If you've ever traveled to the Emerald Isle, you know all about Irish coffee. One sip of the real stuff will leave you caffeinated and tingly with its luxurious mix of whiskey, cream and sugar. Whether you’re spicing up your morning treat or having a cozy night in, this classic coffee cocktails brings together the comfort of of a warm cup and your favorite full-bodied spirit.
The classic Irish coffee is made with just four ingredients; Irish whiskey, coffee and sugar mixed together, then topped with cream. This cocktail is meant to be enjoyed through the cream, appreciating the entirety of the Irish coffee with just one sip.
This cocktail first hit the pallets of coffee and whiskey lovers in 1943 near Limerick Ireland. Airport Chef Joe Sheridan was the first to create this beloved cocktail, but since then variations have left room for creativity and finesse.
Whether you prefer the classic or want to add some sweet twists to your Irish Coffee, these seven recipes are a must try.
Global Ambassador Rob Caldwell is passionate about Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey, and his recipe elevates the classic with some spiced syrup—but he lets the whiskey and coffee speak mostly for themselves. Feel free to substitute with your favorite whiskey or whatever is on hand, but Teeling's whiskey is aged in ex-bourbon barrels and married in Central American rum casks, which is a unique flavor worth trying.
- 2 parts Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey
- 4 parts local black coffee
- ½ part spiced syrup*
- Fresh cream to top
For spiced syrup
Mix 2 parts sugar with 1 part hot water, and your favorite winter-time spices (dark chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, anise, etc.).
Preheat glass with hot coffee, then add whiskey and spiced syrup. Layer fresh cream using the back of a bar spoon, and garnish with grated nutmeg or chocolate.
Proper Frozen B.I.C
The next six recipes come courtesy of Proper No. Twelve Whiskey, a company that blends its brew with hints of vanilla, honey and toasted wood. With a hint of banana, this recipe adds a little something extra that almost everyone has in their kitchen. An easy way to elevate a simple recipe is right on your counter top.
- 1½ oz Proper No. Twelve
- ½ oz heavy cream
- ½ oz brown sugar syrup (1:1)
- 3 oz cold brew coffee
- ½ of a ripe banana
- 2 cups of Ice
Combine ingredients in a blender. Add ice and blend until smooth. Pour into glass, and garnish with instant coffee granules, if you'd like.
Proper Irish Coffee
This straight-forward recipe is Proper No. Twelve's take on the original classic.
- 2 oz Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey
- 4 oz hot coffee
- ¾ oz simple syrup
- 2 to 3 oz heavy cream
In a shaker or jar, shake or whip heavy cream until slightly thickened (not completely stiff). In a mug, add Proper No. Twelve Whiskey, hot coffee, and simple syrup. Stir. Carefully layer on top the thickened heavy cream until it covers the drink. Optional grating of nutmeg on top.
Proper Iced Coffee
Turn this hot cocktail cool by using your go-to iced coffee, creamer and sweetener of choice. It's so easy, and it's perfect for a summer vacation.
- 1 part Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey
- 4 parts cold coffee
- Milk or creamer of choice
- Sweetener of choice
Fill glass with ice. Add Proper No. Twelve and cold coffee. Add creamer and sweetener to taste. Stir to combine.
Proper Irish Float
Make your Irish coffee float by adding cola and vanilla ice cream; turning this already sweet cocktail into an even bigger delight. This is one real sugar rush in a glass. What more could you ask for?
- 2 oz Proper No. Twelve
- ½ oz coffee liqueur
- 2 oz cola
- 3 oz Irish stout beer (i.e. Guinness)
- 1 large scoop of vanilla ice cream
Scoop your ice cream in a tall glass, then build the rest of the ingredients on top. Feel free to enjoy with a spoon.
Proper Irish Coffee V.2
Created by Lucas Robinson, Corporate Beverage Director of Catch Hospitality and Catch Steak in New York City, this take on the classic livens things up with Giffard white creme de cocoa, Ancho Reyes chili liqueur, and the rich flavor of Demerara syrup. It's a sip that packs a punch of flavor with roots in Mexico, and South and West Africa.
- 1¼ oz Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey
- ½ oz Ancho Reyes liqueur
- ¼ oz Giffard Crème de Cacao
- ¼ oz 2:1 demerara syrup
- 3½ oz coffee
Build in snifter, stir all ingredients, top with whipped cream, and garnish with grated nutmeg and a Pocky stick.
The Mad Mad
Created by Gavin McMonigle of Piss & Vinegar in Philadelphia, this Irish coffee comes with a minty fresh addition. With two scoops of mint chocolate ice cream, this sweet treat hits all the marks for a creative Irish coffee.
- 2 oz. Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey
- 1 part mexican coffee liqueur
- 2 scoops mint chocolate ice cream
Hard shake all ingredients in a tin with crushed ice. Strain into a 6 oz. Irish coffee glass and serve.