Irish Coffee with Bailey’s Whipped Cream is hot, cool, bitter, and sweet: an all-around perfect drink.
My junior year of college, I studied abroad in Ireland. It was amazing and beautiful and generally good craic.
I don’t think I ever drank Irish coffee in Ireland.
I can’t say why. Recent research leads me to believe that Irish coffee IS actually made and served in Ireland (unlike, say, the Irish carbomb, which seems to be delicious yet extremely American). And I have since learned to love the Irish coffee. But it was only post-Ireland that they really came into my life. This, obviously, disappoints me.
I can say I’ve had Irish coffee. I can’t say I’ve had Irish Irish coffee. Different? Maybe, maybe not. But I always like to add adjectives when I can.
Am I allowed to say it’s an Irish Irish coffee when I make it, and I am, in part, Irish? Close enough?
Why is this drink so delicious? Here’s the simple list:
- Coffee. If you don’t love coffee, you should probably look at a different recipe. I happen to love coffee.
- Sugar. I prefer turbinado sugar, which is a a type of sugar with a little more depth of flavor. But let’s be honest, any sugar will do.
- Whiskey. ‘Nuff said. Okay one more thing: make it Irish.
- Heavy whipping cream. In this case, I added a touch of Bailey’s, because hey why not? But even without, it’s a delicious addition.
The idea is that you mix the coffee, sugar, and whiskey, and you top it with whipped cream, and you drink the delicious sweet, boozy, hot mix through the cool topping and it’s like ahhhhhhhhh.
Sorry. No more words. Just ahhhhhh.
Simply as it is, there are a few tips to really get the drink absolutely perfect. Since the goal is to actually drink the coffee through the whipped cream, you can’t get the whipped cream too thick. BUT if it it’s too thin, it will just mix into the coffee itself. How do you get it just right? First, pop a bowl into the freezer – you’ll use this to beat the whipping cream. Second, make sure the coffee is strong and very very hot. I (non-traditionally) microwave the coffee and sugar to make sure it’s the right temperature. Then add the whiskey and stir until the sugar is dissolved. As the coffee is heating, pour the whipping cream into your cold bowl. Pour in juuuuust a titch of Bailey’s. Whisk thoroughly. Don’t use an electric mixer or you’ll beat it too much. You don’t actually want to make the kind of whipped cream that comes out of a can (as delicious as that is!). You just want to whisk it until it’s a little thickened. Soft peaks, if you’re familiar with that expression.
When you have your hot coffee and your soft peaks of whipping cream, pour the cream gently over the top of a spoon to float on the coffee. Does that sound weird? Trust me, it works. If you pour it directly into the coffee, it’s possible it will just fall to the bottom of the cup. But over aspoon? It diffuses nicely and, well, floats. Try it!
Now you have your hot delicious coffee and your cool cream, and you drink it, and you’re pretty darn happy. You wonder if it could be any better made by an Irish person, in Ireland.
I wonder too. But without confirmation, you know what I’ll assume? My mug is just as delicious in Houston.
- 14 oz. very hot coffee
- 4 teaspoon tubinado sugar (feel free to substitute granulated or brown sugar)
- 4 oz. Irish whiskey
- 4 oz. (1/2 cup) whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream
- Place a medium mixing bowl in the freezer.
- Into each mug, pour 7 oz. coffee and 2 teaspoons sugar. Microwave until quite hot. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add 2 oz. of whiskey to each mug and stir.
- Pour the whipping cream and Bailey's into the chilled bowl. Whisk thoroughly by hand until the whipping cream is thickened, but not to the consistency of typical whipping cream. This will take a minute or two.
- Pour the whipping cream into the mugs of coffee over the back of a spoon.
- Drink. Enjoy.
Fan of warm whiskey drinks? Try our hot toddy recipe next!