Irish Coffee

March 15, 2017

This boozy winter drink is said to have been invented in an Irish airport in the early 1940s after a New York-bound flight returned to the gate due to stormy weather. To warm the cold and haggard passengers, Joe Sheridan, a chef at the airport's restaurant, mixed strong coffee with Irish whiskey and brown sugar, then topped the drink with a layer of heavy cream.

Traditional recipes don't call for whipping the cream first, but we find that lightly whipped cream makes for a thick, creamy cap that will stay afloat while you sip. (We've also had lots of success making non-Irish versions of this drink with other styles of whiskey and even aged rum.)

Irish Coffee
Makes one drink

  • 2 ounces heavy cream
  • 2 ounces Irish whiskey
  • 6 ounces hot coffee
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • Freshly grated cinnamon, for garnish (optional)
  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk the cream until slightly thickened (stop before you hit soft peaks; the cream should still be loose and runny) and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Pour the whiskey, coffee, and sugar into a heated glass mug and stir to dissolve the sugar. Top with a layer of the whipped cream, grate some cinnamon over the top (if desired) and serve.