7 Recipes for Irish Coffee & Other Variations

crazy by Editorial Staff | Updated on March 27th, 2023

Looking for a way to warm up on a chilly winter night? Whether you’re looking for a classic Irish Coffee recipe or something more adventurous, we have the perfect ideas here. From traditional recipes to creative variations, there’s sure to be something that tickles your fancy!

What is Irish Coffee?

Irish Coffee is a popular and classic beverage that combines hot coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and cream. The original recipe was created in Ireland, but it has since become a popular drink around the world. This comforting and delicious drink is perfect for a chilly day or to end a meal.

irish coffee

The basic ingredients for Irish Coffee are coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar and cream. However, there are many variations of Irish Coffee that can be made to suit the individual’s taste. Some variations include adding amaretto or peppermint schnapps, substituting the whiskey for rum or brandy, or using chocolate or cocoa powder instead of sugar.

Is Irish coffee good?

To begin with, I am sure you’ll want to know if it is beneficial or not to drink Irish coffee; besides getting drunk, One of the big benefits of drinking Irish coffee is that it can reduce your risk of heart disease.

So, yes, alcohol, when consumed in “healthy moderation,” can be beneficial. This is because alcohol improves the blood flow to the heart and general circulation.

What does Irish coffee taste like?

Irish Coffee tastes like a sweet coffee drink with booze “duh.” Instead, the coffee gives it a deep rich flavor, a sweet flavor from the two kinds of sugar (whiskey) and the heavy cream.

Is Irish coffee safe?

While you should avoid combining alcohol and caffeine, having an occasional Irish coffee won’t harm you. Just be sure to consume these in moderation and to be aware of not only the alcohol content but also the caffeine content.

What is in an Irish coffee?

While the origins of the most famous Irish whiskey cocktail are disputed, many accounts attribute it to Joseph Sheridan, head chef at the port of Foynes in County Limerick.

Depending on the source, Sheridan concocted the drink to warm a group of incoming passengers in either 1934 or 1943.

The classic Irish coffee recipe combines strong black coffee with Irish whiskey and brown sugar and is then topped off with cream. The cream is poured over the back of a spoon held slightly above the coffee.

There are also variations in the traditional recipe. But here’s the traditional recipe:

  • 1 1/3 oz (2 parts) Irish whiskey
  • 1 oz (1Âœ parts) Fresh cream
  • 1 tsp. Brown sugar
  • 2 2/3 oz (4 parts) Hot coffee

How to make a perfect Irish coffee

Irish coffee is a classic beverage that can be enjoyed year-round. It’s a warm and comforting drink, perfect for those chilly winter evenings or a cold rainy day. The combination of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and whipped cream is a classic recipe that has been enjoyed for decades!

Making the perfect Irish coffee is surprisingly simple. All you need is hot coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and cream.

  • Start by brewing a pot of your favorite hot coffee or espresso.
  • Once brewed, pour the hot coffee into a heat-safe glass or mug.
  • Use a nice tall glass, not a coffee mug. 
  • You’ll want to fill it about Ÿ of the way full.
  • Add two ounces of Irish whiskey to the glass and stir until combined.
  • Add your desired amount of sugar and stir until dissolved.
  • Top with whipped cream, and voila! You have just made the perfect Irish coffee.

For best results, use real coffee, not powder or premix. Also, preferably use real whipped cream, not from a can. It takes just 2 minutes to whip and tastes much better; plus, it contains no preservatives.

If you’re feeling adventurous, there are plenty of variations on the classic Irish coffee recipe. You could add a bit of chocolate syrup or cinnamon for a tasty twist. If you’re feeling extra indulgent, try adding some liqueur like Kahlua or Bailey’s.

If you’re looking for something a bit more refreshing, try an iced Irish coffee. Simply add ice cubes to your mug before you add the hot coffee and whiskey, then stir until combined. Top with cold whipped cream, and enjoy!

You can make a variation using any alcoholic beverage or even a non-alcohol one, but a bitter drink like Campari will probably not give an excellent result. Sweet liquors, strong spirits such as whisky, vodka, gin, or a combination of these will give the best results.

No matter what variation you choose to make, one thing is for sure; Irish coffee is sure to warm your heart and your soul.

What is the best Irish Whiskey for Irish coffee?

Want your Irish coffee to taste even better? Here are the 5 best Irish whiskeys you can choose to add to your coffee:

  • For a Classic Irish Coffee: Jameson Irish Whiskey.
  • For a Spicier Irish Coffee: Bushmills Black Bush.
  • For a Rich Irish Coffee: Knappogue 12-Year-Old.
  • For a Fruity Irish Coffee: Green Spot.
  • For a Super-Smooth Irish Coffee: Teeling Small Batch.

I would not recommend anyone using whiskey 18 years or older; unless you want to experiment with quality whiskey, you better make sure to buy the most expensive coffee for your Irish coffee.

Do you whip the cream for Irish coffee?

Yes! You can fill a heatproof glass with hot water and leave it to stand. Whip the cream until the bubbles disappear and it has just thickened and formed ribbons underneath the whisk. Then put it back in the fridge.

What is the best Irish Cream?

