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National Irish Coffee Day is January 25th

Irish coffee in drinking glass on wooden surface
Seva_blsv/Getty Images/iStockphoto
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With this frigid weather we have been having this past week, I can think of no better drink to warm up with than an Irish Coffee.

This spiked coffee drink warms you up perfectly. Meant to be a night cap rather than a cocktail, it’s the perfect ratio of coffee, alcohol, and sweetness.

Legend has it that the Buena Vista cafe in San Francisco is where this libation was first introduced to the United States. The story begins in the 1950s, and 7 decades later, it a popular night cap nationwide.

The drink is pretty simple. Hot coffee, sugar, Irish whiskey and cream. The key is finding the perfect ratios, and using the right ingredients.

The Coffee: You can choose any type of coffee for your drink, but a dark roast has a bold flavor that compliments the whiskey. Be sure to use freshly brewed hot coffee, whether it’s from a drip coffee maker, pour over or a French press.

The Sugar: The Buena Vista uses 2 sugar cubes per drink. You can also use granulated sugar or a simple syrup to add sweetness.

The Whiskey: Irish coffee should be made with Irish whiskey. Jameson, Bushmills and Tullamore are brands that all make a tasty Irish coffee.

The Cream: Using cold, whipped cream will make a drink where the cream sits on top of the hot coffee. You can use hand-whipped sweet cream, or take a short cut and use a pre-made whipped cream from a canister. Never ever use Cool Whip though.

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Cheers!

Irish Coffee

  • 2 sugar cubes
  • 4 oz. hot coffee
  • 1 oz. Irish whiskey
  • Whipped cream
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, optional garnish

Preheat a 6-ounce heat-proof glass by filling it with hot water. Once warm, discard the water.

Place the sugar cubes in the glass. Pour the hot coffee over the top and stir to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the whiskey.

Top with whipped cream and garnish with grated nutmeg if desired.

Serve immediately.

Tips: If you don’t have sugar cubes, you can substitute 2 teaspoons granulated sugar or 0.5 ounces sugar syrup.

Jennifer Chandler graduated at the top of her class from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She is a full-time mom to two daughters in Memphis, Tennessee, and is a freelance food writer, restaurant consultant, and author of four cookbooks The Southern Pantry Cookbook, Simply Salads, Simply Suppers, and Simply Grilling.