Irish Coffee Recipe
Including some Dos & Donts
Remember: A properly made Irish Coffee should look like a
Guinness – black with white cream top. It should be made from the
raw ingredients – NOT pre-mixed, expresso coffee, cream or
whatever. Like pouring Guinness it takes time to do it properly.
Ingredients (Depending on size of Irish Coffee glass mug or wine glass):
• 1 standard shot of Irish whiskey
• 1.5 to 2 tsps of ground instant coffee
• 1 to 2 tsps of brown sugar
• Slightly whipped fresh cream – not over whipped as it has to be poured
• Kettle containing boiling water
• Side glass of hot water with teaspoon in it
Method (must be followed carefully for best results). Remember – it is served HOT !
1. Heat Irish Coffee glass with swirling hot water, before pouring it out.
2. Add ground coffee, sugar and whiskey to glass.
3. Add boiling water – fill almost to top, leaving room for cream collar.
4. Stir the lot until it is completely dissolved – it should now look black.
5. Take hot teaspoon from side glass of hot water, and hold it inverted against
side of Irish Coffee glass at surface level.
6. Using a dessert spoon, pour cream over inverted hot spoon . Reheat the inverted spoon
between each pour. The hot spoon makes it easy for the cream to slide off it on to the
coffee. Repeat this step until a Guinness-like cream collar is created on top of the
Note: If cream is over whipped it will sink into the coffee and not create a collar.
7. To give it a proper finish, sprinkle a few grains of ground coffee on top of the cream.
8. Mission Accomplished: Yes, it takes a little time to do it properly, but it is worth it.
Most Pubs/Hotels will do it the quick & easy way out of pre-mix containers, but while it
tastes ok, the presentation looks messy and rushed – which it is !
History: Irish Coffee was invented by Limerick chef Joseph Sheridan at Shannon Airport in
1942, to welcome American tourists to Ireland. It was first served in the USA at the
Buena Vista Hotel at Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco on November 10th. 1952.
This writer has been to the Buena Vista many times, where they have a team of special staff
who do nothing else but make Irish Coffee (the proper way). A plaque on the wall records
the introduction of Irish Coffee to the USA, and subsequently to the rest of the world.