Irish Coffee

The Irish coffee is a classic cocktail that combines the deep flavors of coffee and Irish whiskey. It’s a favorite for cold weather, but its unique combination of flavors and textures—bitter, sweet, hot, and creamy—has made the Irish coffee a popular choice at brunches and as an after-dinner treat year-round.

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Making a Great Irish Coffee

This version of the Irish coffee calls for only four ingredients: coffee, Redbreast Irish whiskey, brown sugar, and whipped cream. While this simple recipe takes only a few minutes to make, there’s an art to putting it together to showcase each ingredient.


Using a full-flavored Irish whiskey that matches the coffee’s deep aroma, like Redbreast 12 Year Old, ensures a balanced, robust Irish coffee. Redbreast’s complex spice, fruit, and toasted wood notes perfectly complement both the brown sugar’s sweetness and the coffee’s acidity.


The final ingredient—whipped cream—should be freshly-made and not too stiff. Irish Coffee is meant to be drunk through the cream—every mouthful starts with it and is followed by a warm, rich combination of whiskey, coffee, and brown sugar. To achieve this consistency, shake heavy cream in a cocktail shaker for about 30 seconds.


Servings: 1 Prep time: 5 minutes


  1. Heat an Irish coffee mug by filling it with boiling water. Let it stand for a minute or two until the mug is warmed, then dump the water into the sink.
  2. Add Redbreast and brown sugar to the mug. Mix until the brown sugar is dissolved.
  3. Pour hot coffee into the glass until it is ¾ full. Give the cocktail a stir.
  4. Top with a dollop of whipped cream.
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