Make the best of your Irish coffee with these Irish cream liquors:

  • Baileys Irish Cream
  • Saint Brendan’s Irish Cream Liqueur
  • Five Farms Irish Cream Liqueur
  • Carolans Irish Cream
  • Emmets Irish Cream
  • The Whistler Irish Cream
  • Ryan’s Irish Cream
  • Michael’s Irish Cream

What is a substitute for Bailey’s Irish Cream?

Most people use Bailey’s Irish cream for their Irish coffee; however, here are some alternatives you can use:

  • 1 can sweeten condensed milk
  • 1 cup Southern Comfort whiskey
  • 2 tablespoons Hershey’s chocolate syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules

Which is better, Baileys or Kahlua?

If you want to know the difference between Bailey and Kahlua, Kahlua is a dark liquid without the creaminess of Baileys. They both taste like coffee, but Kahlua is much stronger. So if you want one to add to coffee, I’d suggest Kahlua, but if you want one to sip alongside your coffee, I’d suggest Baileys.

Can you put whiskey in coffee with milk?

Yes, with all things, you can always make your brew how YOU want it. Add whiskey, hot or cold brew coffee, and milk into a glass full of ice (for cold brew). Stir and Enjoy! It’s that simple!

Not an Irish whiskey fan?

I love Irish Coffee. If you prefer another Irish whiskey, try all the Irish whiskey for your coffee, but you are still not so fond of whisky.

So instead, you can convert it to Spanish Coffee, mainly served with Tia Maria, or French Coffee with Grand Marnier or Cointreau (which is not French, but you see it is French coffee on menus anyway).

Irish Coffee alternatives

So here are recipes for a couple of tried- and- loved “not-so-Irish”- coffees that will make your mouth water.

White Russian Irish Coffee Recipe

Looking for a delicious twist on the classic White Russian? Try this Irish White Russian recipe, which replaces the vodka and Kahlua with Irish whiskey and Bailey’s coffee liqueur. This creamy, coffee-flavored drink is perfect for any season or occasion.

  • To make, mix two ounces (4 tablespoons) of Irish whiskey, one ounce (2 tablespoons) of Bailey’s coffee liqueur, and one ounce (2 tablespoons) of half-and-half in a shaker with ice.
  • Shake until cold and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
  • Stir to combine and garnish with a coffee bean or orange peel.

Enjoy this delicious twist on the classic White Russian!

Kentucky Derby Variant of an Irish Coffee Recipe

The Kentucky Derby is one of the most exciting and iconic horse races of the year and an opportunity to enjoy some unique variations on the classic Irish Coffee.

The traditional Irish Coffee recipe includes Irish whiskey, coffee, sugar, and cream, however the Kentucky Derby version swaps the whiskey for bourbon and adds a splash of mint julep syrup.

This delicious cocktail is a perfect accompaniment to a day at the races and can be enjoyed year-round.

  • To make a Kentucky Derby Irish Coffee, begin by pouring one ounce of bourbon and one teaspoon of mint julep syrup into a mug or glass.
  • Fill the mug with hot coffee and stir until combined.
  • Add one teaspoon of brown sugar and stir until dissolved.
  • Finally, top with lightly whipped cream, a sprig of fresh mint, and a sprinkle of nutmeg for an extra special touch.

Enjoy this twist on an Irish Coffee and cheers to the Kentucky Derby!

Creamy Irish Coffee

  • 1/2 shot of Bailey’s
  • 1/2 shot of Irish whiskey
  • 1 cup of Latte Macchiato coffee
  • 1 tablespoon of whipped cream

First the Baileys and whiskey, then the coffee, and last, spoon the whipped cream carefully onto the coffee. Finally, decorate with a bit of cacao powder.

Superbly Mint Coffee

  • 1/2 shot glass of Bailey’s Mint Cream or Creme de Menthe
  • 1/2 shot glass of Irish whiskey
  • 1 cup of Espresso coffee
  • 1 tablespoon of whipped cream
  • Decorate with a sprig of mint.

Caribbean Coffee

  • 1 shot glass of dark rum
  • 1 cup of Espresso coffee
  • 1 tablespoon of whipped cream
  • Decorate with a whiff of cinnamon

French Coffee

  • 1 shot glass of Grand Marnier (or Cointreau if you have that)
  • 1 cup of Espresso coffee
  • 1 tablespoon of whipped cream
  • Decorate with a thin slice of orange

Mexican Coffee

  • 1/2 shot glass of Kahlua
  • 1/2 shot glass of Tequila
  • 1 cup of Espresso coffee
  • 1 tablespoon whipped cream

I like to mix a bit of cinnamon and cocoa powder for this specialty coffee into the whipped cream, so you get a nice warm brown whipped cream.

Decorate with some coffee beans.

Italian coffee (also one of my favorites!)

  • 1 shot glass of Sambuca, or 1/2 : 1/2 Sambuca and grappa
  • 1 cup of Espresso coffee
  • 1 tablespoon of whipped cream
  • Decorate with an anise star, if you have one


This is a perfect way to get started for those who love whiskey but not coffee. Vice versa, not encouraging people to consume alcohol, but as long as there’s coffee, you are more than welcome to enjoy this brew.

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Disclosure: No compensation or free products were received in exchange for writing this review.


Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.