How To Make Irish Coffee

Is it a coffee cocktail with whiskey, or a whiskey cocktail with coffee?

Created in 1943 to soothe the nerves of cold and weary airline passengers near Limerick, Ireland, Irish coffee has continued to provide warmth and comfort to those, both Irish and those not-so-lucky, ever since. Not reserved just for St. Patrick's Day, Irish coffee is served on all grand occasions, sad occasions, and whenever you just need a little pick-me-up. All you need for a delicious mug is coffee, whiskey, sugar, and cream. So, put on a pot to brew and get ready to make a fine mug of some Irish coffee.

Irish coffee
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Preheat Your Mug

Take the chill off of your mug by filling it with hot water. Once the mug is adequately warmed, pour the water out and fill the mug about ¾ full of your freshly brewed coffee.

Stir in Your Sugar

The classic way to make Irish coffee is to stir in two teaspoons of brown sugar. The molasses in the brown sugar brings out the whiskey's own sweetness, so you don't. need to overdo the sugar. Some people will use a teaspoon of brown sugar and a teaspoon of granulated sugar, but it seems easiest to limit yourself to just one type of sugar.

Use a Mild Whiskey, Preferably Irish

Pour in 1 ½ ounces of whiskey. You probably already have a favorite whiskey you want to use. If not, choose one that is known for its mild, sweet finish – this helps counter the bitter taste of the strong coffee. Many Irish coffee aficionados claim you should only make Irish coffee with Irish whiskey, so keep that in mind when you make your visit to the local liquor store. Some people prefer to use Bailey's Irish Cream instead of whiskey. Since Bailey's is already sweet, you may want to go down on the amount of sugar you add.

Two Ways with Whipped Cream

You may want to opt for unsweetened whipped cream and keep the sweetness factor contained in the coffee, or you may want to choose a lightly sweetened whipped cream. Regardless, you have two options when it comes to adding the whipped cream. If you prefer a lightly whipped cream, drizzle it slowly over a warm spoon onto the coffee, being careful not to break the coffee's surface. Or you can whip the cream a wee bit more to where it has peaks, and dollop it gently on top of the coffee.

WATCH: Whiskey Sour Slush

You can garnish your Irish coffee with cinnamon sprinkles, shaved chocolate, or even a sprig of mint. For a fun and interesting twist on this classic cocktail, use real maple syrup instead of sugar. The flavors of natural maple syrup play beautifully with coffee and whiskey, and it blends in well since it is a liquid.

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