

Irish Coffee

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Irish coffee is made with Irish whiskey, brown sugar and coffee then topped with foamed cream for a delicious adult beverage that’s perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or weekend brunch!

Whip up some shamrock shakes for the kids and Jameson Irish coffee cocktails for the adults, and serve them alongside creme brulee french toast or raspberry oatmeal bars for the perfect start to the day.

2 cups of Irish coffee next to a stirring spoon.


Irish Coffee Ingredients

Irish coffee packs a punch, and will put a little extra pep in your step. It’s made with 4 classic ingredients:

  • Fresh coffee – we like to use the espresso maker to make an americano. Any good hot brewed coffee will do!
  • Brown sugar – adds a little sweetness to the drink. You can also use honey.
  • Whiskey – adds the warm, delicious flavor to Irish coffee. Use a good quality Irish wiskey.
  • Half whipped cream – rather than stiff whipped cream, this foamed cream melts into Irish coffee perfectly – like an indulgent latte.

We love serving Irish coffee during Christmas morning too. The adults always appreciate it when they’re woken up super early to open presents!

How To Make Irish Coffee

To make Irish coffee at home:

  1. Brew – brew your favorite coffee. Strong, black coffee goes perfectly with Irish coffee.
  2. Whip – using a hand mixer, stand mixer, or whisk, whip the cream until foamy, but not fully whipped cream.
  3. Pour – pour the coffee, whiskey, brown sugar into a glass mug. Give it a quick stir to dissolve the brown sugar.
  4. Serve – top the Irish coffee with whipped cream, and a sprinkle of cocoa powder or cinnamon for presentation. We also like using chocolate shavings for added elegance!

Whipped cream being added to Irish coffee.


Irish Coffee Tips and Substitutions

  • Presentation is important in Irish coffee – so glass cups will look beautiful once you layer the cream on top.
  • Don’t pour the cream onto Irish coffee too quickly. Instead, use a spoon to place it on top to give it the signature layering.
  • Jameson is the usual brand of whiskey used for Irish coffee, but you can use what you have on hand. Select a good quality whiskey for this recipe. You’ll taste the difference.
  • While we are talking quality – make sure you use good quality coffee. Espresso beans are great. If you prefer brewed coffee, use your favorite brand. Don’t use instant coffee or flavored coffee.
  • Honey can be used in place of brown sugar if you prefer.
  • For Irish cream coffee, substitute Irish cream liqueur for whiskey. We like to omit the sugar when making Irish cream coffee.
  • For iced Irish coffee, make the coffee twice as strong. Pour the hot coffee over ice, then add the rest of the ingredients. Alternatively (if you have an espresso machine) pour 2 shots of hot espresso over ice then fill the rest of the glass with filtered water.
  • Enjoying this after dinner? Decaf coffee can be substituted for a caffiene free Irish coffee. It’s delicious next to a batch of Guinness brownies!

Irish coffee topped with powdered sugar next to coffee beans.


More Comforting Hot Beverages

2 cups of Irish coffee next to a stirring spoon.
Rate this Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Irish Coffee

Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Bailey
Irish coffee is made with just 4 ingredients. It's warming, packs a punch, and is perfect for weekend brunch!
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Tried this recipe?I'd love to hear what you think. Leave a comment and rating below!


  • 8 ounces brewed coffee or americano
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar or honey
  • 2 ounces Irish whiskey good quality
  • ½ cup heavy cream


  • Brew coffee. Meanwhile, with a whisk, stand mixer, or hand mixer, whip heavy cream until foamy but not fully whipped, about 3 minutes.
  • Pour 4 ounces of coffee into each serving glass. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar and Irish whiskey, stir to combine and melt sugar.
  • Spoon cream over Irish coffee so it layers on top. Serve.


Use good quality coffee. If using an espresso maker, brewing an americano is a great option.
Cream consistency should be almost fully whipped. Place it carefully on the coffee so it layers.
Garnish with cinnamon, cocoa powder, or chocolate shavings.
Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 26mg | Potassium: 100mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 875IU | Calcium: 39mg

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A glass of Irish coffee with text overlay.

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