How to Make the Perfect Irish Coffee With Just 4 Ingredients


This essential Irish coffee recipe requires just four ingredients.

(Photo Courtesy of Halley Resources)

Irish Coffee

Irish coffee is as perfect as a winter drink gets: hot and cold at the same time, with coffee, cream, and booze all in one delicious sip. It’s a rare and impressive sensation, like a liquid baked Alaska.

In reality, everyone from hard-up dockworkers to showy bartenders has been screwing it up since it was first poured at an airport pub in Ireland in the early 1940s — which is surprising, considering the drink has only four ingredients when made properly. Follow these basic instructions and you’re guaranteed a stunner. Rule number one: Put down the Baileys.

Related: 7 Best Winter Cocktail Recipes

Classic Irish Coffee
Serves one

1½ oz Irish whiskey
1 oz simple syrup or 2 tsp granulated sugar
6 oz strong, hot black coffee
2–3 oz heavy cream
1 cinnamon stick (optional)

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Preheat your mug with boiling water. An Irish coffee should be piping.

Combine the Irish whiskey and sugar. Save your single malts and cask-strength bottles for sipping. Tullamore DEW or Powers will do, as they don’t overpower the coffee and cream. If you want to get especially fancy, combine the whiskey and sugar in a small cocktail-shaker tin and set it inside the mug filled with boiling water, so it warms up while the coffee is prepared.

Add coffee. It should be the best coffee you can make. And it should be hot — very hot. Pour the mix into the heated mug.

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Spoon a few ounces of heavy cream into a cocktail shaker or a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake hard for 20 seconds, or until the cream is thick. Slowly pour it on top of the coffee so that it makes a distinct layer. If the cream doesn’t float easily, shake it some more. Add a cinnamon stick for a slightly spicier taste.

By St. John Frizell

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