How to make an Authentic Irish Coffee

Step by step guide to a making a delicious Irish Coffee

Many people believe that an Irish Coffee is just another excuse for a drink! Well it is, of course, but there's an art to making a proper Irish Coffee. The finished product should look much like a proper Pint of Guinness - a black coffee with white collar of cream floating on top.

  • Half a cup of good quality coffee
  • 1 measure of Irish whiskey
  • 2 Spoonfuls of brown sugar
  • 20ml of fresh pouring cream

Put a tea spoon into the glass (best to use a glass with a stem) and pour some boiling water into the glass to warn it up. (the reason you put in the spoon is so that the spoon takes the heat from the water and so the glass will not crack, but be careful!).

Pour the shot of whiskey into the glass.

Pour in the coffee up to within 15mm (1.5cm) from the top.

Put in the two spoons of sugar and stir until all the sugar has dissolved.You will see if the sugar has dissolved by looking at the base of the glass. (the sugar ensures that the cream will float).

Place the spoon onto the rim of coffee, face up (ensure that the curved part of the spoon is touching the coffee, touching...not submerged) With the cream in a small jug pour it onto the spoon. The cream will flow over the edge of the spoon and rest on top of the coffee.

What you should be left with is a glass of black coffee (not cloudy and with no trace of cream) with a white collar about 10mm (1cm) deep.

It should then be served on a sideplate with NO SPOON.

If you are making a Speciality coffee with a liqueur such as Tia Maria or Baileys, follow the same steps, just remember that often no sugar is required as the liqueur contains sufficient sugar to keep the cream afloat.

A hint or tip: If you whip the cream slightly, it is easier to create the effect (but don't tell anyone you did this). Irish people do not use whipped cream, or heaven forbid the squirty-from-a-can cream - a sin in Ireland!!

Many bars and restaurants have their own speciality coffees, here are a few of the favourite other types of speciality coffee’s.
  • Highland Coffee with Scotch whisky
  • French/Napoleon/Royal Coffee with Cognac
  • Calypso Coffee with Tia Maria
  • Baileys Coffee with Baileys Irish Cream (highly recommended)
  • Russian Coffee with Vodka
  • Jamaican Coffee with Dark Rum<
  • Caribbean Coffee with Bacardi
  • Bonnie Prince Charlie Coffee with Drambuie
  • Kahlua Coffee Kahlua
  • Mexican Coffee with Tequila / Kahlua
  • Spanish Coffee with 2/3 Brandy 1/3 Tia Maria
  • Roman Coffee with Galliano
  • Monks Rope/Monastery Coffee with Benedictine
  • Keoko Coffee with Cognac and Kahlua/Crème de Caco (Dark)

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