Coffee and whiskey. How can you go wrong?
We are both big fans of coffee and you would be hard pressed to find a morning where we don’t have a big mug of coffee in hand. Coffee even finds a way into our after dinner routine pretty regularly when we finish up dinners, especially after on special occasions like holidays (St. Patrick’s Day anyone?) or celebrations.
One way we like to spice up those special coffees is to make the classic Irish Coffee, a traditional coffee cocktail! Of course we didn’t just stop at the traditional Irish Coffee, we took it to a new level with our Toasted Cream Irish Coffee!
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The Irish Coffee is a simple cocktail, with just four ingredients, hot coffee, sugar, cream and Irish whiskey, making a warm, slightly sweet cocktail that is perfect for a brunch or as a warming drink on a cold winter day. In fact, a cold day in 1942 is how the Irish coffee is reputed to came into being, when a Pan Am Clipper Flying Boat had to return to Ireland after failing to make it across the Atlantic and land in the United States due to a big winter storm.
As the passengers disembarked, the airport head chef (flying was way more of a classy affair back then, right?) handed them a warm sweet coffee with whiskey and a float of cream on it to help them warm up and recover from their arduous journey. Much to the passengers’ delight, this drink not only was delicious, but it was something new to them, and when they asked the chef what they were having, he replied “Irish Coffee!”
Back in those days, the folks who were flying the Pan Am Clippers were real movers and shakers, and the popularity of Ireland’s Shannon Airport’s Irish Coffee caught the attention of an influential travel writer, Stanton Delaplane, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist from the San Fransisco Chronicle. Delaplane was so taken by this drink, especially the way that Joe Sheridan, the head chef at Shannon Airport, got the foam to float on top. Deplane brought the idea back with him to San Fransisco and worked with the Buena Vista Cafe to perfect Irish Coffee.
How did they make an Irish Coffee? They first started with hot coffee poured into a mug, then Irish Whiskey is poured into the coffee. Brown sugar is added into the coffee and whiskey and stirred until fully dissolved then comes the magic… Floating the cream!
Lightly whipped cream is poured slowly over the back of an upside down spoon which helps gently layer it on top of the sweetened coffee and whiskey! Boom, you have Irish Coffee!
Okay, enough with the history, what about the drinking? We did say we took the traditional Irish cream up to a new level and mentioned a Toasted Cream Irish Coffee! We have been on a roll recently making toasted cream cocktails (like this amazing Chai Toasted Cream White Russian) ever since we discovered a way to make toasted cream in our Instant Pot!
Well, what if we took all those fun butterscotch, caramel and deep browned butter flavors and added that to the simple Irish Coffee?
A good Irish whiskey typically is smooth and slightly sweet, with hints of toasted grain, honey, and vanilla, all which go really well with those butterscotch and caramel flavors of toasted cream, all of which make this one heck of a good pair! We added just a hint of brown sugar to the toasted cream to help it whip up (just lightly to give it a little structure) and then after we mixed up the sweetened coffee and whiskey mixture we floated it on top!
Adding the toasted cream to an Irish Coffee makes this traditional cocktail into one deliciously delightful drink that is sure to spice up your next celebration (if you just happen to be Irish or of Irish decent and want to kick up your next celebration) why not try our Toasted Cream Irish Cocktail?
Like this recipe? Try these below, too!
Other Irish Coffee Recipes
Classic Irish Coffee – Liquor.com
Irish Coffee – The Pioneer Woman
Dublin Style Irish Coffee – Salt and Wind
Brown Sugar Irish Coffee – Simply Recipes
Jacked Up Irish Coffee – Mantitilement
Other St. Patrick’s Day Recipes
Irish Potato Bites – Home. Made. Interest.
Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage – Striped Spatula
St Patrick’s Day Truffles – Just a Pinch
Mint Oreo Stuffed Brownies – Kirbie’s Cravings
Shamrock Shake Cupcakes – Brown Eyed Baker
- 4-6 oz hot, freshly brewed coffee
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp packed brown sugar
- 1-1.5 oz Irish whiskey
- Freshly whipped toasted cream
- Preheat your mug, then fill with coffee. Fill the mug about 3/4 full with the coffee.
- Add the granulated and brown sugars and stir until fully dissolved.
- Add Irish whiskey and stir to incorporate.
- If using lightly whipped cream, pour it slowly over a warm spoon onto the coffee, being careful not to break the coffee's surface. This takes some practice. An easier way is to whip the cream a little bit more and dollop it gently on top.
- Drink while hot!
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