Classic Irish Coffee

There’s no better way to warm up your day than with a Classic Irish Coffee. This sweetened coffee cocktail was created in 1942 by Joe Sheridan and Irish and non-Irish folk have been enjoying it ever since. It’s especially popular around St. Patricks Day but is a rich, indulgent beverage any time of year. And with only 4 ingredients, you can whip one up quickly, day or night.

Charleston Coffee Roasters Classic Irish Coffee


Though people may debate some of the ingredients, coffee is clearly the starting point for this cocktail! First, we start with strong brewed Charleston Coffee Roasters coffee. For this recipe we recommend a Dark Roast like our Rainforest Blend which has notes of chocolate. But even though it is a dark bold roast, it still has an invitingly smooth and rich finish that is perfect for sipping.  Brewing your coffee in a French Press is a great way to bring your coffee cocktail service to the table.


If you want to keep it traditional, Jameson Irish Whiskey is typically used in a Classic Irish Coffee. It’s smooth, slightly sweet and a touch spicy which pairs beautifully with the coffee. But if you already have a whiskey collection at home and don’t feel like running out, you can substitute your favorite whiskey with a smooth finish with excellent results.

Charleston Coffee Roasters Classic Irish Coffee Ingredients


We like to serve our Classic Irish Coffee lightly sweetened. A combination of granulated and brown sugar gives a balanced sweetness without being too rich. The molasses in the brown sugar naturally complements the molasses undertones in the whiskey. Of course, you can always increase the amount of sugar to suit your tastes but a half teaspoon of each is a good starting point.

Charleston Coffee Roasters Rainforest Blend Coffee


For the whipped cream, homemade is always best but it’s especially true in a simple cocktail like an Irish Coffee. Whip chilled heavy cream, or whipping cream, in a chilled metal bowl. No need to add sugar to the cream – the natural sweetness of the milk combined with the sugar in the coffee is enough to sweeten this classic cocktail.  The whipped cream can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator.

And although you can make a Classic Irish Coffee in any coffee mug, they are traditionally served in a clear glass mug so you can see the distinct layers of coffee and cream. Enjoy this classic drink anytime of the year! Cheers!


6 ounces freshly brewed dark roast coffee***, such as our Rainforest Blend

1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 1/2 ounces whiskey

Unsweetened whipped cream

  1. Pour hot water in your coffee mug to warm the glass. Pour out the water and add the hot coffee.
  2. Stir in the sugar to dissolve.
  3. Add the whiskey and stir to combine.
  4. Dollop the whipped cream on top of the coffee and serve immediately.

*** Serving at night or need to avoid caffeine? Try this recipe with our Decaf Swiss Water Process Columbian Coffee.  It’s a rich, flavorful dark roast with all the flavor but without the caffeine!