The secret to make real Irish Coffee

A question I get asked a lot is ‘What’s the secret to make real Irish coffee?’

Being a tour guide and tour planner with lots of questions is asked about the famous Irish drink. With St Patrick day coming up why not talk about Irish Coffee. Irish Coffee is a famous drink around the world. During the 1940s, Foynes in Co. Limerick was one of Europe’s biggest airports. Foynes port welcomed Flying Boats and regularly received passengers from the U.S. including Hollywood stars and important political figures.

Let’s talk about the history about Irish Coffee goes the whole way back to 1943 when a flight from Foynes to Botwood, Newfoundland, Canada was forced to turn back because of bad weather.

The passengers were brought to The Airport Bar and Restaurant in Foynes for some food and a hot drink to warm them up. . Young chef Joe Sheridan was in charge of the restaurant. Joe decided that the guests need a hot drink to warm up and that drink is the famous Irish Coffee. When an American passenger first drank it he asked “Is this Brazilian coffee?” in which Joe jokingly replied “No, that’s Irish coffee”.

The travel writer of the time Stanton Delaplane was credited with the International success of the Irish coffee. After tasting the coffee, Stanton returned to the U.S. where he told his friend Jack Koeppler, the owner of Buena Vista about it. Like all good things the pair tried to recreate the coffee with little success. Since they could not recreate it, Jack Koeppler owner of Buena Vista offered Joe Sheridan a job in the States in which he accepted.

As the Irish Coffee gained popularity, many different versions of it have emerged, like Baileys Irish Coffee. The original recipe however is pretty straightforward and anyone can master the art of making an Irish Coffee.

Here is Recipe from Joe Sheridan for Irish Coffee Recipe

☘️ Cream
☘️ Coffee
☘️ Sugar
☘️ Whiskey


  • Pre-heat a clear glass with very hot water.
  • Empty out the water, and add 2 teaspoons of brown sugar.
  • Add some rich coffee and stir.
  • When the sugar melts, add a generous measure of Irish Whiskey.
  • Stir again, and then wait for the brew to still.
  • Take a hot teaspoon and pour gently whipped fresh cream slowly over the back of the spoon. Your cream should be “half whipped” i.e. not too stiff and not too liquid.


The perfect Irish Coffee should look pretty much like Ireland’s other famous drink – Guinness!