No dinner party should be without a deliciously indulgent (and rather naughty!) Irish Coffee. Even if you don’t have any social events planned, this beverage is the perfect choice for cold, autumnal evenings but How To Make Irish Coffee?

In fact, whatever the time of year, it makes for a great end to the day! But what is Irish Coffee, exactly - and how do you make it? 

Well, for starters, let’s make one thing clear: you’re going to want the best ingredients for the best possible taste. Apart from ‘real’ Irish whiskey, the finest quality Coffee Beans is in order. For that, choose The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. 

So with this in mind, let’s crack on. Keep reading to discover the ins and outs, the facts and, of course, recipes for “how to make Irish Coffee”.

What is this types of drink

What is Irish Coffee?

Irish Coffee (known in Ireland as “Caife Gaelach”) is a cocktail that uses hot Coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar and cream. This combination of Coffee and alcohol, as well as all the extras, makes for a match made in heaven.

Its flavour notes differ significantly depending on the type of whiskey/Coffee used, although most consider it smooth and sweet. Naturally, it also comes with a kick!

Unlike many cocktails, Irish Coffee has known and detailed origins. It was created by Joe Sheridan, a chef at Foynes Airport in Limerick, Ireland, in 1943. At this time, during the Second World War, Foynes was an airbase for transatlantic flights to Canada and the US. Often, political figures and Hollywood stars would stop here for the night en route.

One evening, Mr Sheridan found himself serving a group of cold, weary, frustrated passengers whose flight had been delayed. Feeling empathy for them, he decided to make something special to try and cheer them up. The passengers needed a pick-me-up, but no doubt also wanted a stiff drink. And so the thought occurred to combine the two! 

One American passenger asked whether the cuppa in front of them was a Brazillian Coffee. The story goes that Joe replied: “no, it’s Irish”. Suffice to say, everyone in the restaurant that night was pleasantly surprised. It was born!

How to Make Irish Coffee

How to Make Irish Coffee

The good news is that making Irish Coffee is pretty simple. Before we jump in, however, let’s talk about the ingredients. As mentioned already, it’s vital that you carefully consider what you’re adding to this delectable cocktail.

First off, be sure to get “whiskey”, not “whisky”. In other words, you should have Irish whiskey to hand rather than Scottish whisky. There’s more to this than just the extra “e”.

Furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, choosing the right Coffee is key. If you wish to make a subtle nod to its origins, why not opt for our Brazilian Santos Coffee? It’s up to you, then, to make it unmistakably “Irish”. Alternatively, some prefer darker roasts when making this beverage. For this, we recommend our strong Italian Roast or Continental Coffee.

When it comes to sugar, things get a little more straightforward. However, there is also the option of replacing sugar with maple syrup. This is a choice made by many a Canadian with Irish roots!

Finally, there is the cream, which is best whipped. This will ultimately make the finishing touch to your cocktail. But let’s now dive deep into “how to make Irish Coffee” before we get ahead of ourselves!

Time needed: 5 minutes.

Instruction: How to make Irish Coffee

Ingredients: Fresh Coffee, Irish Whiskey, Sugar/Maple Syrup and Whipped Cream.

  1. Brew Fresh Coffee

    We would recommend using either a filter machine or cafetiere.

  2. Pour Your Coffee

    Pour into a warm mug or heat-proof glass.

  3. Add a Shot of Whiskey

    Add sugar or maple syrup along with a shot (or two!) of Irish whiskey.

  4. Stir thoroughly

    Now you need to stir for 10 seconds

  5. Add Cream

    Float whipped cream on top by pouring it over the back of a spoon.

  6. Do not stir once cream is added

    Be sure NOT to stir again. Instead, drink the Coffee THROUGH the cream.

Coffee Recipe

Irish Coffee Recipe

Fancy something a little different? Why not break free from convention and add a bit of Baileys, too? That’s right; we said BOTH! A Baileys Irish Coffee is even creamier than its traditional counterpart with hints of cocoa and vanilla.

When it comes to “how to make Irish Coffee with Baileys”, the instructions are relatively similar apart from a few little extras!

1. How to make Irish Coffee with Bailey

  Ingredients: Fresh Coffee, Irish Whiskey and Baileys.
  Optional: Brown Sugar, Whipped Cream and Chocolate Shavings. 

2. Boil Water for Coffee

Pour the water in your cafeteria, allow to brew for 2 minute.

3. Pour Brewed Coffee

Ensure its poured into a warm mug or heat-proof glass

4. Add Baileys and Whisky

Add both Baileys and Irish whiskey to your fresh coffee

5. Taste test for your palate

Have a quick taste test. If you’d prefer it sweeter, add sugar

6. Stir thoroughly

Make sure you stir your Irish Coffee for 10 seconds.

7. Add either Cream or Chocolate

Now, add cream. Otherwise, serve with chocolate shavings on top.

Irish Coffee Alternative

Try these alternatives

If you’re looking to cut down your alcohol content but still enjoy its taste, choose our Irish Cream Flavoured Coffee. With this particular brew, you needn’t worry about hangovers - just exceptional flavour!

It is one of the many Flavoured Coffees we stock here at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. Each one is packed fresh to order, ensuring not only quality but also consistency.

Now that you know how to make Irish Coffee, what are you waiting for? Boom out the Gaelic Toast “Do shláinte!” (meaning “to your health!”), then finally sit back, relax and enjoy!

Author: Richard Smith

Partner at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company

Richard Smith is a Tea expert, entrepreneur, and owner of The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. Part of a family of renowned Tea planters dating back four generations, he was born in Calcutta (Kolkata), India, where he spent his childhood between Tea Estates in Assam and Darjeeling.

In the late 1970s, having accumulated years of knowledge in the industry, Mr Smith and his mother, Janet Smith, moved to Kent, South East England, to establish a Tea business in the village of Pluckley. Their early days of packing Tea Bags by hand from chests of 10,000 prompted the creation of the company’s flagship infusion known as Pluckley Tea. It remains our most popular product today.

Mr Smith, who studied economics at London Polytechnic, has since specialised in over 1,000 types of Loose Leaf Tea - in addition to around 70 varieties of Roast Coffee - from around the world. These are now available at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, where everything is still packed by hand and fresh to order, not only to honour tradition but to ensure the utmost quality and consistency.