What better way to spend a rainy autumn day than at home with a warm cup of Irish coffee! If you want to skip ahead to the recipe you’ll find it at the bottom. If you’re interested in the origin of this drink, however, read on. 

The origin of the Irish coffee cocktail is disputed among a few sources in the 1940s and ’50s. Some attribute Joe Sheridan as the first to have served whiskey in coffee while he was head chef at the restaurant in the Foynes Airbase. Stanton Delaplane, a travel writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, claims he brought Irish coffee to the United States after drinking it at Shannon Airport.

Shannon airport (courtesy of Shannon Airport)

His version is that he worked with the Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco to start serving it on November 10, 1952. However, Sheridan later emigrated to work at the Buena Vista Cafe so this muddies the waters a bit. Either Sheridan brought it to the Buena Vista Cafe and Delaplane falsely claimed he brought it there earlier or Delaplane did try it in Ireland and brought it to the US and Sheridan claimed he brought it just because he put whiskey in coffee once. Or they’re both right to a certain degree.

Buena vista cafe san francisco (courtesy of accidentaltravelwriter.com)

Something that puts things in perspective though is that there have been variations of coffee cocktails documented since the 19th century in Europe. In France, during that time a Gloria was any mixture of coffee and spirits. In Vienna, many coffee houses served drinks such as the Fiaker which was a coffee cocktail served in a glass with whipped cream on top. 

Café Griensteidl

Either way, the recipe is so simple and classic that the more likely case is that it was invented in Europe by someone whom time has forgotten about. Maybe someone who didn’t care about the fame of inventing it.

Irish Coffee Recipe

saint patrick's day

Here is a recipe we dug up from the annals of the web:

What you’ll need

  • 100ml of freshly brewed coffee
  • 45ml of Irish whiskey
  • 22ml of coffee liqueur
  • 22ml of Irish cream liqueur
  • Topping (optional): Whipped cream


  1. In a warmed mug pour the whiskey, coffee liqueur, and cream liqueur
  2. Stir to mix them together then fill the rest of the mug with coffee
  3. Continue to stir until fully mixed
  4. Top with whipped cream (optional)
  5. Enjoy


For the best results, you should brew some coffee from fresh beans using a brewing method that will allow the coffee’s natural rich flavours like a French Press. Pick one of our gourmet coffees for this as no amount of preparation will make coffee from old or inferior beans taste good! You should also preheat the mug so the coffee stays warm for longer and you can enjoy it at your leisure.

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