Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Other Whiskey Cocktails

Irish Coffee

Image: Tim Nusog

Irish Coffee may not be the first coffee drink with alcohol, but this cocktail has become one of the most famous. Combining coffee with Irish whiskey, brown sugar and lightly whipped cream, Irish Coffee is a hot, creamy classic drink.

There are many tall tales about the Irish Coffee’s origins. The most credible version attributes the cocktail to Joe Sheridan, the head chef of the restaurant at the Foynes Flying Boat terminal in County Limerick in the early 1940s. Legend has it that when he first served it and was asked if it was Brazilian coffee, Sheridan cheekily replied that it was “Irish coffee.”

The drink was later made famous by Staton Deplante, who worked at the Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco during the 1950s. Deplante wrote about the drink frequently in a travel column that was read widely across the States and piqued curiosity about Irish Coffee.


Click Play to See This Irish Coffee Recipe Come Together


  • 1 1/2 ounces Irish whiskey
  • 2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Brewed coffee, hot
  • Garnish: whipped cream


  1. Filling an Irish Coffee mug with hot water, let sit for 2 minutes, then discard the water.

  2. Add the whiskey and sugar to the glass, fill with the coffee, and stir.

  3. Top with an inch of unsweetened lightly whipped cream.