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I would swear this Irish coffee recipe comes straight from an Irish coffee pub in Dublin, or maybe even from the Buena Vista in San Francisco. And it's easy; all you need is the best coffee you can make, a shot or two of your best mixed Irish whiskey, a little sugar, and half-whipped foamy cream. You will be singing songs about the old country in no time.
Who invented Irish coffee?
While Irish coffee has probably been consumed in Ireland for as long as it was available, it wasn't until the early 1950s that this delicious drink gained notoriety in the United States. Jack Koeppler, the owner of the Buena Vista bar in San Francisco, wanted to recreate the Irish coffee cocktail served at Shannon Airport in Ireland. He and a travel writer, Stanton Delaplane, began experimenting.
What a fun experiment, right? Obviously, his biggest problem was getting the cream to float properly; it always plummeted to the bottom. They finally conquered floating cream and the rest is Irish coffee history. (I'll also show you how to do it, like a pro.)
Ultimately, they were right: The floating cream on top is pretty crucial to the drink, mainly because it's so delicious to drink that potent, slightly sweet coffee through the foam. For me, it's what makes an Irish coffee an Irish coffee.
Oh, and if you're ever in the area, be sure to visit the Buena Vista in SF. I know I will.
What do you need to make Irish coffee?
Irish whiskey: Most waiters prefer brewing Irish coffee with Jameson or Bushmills, insisting that mixed Irish whiskeys are best for this drink. Of course you can, if that's all you have. Strictly speaking, it would be called Kentucky Coffee, but it will still taste good, I promise.
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Coffee grinder: For the best cup of coffee, grinding your own beans is paramount.
Coffee: Freshly hot coffee, freshly made. Espresso, cold brew, French press, pour or even brew will work, as long as it's hot.
Irish coffee glass: What is Irish coffee without the perfect glass? Maybe like me you have your great-aunt's vintage Irish coffee set, a lovely set of tall glass mugs with green glass handles. If not, Irish coffee mugs are fun to collect and come in many shapes and sizes. Ideally, you want a glass with legs, on the thicker side to handle the hot liquid, allowing you to see the beautiful creamy layers of the drink.
Sugar: I find that the perfect sugar is the same amount of white and brown sugar. Again, it's not a must, but I love the slightly smoky quality that molasses gives the cocktail. If you want to use sugar cubes, I like these and these.
Cream: Irish coffee with whipped cream is classic and traditional.
How do you get the cream to float in an Irish coffee?
Using freshly whipped sponge cream is one way, but there's a more classic way: Pour the thick cream into a bottle and shake by hand to thicken, then refrigerate until you're ready to pour. Shake vigorously again when brewing coffee. Then: Pour the cream over the drink, gently pouring on the back of a spoon. The rounded spoon surface keeps the cream on the surface of the drink. It is a process called "floating".
You can also make homemade whipped cream with a stand mixer or by hand.
Even more tips for making the best Irish coffee:
Preheat your glasses: The alcohol in the drink can make things too cold, so I like to preheat my glasses with hot water to prepare them for hot coffee. It is a small thing that has a great impact.
Use good coffee: Irish coffee with decaffeinated coffee is also fine. Just choose your favorite coffee and brew it.
Real whipped cream: The good! The thick whipped cream makes the difference.
Irish coffee with Bailey's recipes
Because Bailey's Irish Cream is so delicious, some drinkers prefer their Bailey's Irish Coffee. Here are a couple of versions of Irish coffee recipes made with Bailey’s:
Irish cream coffee: Substitute half Irish whiskey and half Bailey, top with a maraschino cherry.
Bailey's Irish Coffee: Use only Bailey whiskey instead of Irish whiskey. This version is sweeter and more full-bodied than the traditional one.
How to make Irish coffee without cream:
If you can't or don't have whipped cream, you can try making this Irish coffee recipe with frothy milk or walnut milk, to get the creamy topping. Let me know how you like it in the comments, and if you have any dairy-free suggestions for me please let me know.
Otherwise, if you don't mind, take the drink with nothing. You can put some hair on your chest, but it will still taste great. Health!
If you want a night drink to finish off all the other night caps, Irish Coffee is the one for you; this recipe is a little boisterous, a little drunk and very delicious. It is the best way to end a fun night, or even start a fun day. Cuisine: Irish Preparation time: 5 minutes Cook time: 5 minutes Total time: 10 minutes Servings: 1 Calories: 139 kcal
- 5 ounces of fresh coffee
- 1 teaspoon granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
- 1.5 ounces Irish whiskey 3 tablespoons or 1 shot
- whipped cream to coat
- Add 5 ounces of fresh coffee to the glass.
- Add white and brown sugar until dissolved.
- Add the Irish whiskey and stir.
- Top with whipped cream.
Calories :: 139kcal
Irish Coffee Recipe