10 Interesting Facts About Irish Coffee

facts about Irish coffee


Irish coffee is a beloved drink that has captured the imagination and tastebuds of people worldwide. This classic combination of Irish whiskey, coffee, sugar, and cream has a fascinating history behind its invention and rise to popularity.

While many may think of Irish coffee as just a warm, comforting beverage, its origins and cultural impact reveal a captivating story.In this article, we will explore 10 intriguing facts about the origins, ingredients, and legacy of Irish coffee. By the end, you’ll have a new appreciation for this iconic drink and its integral role in Irish culture and beyond. From its serendipitous birth during World War II to its spread across the globe, Irish coffee is more than just a cozy cocktail – it’s a culinary legend.

Irish coffee

1. It was invented at Foynes Flying Boat Base in 1942

The original Irish coffee was created by chef Joe Sheridan at Foynes Flying Boat Base in County Limerick in 19421. During World War II, many transatlantic flights stopped at Foynes and passengers often arrived cold and weary. One night a flight was delayed due to bad weather, so Joe decided to add some whiskey to the coffee to warm up the passengers. When asked if it was Brazilian coffee, he cheekily replied it was “Irish coffee” and the name stuck!

2. Irish coffee provides all 4 food groups

Alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and cream – Irish coffee is said to contain all 4 essential food groups in one glass! No wonder it’s so satisfying on a cold day. The combination of flavors and textures makes it a perfectly balanced drink.

3. The Buena Vista Cafe brought it to America

In 1952, travel writer Stanton Delaplane enjoyed an Irish coffee at Foynes and decided to bring the recipe stateside. He worked with the Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco to replicate it using Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey. After perfecting the recipe, the cafe served 32 million Irish coffees over 50 years and popularized it across America2.

4. Getting the cream to float is key

Irish coffee

The hard part of making Irish coffee is getting the cream to float perfectly on top. The original recipe calls for lightly whipped heavy cream to be poured slowly over the back of a spoon. The trick is to have the heavy cream thick enough not to sink but still liquid enough to pour.

5. Irish whiskey is essential

You can’t make authentic Irish coffee without Irish whiskey – it’s in the name! Irish whiskey like Jameson, Tullamore Dew, or Bushmills provides a smoothness that pairs perfectly with coffee. The triple distillation process gives a clean taste without smokiness.

6. Any good coffee will do

While you need Irish whiskey, the type of coffee is flexible. The original used Bewley’s coffee, but many recipes call for good quality fresh brewed coffee. Medium roasts work well to balance the sweetness without overpowering the whiskey.

7. There’s a National Irish Coffee Day

Irish coffee

Mark your calendars because January 25th is National Irish Coffee Day3! Celebrate this iconic drink by cozying up with a steaming mug or heading to your favorite local cafe for a festive version. Sláinte!

8. Cold brew versions are popular

Can’t wait for hot coffee to cool down? Try making Irish coffee with a cold brew! Mix cold brew coffee, Irish whiskey, and simple syrup, then top with lightly whipped cream. It’s refreshing and perfect for summer.

9. Irish coffee is spreading globally

Ireland consumes the most Irish coffee per capita, but its popularity has spread far beyond its homeland. You can find it served around the world, from cozy Irish pubs to five-star restaurants. Next time you travel, look for it on cafe menus4!

10. It’s more sustainable than other coffee drinks

Since Irish coffee contains just coffee, whiskey, sugar, and cream, it has a smaller carbon footprint than lattes or other complex coffeehouse drinks. The simple ingredients and preparation make it a more sustainable choice5.

Irish coffee


Where was Irish coffee invented?

Irish coffee was originally created by chef Joe Sheridan at Foynes Flying Boat Base in County Limerick in 1942.

What are the basic ingredients of Irish coffee?

Irish coffee is made with a combination of Irish whiskey, coffee, sugar, and cream.

How did Irish coffee become popular in America?

The Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco, with the help of travel writer Stanton Delaplane, introduced and popularized the drink in the US.

Can I use any type of coffee for Irish coffee?

While the original used Bewley’s coffee, most good quality fresh brewed coffees, especially medium roasts, work well for this drink.

Is there a specific day to celebrate Irish coffee?

Yes, January 25th is celebrated as National Irish Coffee Day.

Irish coffee


Irish coffee has earned its place as a legendary drink thanks to its ingenious blend of flavors and textures. Its heartwarming backstory reminds us that iconic creations often arise from humble beginnings. This cocktail continues to be savored for its balanced sweetness, smooth whiskey kick, and velvety frothy top.

The next time you find yourself needing a little liquid warmth, look no further than Irish coffee. Let its history wash over you as its unique medley of tastes warms you from the inside out. Sláinte!

  1. https://epicchq.com/ []
  2. coffeegeek.com []
  3. National Irish Coffee Day kicks off January 25th each year with a mug of strong coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and topped with a layer of cream nationaldaycalendar.com []
  4. There are 181 coffee shops per 100,000 people in Dublin, but the quality is lower than in many cities irishtimes.com []
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_coffee []

Similar Posts