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How to make the perfect Irish Coffee

It’s St Patrick’s Day today, so it seems the perfect day to enjoy one of the finest ways to drink a coffee. An Irish coffee, which allegedly was first made for an American travelling through Shannon Airport and in a hurry. But, that aside, all you need is good coffee, good ‘Irish’ Whiskey (not Scotch – or you’ll be making a Scottish coffee – leave that to St Andrew’s Day perhaps on 30 November) and whipped cream.

So here are the instructions for a perfect Irish Coffee on St Paddy’s Day.


  1. Preheat your mug, then fill with coffee. Pour hot water into a mug or heatproof glass to take the chill off. Pour out the water. This will also prevent your glass from cracking. Fill the mug about 3/4 full with the coffee.
  2. Add sweetener. Add the granulated and brown sugars and stir until fully dissolved.
  3. Add Irish whiskey. Add the whiskey and stir to incorporate.
  4. Top with whipped cream. If using lightly whipped cream, pour it slowly over a warm spoon onto the coffee, being careful not to break the coffee’s surface. This takes some practice. A more foolproof way to not break the surface is to whip the cream a bit more and dollop it gently on top. Drink while hot!


Lightly whipped will give you a frothy cream collar on top. If you want to pile the cream high, you’ll need to whip it to medium-stiff peaks.

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