Irish Coffee Recipe

Make this classic Irish Coffee recipe as an after dinner drink, or as part of brunch! Slightly sweetened, strong black coffee with a kick from Irish whiskey!

Planning at St. Patrick’s Day menu? Try our Crock Pot Corned Beef that has a little secret ingredient to make it super flavorful! Don’t forget the Colcannon and this crazy tasty Fried Cabbage with Bacon on the side!

irish coffee in glass mug with whipped cream

What Is Irish Coffee?

Irish Coffee is a strong coffee drink made with whiskey (typically Irish whiskey), brown sugar and sweetened whipped cream. You can enjoy this classic coffee beverage any time of day in our opinion, but most people like to drink it for an after dinner drink or with brunch.

This Irish coffee recipe is strong, so we like to save it for an early evening nightcap, but mid-morning with mimosas is equally delicious.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Brown sugar
  • Whiskey (Irish whiskey is traditional)
  • Strong coffee
  • Heavy cream (or whipped topping)

How To Make

Start by adding brown sugar to the bottom of a large coffee mug. Next pour in your favorite whiskey, one that you like drinking, and stir together with brown sugar to dissolve.

Jameson is a popular brand for making Irish Coffee, as it’s an Irish Whiskey, but you can use whatever you like drinking. We even have a version of a coffee drink made with rum!

whiskey being poured into glass mug with brown sugar

Next pour in hot coffee and stir to further dissolve the sugar. Irish coffee is a strong but slightly sweet cocktail so it has that perfect balance of flavor. You can control how sweet this coffee drink is by adding more or less brown sugar and also by what kind of topping you add.

To make the froth you’ll need a milk frother, they’re super cheap on Amazon, only about 7 or 8 dollars. Or you can use a whisk and beat until the cream has thickened to the consistency that you like.

Alternately, you can use a whipped topping like Cool Whip or a spray can whipped cream which always seems fun for parties. Sprinkles or colored sugar on top is optional, but again, always fun for a party.

whipped cream being spooned on top of Irish coffee


If whiskey isn’t your thing, you can use bourbon too, which obviously has a similar flavor. There’s a lot of different types of alcohol that you can add to a coffee cocktail but it won’t be an Irish Coffee then. But we don’t want to leave anyone out so let’s give some options!

  • Rum/Dark Rum
  • Gin
  • Vodka
  • Amaretto
  • Frangelica
  • Fireball (for a cinnamon twist!)
  • Baileys

Traditionally, this whiskey cocktail is made with plain, strong coffee but I’m all about twists on recipes! A hazelnut, vanilla, or chocolate flavored coffee would all be delicious. There’s even coffee flavors like Amaretto and Irish Cream, you can pretty much find any kind of flavored coffee these days.

top shot of irish coffee in glass mug

Even if you think you aren’t a whiskey drinker, you should still try this coffee drink before making your decision. I was never a big whiskey drinker when I was younger but I always loved Irish Coffee!

There’s just something about that strong, boozy hot coffee mixed with a cool, sweet cream topping that just tastes amazing. Of course I made them sweeter when I was younger (and by younger I mean in my 20’s and 30’s) but now I like them somewhere in between.

Looking For More After Dinner Drinks?

irish coffee in glass mug with whipped cream

Irish Coffee Recipe

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1x

This classic Irish Coffee recipe can be served for an after dinner drink or for brunch. Slightly sweetened coffee with splash of whiskey!



  • 12 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/22 ounces whiskey
  • 6 ounces fresh brewed coffee
  • Heavy cream, or whipped cream topping


  1. Add the brown sugar in the bottom of a tall coffee mug. Pour in the whiskey and stir to start dissolving the sugar.
  2. Pour the hot coffee into the mug, just shy of the top leaving room for the cream.
  3. Top the coffee with whipped cream, frothed cream or a whipped cream topping such as Cool Whip.
  • Category: Cocktails
  • Method: Stir
  • Cuisine: American

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