Bailey’s Irish Coffee
Bailey’s Irish coffee is a classic spiked coffee drink that combines Irish creme liqueur with hot coffee.
We love a good caffeinated recipe. Our cinnamon coffee is an everyday favorite but sometimes you need a little something extra.
Irish coffee combines a caffeinated cup of Joe with a shot of creamy liqueur for a perfectly creamy, dreamy coffee that makes the perfect cocktail to serve with dessert on a chilly night and pairs particularly well with chocolate desserts.
It’s also a delicious St. Patrick’s Day treat that you can enjoy while the kids chow down on leprechaun cookies.
You’ll love making this easy cocktail at home!
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Why is it called Irish Coffee?
The story of Irish coffee actually dates back to 1943. A chef at a flying boat terminal in Ireland invented the drink when he wanted a way to help warm up returning passengers from a failed flight across the Atlantic.
Flying boats were large precursors to modern airplanes. They took off and landed on water and could only fly at low altitudes because they were not pressurized. Because they could not fly above bad weather, if a storm occurred, they often had to turn back or risk crashing in the storm.
Irish coffee came about because the chef at the terminal thought that coffee wasn’t enough to warm the passengers of a flight that got turned around. So he added whiskey and unwittingly created the Irish coffee cocktail now famous today.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Just like the original Irish coffee, you only need a few ingredients. For garnish, you can add shaved dark or milk chocolate.
- Hot brewed coffee – Pick your favorite coffee, but a regular blend works well.
- Baileys Irish Cream – There really is no substitute for Bailey’s.
- Whipped cream (optional) – The original Irish coffee also used a lightly whipped cream on top of the hot cocktail.
- Shaved dark or milk chocolate (optional) – The chocolate makes the cocktail look nice, but you can omit it if you prefer.
- Irish Whiskey (optional) – Some people like to make the drink a little stronger (2 ounces of Bailey’s is enough for me :)). If so you can add some Irish whiskey such as Jameson.
If regular coffee is too bitter for you, you can add some sugar to the coffee before putting the cream on top. I highly recommend brown sugar for this drink!
What is Baileys Irish Cream?
Baileys Irish cream is a combination of cream and Irish whiskey. It has a partially sweet, chocolatey flavor.
You can serve Baileys on its own over ice. But you will often see it added to speciality drinks, such as Irish coffee, cakes, ice cream, and other treats.
Irish coffee comes together very quickly. Here’s what you need to do.
Step 1 – Brew a fresh cup of coffee. To start, brew your preferred coffee. You can use regular, flavored, bold, or any that is your favorite. I recommend strong, regular coffee. Flavored coffees can change the flavor of the cocktail.
Pour the coffee into your favorite mug when ready.
Step 2 – Stir in the Bailey’s. Leave a little room in the mug for the Baileys Irish cream. Pour it into the coffee and mix to combine.
Step 3 – Top the cocktail. Use your favorite homemade or store bought whipped cream to top the coffee. Sprinkle some shaved chocolate on top. Serve and enjoy! This is optional but I highly recommend it!
Optional – If you want to make your drink a little stronger you can add 1 ounce of Irish whiskey. I like mine with just the 2 ounces of Bailey’s Irish Cream :).
This is considered a low alcohol drink. The alcohol by volume (ABV) is only 17% vs spirits that aren’t mixed with anything, such as vodka, whiskey, gin, etc. which are typically 40% ABV.
Bailey’s does not have a coffee flavor. It is more of a mild chocolate flavor which pairs really well with coffee.
Kahlua and Baileys are often put in the same category. They both pair really well with coffee and I’ve been known to add a splash of Kahlua to my Irish coffee along with some Bailey’s. They do however have very distinct differences.
Bailey’s is creamy and is made with cream, whiskey, and cocoa. Kahlua is made with rum, sugar, and coffee.
Looking for More Cocktails?
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- More Cocktail Recipes…
Bailey’s Irish coffee
- 6 ounces Hot brewed coffee
- 2 ounces Bailey’s Irish Cream
- 1 ounce Irish whiskey, optional
- Whipped cream for garnish, optional
- Shaved dark or milk chocolate for garnish, optional
- Brew coffee with your favorite coffee maker. I recommend it being on the strong side. Pour into your desired mug.
- Add Bailey’s Irish Cream to the coffee and stir to mix.
- (Optional) If you would like to make it a little stronger you can add 1 ounce of Irish Whiskey.
- (Optional) Top with your favorite homemade or store bought whipped cream, sprinkle chocolate shavings on top and enjoy!