Irish Coffee

Make this Irish Coffee for St. Patrick’s Day or for any holiday or party! This strong coffee cocktail is always a favorite after dinner drink!

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 a glass mug with shot glass

Irish Coffee Recipe – A Whiskey After Dinner Drink

When everyone is handing out dessert, I’m usually in the kitchen making up some sort of after dinner drink – because the party never ends. An Irish Coffee is one of my go to after dinner cocktails, and everyone seems to enjoy it.

Irish Coffee is a strong coffee cocktail made with whiskey and brown sugar, topped off with whipped cream or in this case we used a frothed cream topping. To make the froth you’ll need a milk frother, super cheap on Amazon, only about 7 or 8 dollars. Or you can use a whisk and only take it to where it’s starting to slightly get thick, not all the way to whipped cream.

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

How Do You Make Irish Coffee?

Making this whiskey cocktail is so easy, you might start doing it all the time. No blame taken if this becomes a morning ritual for you, I mean come on, no one is actually leaving the house for work these days…

Start by adding brown sugar to the bottom of a large coffee mug. Next pour in your favorite whiskey, one that you like drinking for sure and stir it around in the brown sugar so it starts 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.

Whiskey and brown sugar in the bottom of a glass coffee mug

Now 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.

A store bought whipped cream topping is going to be sweet, a homemade frothed milk or cream topping can have no sweetness added to it at all, or just make it however sweet you like it.

Our preference is somewhere in between and we’ve made that for you in our Irish Coffee drink recipe. So try it out way first and then customize it how you like it!

Cream being added to Irish Coffee drink

What Other Alcohol Can I Use For This Coffee Cocktail?

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
Cream topping on Irish Coffee drink

Even if you think you aren’t a whiskey drinker, you should still try this Irish Coffee and then make 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.

Can I Use Flavored Coffee For This Coffee Drink?

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.

In conclusion I’ll say again, try this Irish Coffee drink the traditional way first and then bust out all your twists and varieties. Actually, that would be a really fun way to serve this drink at a party! Set out an Irish Coffee Bar with different types of flavored coffees, toppings and whiskey or bourbon!

Looking For More After Dinner Drinks?

Irish Coffee in a glass mug with shot glass

Irish Coffee

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

This strong whiskey coffee drink is perfect for after dinner or on St. Patrick’s Day!



  • 12 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/22 ounces whiskey
  • 6 ounces fresh brewed coffee
  • Heavy cream, or whipped cream topping
  • Sprinkles for garnish (optional)


  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.
  4. Garnish with sprinkles (optional)


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Category: Cocktails
  • Method: Stir
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: irish coffee, whiskey drinks, after dinner drinks, coffee cocktails, hot toddy, st. patrick’s day drinks,

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