Irish coffee

Irish coffee

iba = yes
source =
sourcelink = irishc
name = Irish Coffee

caption = Irish coffee created with 10 year-old Bush Malt
type = cocktail
flaming =
irishw = yes
served = Hot
garnish =
drinkware = coffee
ingredients = *4cl (2 parts) Irish Whiskey
*8cl (4 parts) Hot coffee
*3cl (1½ parts) Fresh cream
*1tsp brown sugar
prep = Heat the coffee, whiskey and sugar; do not boil. Pour into glass and top with cream; serve hot.
notes =
footnotes =

Irish coffee ( _ga. Caife Gaelach) is a cocktail consisting of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, and sugar, stirred, and usually topped with thick cream. The coffee is drunk through the cream. The original recipe explicitly uses cream that has not been whipped, although whipped cream is often used . Irish coffee may be considered a variation on the hot toddy.


The original Irish coffee was invented by Joseph Sheridan, a head chef at Foynes, County Limerick. Foynes' port was the precursor to Shannon International Airport in the west of Ireland; the coffee was conceived after a group of American passengers disembarked at the airport on a miserable winter evening in the 1940s. Sheridan decided to add some whiskey to the coffee to warm the passengers. After being asked if they were being served Brazilian coffee, Sheridan told the passengers that it was Irish coffee [] .

Stanton Delaplane, travel writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, claimed to have brought Irish coffee to the United States when he convinced the Buena Vista bar in San Francisco to start serving Irish coffee on November 10, 1952. [Citation | last = Nolte | first = Carl | title = SAN FRANCISCO Coffee, cream, sugar and -- Irish whiskey ... but Buena Vista changed brands |url=
accessdate = 2007-07-09
] [cite news | title = Buena Vista Tweaks Formula for Irish Coffee | publisher = San Francisco Chronicle | url =]

However, since around or before that date the beverage has been served at Tom Bergin's Tavern in Los Angeles, where a large sign reading "House of Irish Coffee" has been in place since the early 1950s. [cite web|url=,0,6092655.venue|title=Tom Bergin's Tavern|work=Los Angeles Times|accessdate=2007-10-17]


* Black coffee is poured into the mug;
* Whiskey and at least one level teaspoon of sugar is stirred in until fully dissolved. The sugar is essential for floating liquid cream on top. [Citation | last = | first = | title = Joe Sheridan's Original Irish Coffee Recipe | url= | accessdate = 2007-07-09]
* Thick cream is carefully poured over the back of a spoon initially held just above the surface of the coffee and gradually raised a little. The layer of cream will float on the coffee without mixing. The coffee is drunk through the layer of cream.


Whipped cream rather than thick liquid cream is sometimes used, although contrary to the original recipe; it is easier to drop a dollop of whipped cream in or even spray it from a can than to float liquid cream, and it will float even if the coffee is made without sugar. The experience of drinking the coffee through the floating cream is lost.

In Spain a "Café Irlandés" ("Irish Coffee") is sometimes served with a bottom layer of whiskey, a separate coffee layer, and a layer of cream on top [] . Special devices are sold for making Café Irlandés.

Variants of Irish coffee are made, all essentially the same but with different names and using a different spirit. This list will never be hard and fast, as any bar can serve such a drink and call it by any name they choose.
* Scotch or Gaelic coffee; using Scotch whisky
* Bonnie Prince Charlie coffee; using Drambuie
* Kentucky coffee with Bourbon whiskey
* French coffee; using brandy or cognac
* Calypso or Caribbean or Jamaican coffee; using dark rum or sometimes, Tia Maria
* Russian coffee; using vodka
* Mexican coffee; using Tequila
* Hasselt coffee; using jenever
* Baileys coffee with Baileys Irish Cream
* Spanish coffee; using sherry
* Corfu Coffee; using Koum Quat liquor (Sugar is not necessary due to the extreme sweetness of the Koum Quat liquor)
* Canadian coffee; using Canadian whisky and either maple syrup or maple-flavored liqueur

The cocktail known as "Dutch coffee" is hot black coffee with sugar and advocaat stirred in.

A small cup of strong coffee is sometimes drunk with a shot of alcoholic spirits (brandy, grappa, marc) and without cream or milk, but these are quite different from Irish coffee.

Thick cream can be floated on sweetened coffee without the addition of alcohol, instead of being stirred in. In England this is also known as a Floater Coffee, and should ideally be served in an Irish coffee mug (see above).


See also

* Liqueur coffee
* Stout

External links

* [ The Irish Coffee Story] by The Buena Vista Cafe, San Francisco, CA

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Irish Coffee — Un Irish coffee L Irish coffee est un cocktail à base de café, de sucre, de whiskey et de crème. Sommaire 1 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Irish Coffee — Irish Coffee, in Irland selbst auch Caife Gaelach respektive Gaelic Coffee genannt, ist ein Kaffee, dem Sahne und irischer Whiskey zugesetzt werden. Es gilt mittlerweile als belegt, dass dieses Mischgetränk Anfang der 1940er Jahre in einem… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • irish coffee — [ajʀiʃkɔfi] n. m. ÉTYM. 1959, in Höfler; loc. angl. « café (coffee) irlandais (irish) ». ❖ ♦ Anglic. Boisson faite de café sucré chaud, mêlé de whiskey (whisky irlandais), et nappé de crème fraîche battue. || « Ayant presque vidé sa bouteille de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Irish coffee — noun uncount a hot drink made with coffee, Irish WHISKEY, and cream a. count a glass of Irish coffee …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Irish coffee — ► NOUN ▪ coffee mixed with a dash of Irish whisky and served with cream on top …   English terms dictionary

  • Irish coffee — n. brewed coffee containing Irish whiskey and topped with cream or whipped cream …   English World dictionary

  • Irish coffee — n [U and C] coffee with cream and ↑whisky …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • irish\ coffee — [ ajriʃkɔfi ] n. m. • mil. XXe; loc. angl. « café irlandais » ♦ Anglic. Boisson faite de café chaud sucré et de whisky, recouverts de crème fraîche. Des irish coffees …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Irish Coffee — Irish Cof|fee [ aiəriʃ kɔfi] der; , s <aus gleichbed. engl. Irish coffee, eigtl. »irischer Kaffee«> Kaffee mit einem Schuss Whiskey u. Schlagsahne …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • Irish Coffee — blev opfundet kort tid efter 2. verdenskrig af barchefen i Shannon Lufthavn, Joe Sheridan …   Danske encyklopædi

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