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Frozen Irish Coffee Recipe

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Last Updated on March 10, 2024 by Leah Hall

A Frozen Irish Coffee can be the perfect frozen treat all year long, not just to have a happy St. Patrick’s Day. It’s like a boozy coffee milkshake, and we know you will love it! If you like ice cream or iced coffee in the winter, you will enjoy this great frozen drink!

 

As we have written about before, the Irish coffee was invented in the 1940s in Ireland, came to the United States in the 1950s, and the Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco made it famous. The cocktail then showed up in restaurants all over.

 

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tan cocktail in footed glass mug, this Frozen Irish Coffee has St Patrick's Day straws, hat and greenery behind

The hot cocktail with coffee, cream, and Irish whiskey would become a classic. Then, ice cream blender cocktails shot up in popularity in the seventies and eighties, when classic cocktails were seen as old and boring. Bartenders started to make classic drink twists with a blender and a scoop of ice cream.

putting St. Patrick's Day straws into tan cocktail in glass footed mug

But then, “healthy” cocktails came into play and a lot of the rich milkshake cocktails were left behind the bar.  But, the frozen Irish coffee seems to have lasted. Especially in New Orleans.

blending brown mixture in blender

Lore of this cocktail seems to go to Jim Monaghan Sr., the owner of multiple French Quarter bars, started serving Frozen Irish Coffee in the 1980s. The Erin Rose installed a slushy machine in 2000, with frozen cocktails coming back into play, and the famed frozen Irish coffee was mixed in the machine and has never left. So go there for the original recipe. And they never share the exact recipe, so we had to riff on what others have said is present in it.

pouring tan milkshake into footed glass mug

Ingredients Needed for the Frozen Irish Coffee

This drink is perfect as a creamy breakfast sip, boozy drinks as a nightcap or a mid-day pick me up! Anytime of day or year!

  • Coffee – obviously. In this case, we froze coffee into ice cubes. We chose to do this instead of using coffee and ice cubes. This helps not to water down the milkshake, as well, as adding more coffee flavor.
  • Ice Cream – we used vanilla ice cream for the creamy texture and flavor.
  • Brandy – yep, brandy. Of course in an original Irish Coffee, you use Irish whiskey. And you can if you want to, but we have been told brandy is the way to go, as it plays really well with the coffee flavors. And, it does. So, we used brandy.
  • Coffee Liqueur – Use a favorite coffee liqueur of yours. As long as it has a strong coffee flavor, it will work well.

adding coffee ice cubes into blender with ice cream

adding brown liquor into blender with vanilla ice cream

How to Make a Frozen Irish Coffee

You just need a blender and your ingredients to make this fantastic cold cocktail! First, combine all the ingredients in the blender. Then, blend on high until smooth. If you want a less thick consistency you can add a bit of not frozen coffee or a little milk to thin the blended drink out.

tan milkshake in blender

If you do add a little coffee to it, just make sure it’s not hot coffee. Chill it before you pour the coffee or use the coffee ice cubes. Finally, pour the Frozen Irish Coffee into your glass from the blender pitcher and garnish as desired. Also, use some straws! This has easily become one of the best cocktails and favorite recipes around here.

tan cocktail in footed glass mug, this Frozen Irish Coffee has St Patrick's Day straws, hat and greenery behind

Classic Irish Coffee cocktails are served in a footed Irish Coffee mug, and this one is best served in glass mug, coupe or rocks glass. Try our twist on the classic Toasted Cream Irish Coffee, too! Just make sure to plan ahead and make your frozen coffee ice cubes with regular coffee, just brewed strongly.

tan cocktail in footed glass mug, this Frozen Irish Coffee has St Patrick's Day straws, hat and greenery behind

Tips & Tricks

  • Glassware – a fun glass mug works, double rocks glass, or even a big cocktail coupe!
  • Garnish – There can be a lot of choices of garnishes for the top of your drink: coffee beans, cocoa powder, green sprinkles, grated cinnamon, whipped cream and more. The classic made in New Orleans has a dusting of ground coffee in it. You can sure feel free to do that, but it’s not my favorite way to have coffee, ha! But, any of these are on the right track.
  • Ice Cream – we used vanilla ice cream in this. But, feel free to try chocolate ice cream, coffee ice cream or even cinnamon ice cream. They are all tasty in boozy milkshakes.
  • Coffee – we prefer using coffee ice cubes in this recipe, as using regular ice cubes and coffee together does water the recipe down a bit. So, just take the time to add your leftover coffee to an ice tray, or make an extra strong pot of coffee and make ice with that! Or, you can use cold brew coffee for a stronger flavor.
  • Liquor – again, we used brandy and coffee liqueur. Some great coffee liqueur brands are Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur, St George Spirits NOLA Coffee Liqueur, or Du Nord Cafe Frieda Coffee Liqueur. You can definitely use Irish whiskey instead of the brandy. Some other suggestions could be vanilla vodka, chocolate liqueur or banana liqueur, or Irish Cream Liqueur like Baileys or Kerry Gold Irish Cream. Like in our Irish Whiskey Cocktail. You could also add a dash of vanilla extract.

tan cocktail in footed glass mug, this Frozen Irish Coffee has St Patrick's Day straws, hat and greenery behind

Cheers, and enjoy before the finish line of winter, and happy St. Paddy’s Day!

tan cocktail in footed glass mug, this Frozen Irish Coffee has St Patrick's Day straws, hat and greenery behind

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Like this recipe? Try these below, too!

Coffee cocktail in glass mug with whipped cream and cinnamon stickBlizzard Cocktail

 

Cocktail in glass with iceSlainte Irish Whiskey Cocktail

 

Other Frozen Cocktails

tan cocktail in footed glass mug, this Frozen Irish Coffee has St Patrick's Day straws, hat and greenery behind
Yield: 2

Frozen Irish Coffee

Prep Time: 5 minutes

This Frozen Irish Coffee is perfect all year long. A great after dinner drink, or even a brunch cocktail! And of course, perfect for St. Patrick's Day!

Ingredients

  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream (about 1.5 cups)
  • 1.25 cups of coffee, frozen into ice cubes
  • 2 ounces brandy
  • 2 ounces coffee liqueur

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into glass and garnish.
  4. Cheers!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

8 ounces

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 651Total Fat: 5.6gSaturated Fat: 3.5gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 49mgCarbohydrates: 58.8gFiber: .4gSugar: 56.9gProtein: 1.9g

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