Cocktails: Irish Coffee

When it comes to hot cocktails, two drinks immediately come to mind: The Hot Toddy and The Irish Coffee. While the Hot Toddy is great for getting over a cold or relaxing and winding down before bed, the latter is great for brunch or as a Sunday afternoon pick me up. The Irish Coffee was created in 1942 at the Foynes airbase outside of Limerick, Ireland. One night, a flight headed to New York was forced to turn back due to a winter storm. When the flight returned, Joe Sheridan, head chef of the restaurant at the airport terminal, was asked to come back to make some food for the passengers. He decided to make a drink that would warm the passengers up and added a measure of Irish whiskey into their coffees. When one of the passengers asked if he had used Brazilian coffee, he replied “No, it’s Irish coffee,” and the drink was born.

Several years later, the drink went international when travel writer Stanton Delaplane tasted the coffee during a trip to Ireland. When he returned home, he told his friend Jack Koeppler, who owned The Buena Vista Café. After the two tried and failed to properly recreate the drink themselves, they offered Sheridan a job at the café in the US which he accepted. To this day, the café serves hundreds, if not thousands of Irish Coffees every day.

Making the Drink


  • 6 oz high quality, freshly brewed coffee (French press recommended)

  • 2 Demerara Sugar Cubes

  • 1 ½ oz Irish Whiskey

  • Heavy Cream, lightly whipped


  1. Preheat a 12 oz mug by filling with boiling water, set aside.
  2. Prepare coffee. High quality, freshly ground beans brewed with a French Press recommended.
  3. Empty the mug, add two Demerara sugar cubes and 6 oz coffee. Stir until fully dissolved.
  4. Add Irish Whiskey and stir again.
  5. Float a 1-inch layer of whipped cream on top of the coffee by gently pouring over the back of a spoon.

Best enjoyed when sipped through the whipped cream, do not stir.


Blake Smith


Jordan GrigsbyComment