3 Fun Ways to Enjoy Irish Coffee
Words Erin Meister
Everybody’s Irish on St Paddy’s Day, and what better way to celebrate than with a fresh take on Irish coffee? The cocktail, which rose to prominence in the 1940s, is typically a mix of hot brewed coffee sweetened with sugar, a tipple of Irish whiskey, and a dash of fresh cream or whipped cream. And while there’s nothing wrong with a classic Irish coffee—we’re including a recipe here because how could we not!—why stop there?
1. Classic Irish Coffee
It’s easy to make Irish coffee for yourself or for a crowd, no matter your brewing device. If you’re alone or with a friend, simply brew a slightly stronger-than-normal batch in your Pour-Over or French Press—an additional 3 to 5 grams of coffee should do the trick for 1-2 servings. If you’re brewing for a larger group, add an extra scoop of grounds (or about 7-10 grams more coffee) in your 9-Cup Brewer. This helps the coffee flavors stand up to the whiskey and cream.
For each serving:
8 ounces hot brewed coffee
1 tablespoon raw sugar
1 jigger Irish whiskey
Dollop of fresh whipped cream, or 1/2 ounce cold heavy cream
Once you have your coffee brewed, add 1 tablespoon of raw sugar for every 8 ounces of coffee, and stir until dissolved. (Adjust sweetness to your taste.) Pour the hot coffee into mugs, and add 1.5 ounces of Irish whiskey to each. If you’re using fresh whipped cream for a layered effect, simply spoon a generous dollop on top of each cup of hot coffee. If you prefer heavy cream to mix with the liquid, slowly pour 1/2 ounce into the cups. Good tip: this helps prevent curdling if you pour the dairy over the back of a spoon half submerged in the hot liquid, and allows your guests to stir if they like. Serve immediately!
2. Malarkey Mint Mocha
Coffee becomes a luxurious treat when mixed with chocolate syrup and crème de menthe. This boozy take on a mint mocha marries the comforting warmth of dark chocolate with sweet and creamy Irish cream, and the herbal snap of mint—which also gives the drink a touch o’ the green. A layer of cool cream on top turns the mug into a simple but decadent-seeming drink that would fit in at brunch or after-dinner.
6 ounces strong hot coffee
1 ounce chocolate syrup or 2 tablespoon chocolate powder (semi-sweet or unsweetened dark chocolate)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 ounces crème de menthe
3 ounces milk, warmed on the stove or in the microwave and frothed by whisking vigorously for 30 seconds
fresh whipped cream
In a large mug, stir the coffee, chocolate, and sugar until combined and the sugar is dissolved. Slowly pour in the crème de menthe, followed by the warm milk. Stir gently to combine. Top with fresh whipped cream if desired. Serve immediately.
3. Galway Granita
Granita is an Italian refreshment made from frozen flavored water and sugar, and it is a lovely little semi-crunchy dessert or afternoon treat. Freezing coffee in a jelly-roll pan to make granita is easier than even using an ice cream machine, and a touch of whiskey gives this a surprising little kick.
4 cups fresh-brewed hot coffee
6 ounces simple syrup or 1/4 cup raw sugar
2 jiggers Irish whiskey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Fresh whipped cream
In a pan, mix coffee, sweetener and vanilla, if using—being sure to completely combine. Stir in the whiskey. Pour the coffee mixture into a jelly-roll pan or other walled baking sheet or pan, and freeze until somewhat slushy, 2 to 3 hours. Using a fork, scrape the mixture into crystals, and return it to the freezer for 30 minutes. Repeat the last step as many times as necessary to achieve the desired texture. Once the granita is frozen enough to serve, scoop into small rocks glasses or glass mugs, and top with fresh whipped cream. Serve immediately.