How to Make Traditional Irish Coffee

Traditional Irish Coffee that will open your eyes with hot brewed coffee, Irish whiskey, and a touch of whipped cream.

Symbol - How to Make Traditional Irish Coffee

  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 6 oz brewed coffee
  • 2 tablespoons Irish whiskey (We also recommend Baileys Irish Creme)
  • Lightly whipped cream

Symbol - How to Make Traditional Irish Coffee


  1. Place brown sugar in a coffee mug or heat-proof glass. Fill mug 3/4-full with hot coffee; stir well.. Stir in whiskey.
  2. Pour the cream over coffee so it floats on top.

Adapter - How to Make Traditional Irish Coffee


Different variations of coffee cocktails pre-date the now-classic Irish coffee by at least 100 years.

From the mid-19th century, the Pharisäer and the Fiaker were served in Viennese coffee houses; both were coffee cocktails served in glass, topped with whipped cream. The former was also known in northern Germany and Denmark around that time. Around 1900, the coffee cocktail menu in the Viennese cafés also included Kaisermelange, Maria Theresia, Biedermeier-Kaffee and a handful of other variations on the theme.

In 19th-century France, a mixture of coffee and spirits was called a gloria.

Several places claim to have developed the modern recipe in the 1950s. One version is attributed to a Joe Sheridan, head chef at the restaurant and coffee shop in the Foynes Airbase Flying boat terminal building, County Limerick. In 1942 or 1943 he added whiskey to the coffee of some disembarking passengers.

Stanton Delaplane, a travel writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, maintains he brought Irish coffee to the United States after drinking it at Shannon Airport. His version is that he worked with the Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco to start serving it on November 10, 1952., Sheridan later emigrated to work at the Buena Vista Cafe.

Need to properly equip your bar or lounge? Try these sections out.
The Speakeasy
The Coffee House

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