This classic Irish coffee recipe is easy to make with 4 ingredients in just a few minutes. Always so warm and cozy!
Let’s warm up with a hot mug of Irish coffee! ♡
This classic 4-ingredient cocktail is always such a fun and cozy drink to serve during the wintertime — especially if you’re making a big round of drinks for a group — and it’s very simple and straightforward to make as well. Simply brew up your favorite coffee, mix it with a shot of Irish whiskey, add in your desired amount of sweetener, and top with a generous dollop of whipped cream. (I also highly recommend adding some chocolate or nutmeg shavings on top too!)
If you happen to be sensitive to caffeine in the evenings like I am, you’re more than welcome to brew a pot of decaf to make these cocktails caffeine-free. And if you’re looking for a fun twist on the classic, it can also be fun to swap whipped cream for a scoop of melty vanilla ice cream and serve these as floats instead.
Let’s make some Irish coffee!
Irish Coffee Ingredients
Here are a few quick notes about the Irish coffee ingredients that you will need to make this drink:
Hot coffee: Irish coffee is traditionally made with a base of freshly-brewed hot coffee, ideally brewed on the stronger side so that it can stand up to all of the other flavors in this drink. Feel free to use decaf coffee if you prefer, especially at nighttime.
Irish whiskey: Jameson or Bushmills are some of the most popular Irish whiskeys used in this cocktail, but you can use whatever type of Irish whiskey you prefer.
Sweetener: A few teaspoons of sugar are most commonly used to sweeten this drink, but we also enjoy making this drink with natural sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.
Whipped cream: Whipped cream is layered on top of the drink, helping to balance the robust flavors of the coffee and whiskey with a luxurious bit of creamy flavor. It’s so worth it to spend 5 minutes making a fresh batch of homemade whipped cream from scratch!
Optional toppings: I also love adding some freshly-grated nutmeg or chocolate shavings on top of Irish coffee. Just grab a Microplane (or another fine grater) and either a whole nutmeg or chocolate bar and sprinkle some shavings on top of the whipped cream.
How To Make Irish Coffee
Full instructions for how to make Irish coffee are included in the recipe below, but here are a few extra tips to consider too!
Choose a heat-resistant glass. Probably goes without saying, but please double-check that whatever glasses you are planning to use are heat-resistant and will not crack with the hot coffee.
Preheat your glass. I also love to preheat our glasses when making Irish coffee so that the cocktail stays nice and warm. Simply fill the glasses with hot water while you are brewing the coffee, then pour it out just before adding the cocktail ingredients.
Use good-quality ingredients. Since this cocktail has such a short list of ingredients, the flavor of each will clearly shine through. So I highly recommend brew your favorite high-quality coffee and a good Irish whiskey that you love.
Make fresh whipped cream. Freshly-made homemade whipped cream adds such a delicious touch to this cocktail. Feel free to add extra spices or flavorings or an extra splash of liqueur to your whipped cream too for a fun touch.
Irish Coffee Variations
Here are a few more fun variations that you’re welcome to try when making homemade Irish coffee:
Add caramel sauce: Add a drizzle of caramel sauce (I’m partial to my bourbon caramel sauce) to the drink.
Add hazelnut liqueur: Add a splash of hazelnut or almond liqueur to the drink or the whipped cream.
Add vanilla: Add 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract to the drink or the whipped cream.
Use Bailey’s: Use Bailey’s Irish cream in place of the Irish whiskey.
Use cold brew: Use cold brew instead of hot coffee to make a chilled Irish whiskey (you may want to shake the drink briefly with ice in a cocktail shaker and strain before adding whipped cream).
Use ice cream (instead of whipped cream): Top the drink with a scoop of vanilla ice cream instead of whipped cream Or blend the ice cream with the coffee and whiskey to make an Irish coffee milkshake.
More Warm Cocktails To Try!
Looking for more hot cocktail recipes to try this winter? Here are a few of our favorites: