Classic Cocktails: Irish Coffee Recipe

by Pamela

classic cocktails, irish coffee recipe, irish coffee

So what’s up with today’s youth that they have to go and completely bastardize the classic cocktails?  I might give the classics a new twist, but I don’t take them and bash them into submission then strain out their chemical components…jack them up to sky high percentages then make them taste like Kool-Aid, stuff ’em in a can and wait for the cash to roll in.  (Hmmmm….maybe that’s what I’m doing wrong.)  Don’t have a friggin’ clue what I’m rambling on about?  Two words: Four Loko.  Apparently college kids have been guzzling the stuff and ending up in the hospital because their bodies are a wee bit confused whether they should be loose and relaxed (due to the high alcohol content) or amped up and ready to take on the world (due to the high caffeine content).  So the FDA is stepping in and putting a ban on putting this combo in a can (or bottle) to thwart future entrepreneurs.

But what about that classic combo of caffeine and alcohol called the Irish coffee?  That, my friends, is still available…because you can make your own (as strong or weak as you like).  As you can infer from the name, the original Irish coffee came from Ireland.  The story is that a bunch of American passengers arrived in what is now known as Shannon International Airport. on a cold winter evening.  The head chef added whiskey to the passengers coffee to help warm them.  When asked if they were being served Brazilian coffee, the chef responded with “no, it’s Irish coffee.”

Buena-VistaOf course, the American originator of the Irish coffee recipe is a bit of an argument between two bar/restauranteurs in California.  I’m a lot biased, in that I’ve spent many hours at the place, but I believe that the winner of this dispute is The Buena Vista in San Francisco.  The two men who concocted the Irish coffee recipe are men after my own heart.  One of the men, a travel writer who had tasted the original Irish coffee recipe in Ireland, came back to the bars owner and the two of them mixed and sipped variations to find an acceptable Irish coffee facsimile deemed to taste as good as the original.  Apparently this tasting and mixing went on for hours at a time and had more than one occurrence of passing out – that’s true commitment. (If you’re ever up in San Francisco, I highly recommend that you stop by the Buena Vista and watch these master Irish coffee makers at work.)

Thankfully, we don’t need to do all of the experimenting, we can just dive right in to the warm and tingly Irish whiskey tinged coffee with a thick and frothy collar of heavy cream that smooths everything out.

Relationship Advice

Speaking of hot and steamy…I haven’t talked about sex here for a while.  Since it’s getting close to the holidays, and many of you will probably have a house full of family occupying your once private dwelling (or you’ll be staying in your old room at your parents house which is still painted pink and has your old My Pretty Pony and ‘Hang in There’ kitty posters on the wall – not exactly sexually arousing surroundings) it’s time to get busy.   And by busy I mean having a few sexy romps to help get you through the next few weeks.

Definitely take advantage of down time to play with each other a bit.  Those opportunities are few and far between during the holidays.

Or how about having a little sexy time in a risky place?  Maybe in the backseat of your car before going into the family gathering (make sure you move the food you brought first).

If staying at someone’s house for an extended period gets to be just a little too much, why not book a night at a nearby hotel?  It will give everyone a break from one another and allow the two of you to get a little freaky and blow off some of that pent up angst.  By the next day, everyone will be even tempered and ready to tackle the day.

So a toast to you: Here’s to surviving the holidays!


Classic Cocktails: Irish Coffee Recipe

Makes 1


  • 2 Ounces Irish Whiskey
  • 5 – 6 Ounces Black Coffee
  • 2 Cocktail Sugar Cubes
  • Heavy Cream


Fill your serving glass with very hot water (to warm the glass), then discard the water.

Pour coffee into warm glass and add sugar cubes.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Pour whiskey into glass.

Top with lightly whipped heavy cream by gently pouring it over the back of a spoon which is held slightly above the coffee.


*Please note, there is NO drizzle of creme de menthe – ewww

Note to new Irish coffee drinkers:  You sip the coffee through the layer of cream, you don’t stir this up.


The Buena Vista

Welcome to My Man's Belly! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the site or if there's a recipe you'd like to see here. Have a great day.


Café Cup May 23, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Good post. Even when you don’t drink alcohol you might still like this. Thanks for posting.

Connie November 22, 2010 at 7:43 pm

I assume the other California bar you’re referring to is Tom Bergin’s in LA? They make the best Irish Coffee in Southern California.
The best one I ever had was at a bar in Queens, I’m blanking on the name right now.

Barbara | VinoLuciStyle November 20, 2010 at 12:25 pm

I love Irish coffee; it is the only reason I buy Irish Whiskey and am now wondering? Is 12:25pm too early? It’s chilly today…isn’t that enough reason to need warming?

Pamela November 20, 2010 at 1:40 pm

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere! How’s that for an excuse? 🙂

Rich November 20, 2010 at 8:32 am

“Hey, you wanna Irish up this coffee a little bt?”
“Oooh – we don’t say the I-word in this house!”

It looks absolutely fantastic – and sorry, I couldn’t resist the Simpson’s reference.

bunkycooks November 19, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Here’s to the nookie and the Irish Coffee! 🙂 I wonder if the kids that crashed into our SUV and almost our house last night were drinking that Four Loco stuff. Loco was accurate for the whole adventure since 2 am this morning. My best is drugs and crazy booze…long story…I need the Irish Coffee right about now!

Pamela November 20, 2010 at 11:49 am

Yikes! Sounds like you had quite the night. We’ll have to share our long stories 😉 some day. Maybe over an Irish coffee?

lisaiscooking November 19, 2010 at 1:25 pm

I’ve had a delicious Irish coffee in Dublin and one almost as good in San Antonio as random as that is. Next, I think I should make some at home. Love it!

Pamela November 20, 2010 at 11:50 am

It’s so easy to make I can’t believe I don’t make it more often at home. Let’s make a New Year’s resolution that we’ll both make more Irish coffee at home. 🙂 I might actually keep that resolution.

Angie's Recipes November 19, 2010 at 1:07 pm

My last Irish coffee was about 15 years ago….now you make me crave for one!

Pamela November 20, 2010 at 11:50 am

We must remedy that STAT!

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