Classic Irish Coffee (1)
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  • Food: Classic Irish Coffee
  • Writer: Nicolas Wilson
  • Content-Type: Food Blog

Warm-up with these traditional Irish coffees! During my bartending days, I used to make Irish coffees, and I thought it would be interesting to revisit the recipe and create them from scratch.

Only four components are needed to make a traditional Irish coffee: hot coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and whipped cream.

Irish coffees are frequently too sweet and rich in restaurants. I enjoy cooking them at home since I can customize them to my liking.

Plus, Irish coffees are quite easy to prepare. To make them, you don’t need any bartending knowledge or specific equipment.

Freshly brewed coffee, high-quality Irish whiskey, and real whipped cream top my favorite Irish coffees, which you can make in about 10 minutes if you have the time. It is worthwhile to put out the effort.

The only difference in my version of the classic recipe is that instead of sugar, I use real maple syrup. Natural maple syrup flavors go well with coffee and whiskey, and because it’s liquid, it blends right in. Easy!

What Is the Best Way to Make Irish Coffee?

Make a cup of your favorite coffee.

Personally, I prefer dark roast in Irish coffees, but that is just my own opinion. The best way to start your day is with a cup of freshly brewed coffee.

Fill a tumbler halfway with Irish whiskey.

Jameson is my favorite. When I worked as a bartender, we used this brand to make Irish coffees. Bushmills is a more affordable option.

Add some maple syrup to taste.

In the mornings, I prefer my coffee black, but a little sugar takes the edge off the whiskey. Regular sugar or brown sugar might be used, but maple syrup tastes better and blends in better.

Pour in a dash of coffee.

To combine, gently whisk the ingredients together. Then pour the coffee into the mug, leaving about 1/2-inch of space at the top for whipped cream.

Finish with a dollop of whipped cream.

If you use actual whipped cream, you’ll get bonus points. It’s fantastic!

Variations in Irish Coffee

Classic Irish Coffee yum (1)
Food: Classic Irish Coffee (Source: Belly Full)

I enjoy these traditional Irish coffees exactly as described, but here are a few amusing variations.

  • Finish with a garnish. Add a pinch of ground cinnamon or nutmeg on the top. If you want to go all out, use a Microplane to grate fresh nutmeg or chocolate shavings on top.
  • For an after-dinner beverage, opt for decaf coffee. Except if you can drink coffee until 3 p.m. and still get to bed on time, in which case I salute you.
  • It’s best to serve it chilled. Over ice in a cup, pour cold brew coffee or double-strength brewed coffee. Skip the whipped cream and add a dab of half-and-half.
  • Make it extra rich and creamy. Replace part or all of the whiskey with Irish cream (like Bailey’s).
  • Make it as rapidly as possible. Instead of handmade whipped cream, use a splash of half-and-half.
  • Lighten it up. Simply cut back on the whiskey if you want a less boozy drink.
  • Make it without the alcohol. If you don’t want the whiskey, you can make a fantastic handmade coffee drink (it’s not Irish, but it’s tasty).

Irish Coffee

Time to prepare: 5 minutes

Time to cook: 0 minutes

5 minutes in total

Discover the secrets to making the best Irish coffee! You’ll need hot coffee, Irish whiskey, maple syrup, and whipped cream to prepare this simple cocktail. The recipe makes one cocktail, but it’s simple to double or triple it!


  • 1 ½ ounces Irish whiskey (that’s 3 tablespoons/I used Jameson)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons maple syrup, to taste
  • 6 ounces hot freshly brewed coffee (that’s ¾ cup/use your favorite roast)
  • Whipped cream, for topping


Classic Irish Coffee Homemade (1)
Food: Classic Irish Coffee (Source: Belly Full)
  1. In a heat-safe mug, combine the whiskey and 1 teaspoon maple syrup. Pour a splash of coffee into the pan and stir with a spoon until the maple syrup is completely dissolved.
  2. Pour the remaining coffee in. If you want a sweeter drink, add more maple syrup and whisk it in.
  3. Whipped cream is served on top. If your whipped cream is softly whipped (soft peaks), slowly pour it over a spoon until it floats to the top. While the drink is still warm, serve it!


  • MAKE IT DAIRY-FREE AND VEGAN: Instead of conventional whipped cream, use coconut whipped cream (it will impart a light coconut flavor).