Today we are thrilled to share this delectable Irish Coffee recipe with you. It comes to us from our Marketing Manager Joyce Klassen, whom I interviewed about her time growing up in Ireland, and her tips for perfecting this drink’s famous creamy texture. Let’s learn how to build a scrumptious Irish Coffee and learn a little about St.Patrick’s Day.

Irish Coffee - Joyce Klassen

First things first, what makes an excellent Irish Coffee? “A well-made Irish coffee has clearly defined layers – a thick layer of velvety cold cream on top and deep, dark coffee underneath,” said Joyce. As with all coffee drinks, this coffee cocktail is about finding the equilibrium of all the flavors in the beverage; coffee, sugar, cream, & whiskey. Remember, it is possible to have too much of a good thing! Be sure that you balance your flavors to complement each other instead of dominating the drink.

Joyce gave us some insight on how to get the perfect creamy texture for this libation. She recommends starting with chilled and fresh whipping cream. Do not add any sugar to the cream and whip the cream slowly. Keep this idea in mind, “It’s always easier to whip more rather than to go backward,” cautioned Joyce. The cream texture you are shooting for is thick enough to pour but not so thick that you can plop it down in the glass. When you sip the drink you want to get a mixture of the airy cold cream and the heat from the coffee.

I was curious to find out the differences between celebrating St. Patrick’s Day growing up and how Joyce celebrates now. I was surprised to learn that in Ireland Irish Coffee is considered a winter drink more than a St. Patrick’s Day drink. Irish Coffees are typically enjoyed after dinner or on a cold evening. Growing up, Joyce viewed St. Patrick’s Day as a religious holiday; even the pubs were closed. Everyone would have the day off to go to mass, a parade, and enjoy the day with family. Today Joyce and her family celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a shared family dinner of Colcannon, an Irish mashed potato dish made of cabbage, onions, potato, and spring onions. St. Patrick’s Day dinner would not be complete without a baked ham, Kerrygold butter, or brown bread. 

Now you are fully prepared to craft an after-dinner Irish Coffee that is Joyce Klassen-approved! Slainté 🍀 (Slainté – this is cheers in Irish!)

 Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • 1 double-shot espresso
  • 1 shot (~40ml) Powers* Irish Whiskey
  • Boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons of lightly whipped cream, chilled

*I was delighted to find out that Powers is Joyce’s family name and is one of the reasons that she decided to include it in her recipe. Although there is no association with the distillery it is still very fun to include Powers whiskey. 

Making an Irish Coffee

  1. Warm glass with hot water, discard
  2. Mix sugar and whiskey in the glass
  3. Brew your double espresso and pour over sugar/whiskey
  4. Add boiling water to preferred level in glass leaving enough space for cream. Stir well to be sure sugar is dissolved
  5. Gently pour lightly whipped cream over the back of a spoon