Irish Coffee is an iconic and easy-to-make cocktail, everyone has heard of. That being said, many people think they can just put whiskey in their coffee and call it Irish, but it’s a bit more than that. You would need a fresh coffee shot, good Irish whiskey, sugar, and cream, mixed in the right order for a perfect Irish Coffee to enjoy in the evening and share with others.

The story of this drink takes us back to 1942, in a small restaurant at the Foynes airbase outside of Limerick, Ireland. The creator of the drink was Joe Sheridan, who was also the chef and bartender there. One winter night, a flight came back to the airport after a failed attempt to reach New York because of a storm. Sheridan made a round of Irish coffees for the passengers, after which one surprised American asked if it was Brazilian coffee, but Joe said “No, that’s Irish Coffee”. 

10 years later (1952) travel writer Stanton Delaplane took the recipe to America, and to the attention of Jack Koeppler, who was a bartender at Buena Vista Café in San Francisco. Unfortunately, Koeppler couldn’t make the drink because the cream kept sinking, so he went back to the original source where he ended up offering Joe Sheridan a position at his cafe.

On the list of IBA Official Cocktails.


  1. 2 Ounces (60 ml) of Irish whiskey.
  2. 4 Ounces (120 ml) of hot fresh coffee.
  3. 2 teaspoons of brown sugar. 
  4. Heavy cream lightly whipped. (whipped cream would also do)


  1. Place the sugar into a warm heatproof glass.
  2. Add the hot coffee and stir to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Add the whiskey.
  4. Slowly pour the cream using the back of a spoon, so it floats on top.
  5. You can garnish with a chocolate or cinnamon sprinkle.
  6. Enjoy.

Some tips:

  • Do not stir after you pour the cream, instead drink through it.
  • Preheat the glass before you start. 
  • Strong coffee, rich in flavor, is best.

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