Cocktail of the month: Irish Coffee

On a cold day, it’ll warm you up, pick you up and give you a nice cosy buzz all at once. What’s not to love?


The Irish coffee is a simple beast, even if making a truly excellent one is slightly more tricky (squirty cream? No thanks). Filter coffee, Irish Whiskey, sugar and cream. On a cold day, it’ll warm you up, pick you up and give you a nice cosy buzz all at once. What’s not to love?

Although the idea of booze-enriched coffee predates the Irish Coffee by about a century, it’s the Gaelic take on this winning formula that really caught the imagination of global drinkers. According to the ever-useful Difford’s Guide, it was created in the 1940s by bartender Joe Sheridan, to welcome cold and weary trans-Atlantic travellers arriving at Foynes Port. When the passengers asked if they were being service Brazilian Coffee, Sheridan reputedly replied that this was “Irish Coffee”.

Given the US connection, it inevitably only took a few years for Irish Coffee to make its way across the pond, where it took firm root at San Francisco’s Buena Vista Café, via San Francisco Chronicle travel writer Stanton Delaplane. The drink is still a signature at the café, which supposedly sells more than 2000 every day.

For our Irish Coffee, we’ve taken a slightly beery slant, by using Jameson Stout, from the distillery’s series of whiskeys aged in ex-beer barrels. The stout residue that is absorbed by the oak cask gives the whiskey distinct chocolate and coffee notes, which play particularly well in this drink.

Jameson Irish coffee


40ml Jameson Stout Edition

25ml 2:1 Demerara Syrup

75ml Dark Roast Coffee

Double cream

Grated nutmeg


STEP 1: Lightly whip the cream just so it’s very slightly thickened, then set aside.

STEP 2: Pour the hot coffee into a heatproof glass,

STEP 3: Add the whiskey and sugar syrup.

STEP 4: Gently float the cream on the top and sprinkle the nutmeg over the cream and serve hot.

STEP 5: garnish with grated nutmeg or coffee beans

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