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Best Irish Coffee Recipe (With Jameson Whiskey)

Jameson Irish Coffee Recipe is a warming, iconic classic coffee cocktail that’s easy to make at home. Try this traditional Irish drink and its delicious flavor! It’s the perfect after-dinner cocktail that will warm you from the inside out.

Tableview of two cups of Jameson Irish Coffee - Hostess At Heart

This version of coffee was made famous by the Buena Vista Cafe in San Fransisco. My husband and I learned to make this traditional Irish coffee by watching the bartender make it there.

Why You’ll Love Buena Vista Irish Coffee

  • Warming. Don’t wait for Saint Patrick’s Day. This is the perfect cozy drink for a chilly evening anytime.
  • Flavorful. Good strong coffee with a great Irish whiskey topped with a dollop of sweet whipped cream makes a great Irish coffee.
  • Simple. You don’t have to train as a barista or bartender to make this amazing coffee cocktail.

Who Invented Jameson Irish Coffee?

In the early 1940s, Joe Sheridan, an Irish bartender near the town of Limerick, was the first person to make Irish Coffee and serve it to stranded tourists when an airplane had to turn back mid-flight and the exhausted passengers needed refuge. He later taught the bartender, Jack Koeppler, from the Buena Vista Hotel in San Fransisco, how to make the cocktail, and they’ve been making it famous ever since. Read more of the story here.

What is the difference between Irish Coffee and Bailey’s or Kahlua Coffee?

A classic Irish Coffee is made with Irish Whiskey like Jameson. Bailey’s or Kahlua can be used to make a similar drink, but the resulting flavor is different because the liquor is different.

Ingredients you’ll need for Irish Coffee Recipe Jameson

Ingredient image including two cups of hot coffee, Jameson whiskey, turbinado sugar, and whipped topping.
  • Irish Whiskey. We used Jameson.
  • Turbinado Sugar. This is also called Sugar in the Raw and Demerara Sugar. Traditional Irish Coffee recipes call for 2 white sugar cubes which is equivalent to 2 teaspoons. We like the slight caramel flavor that turbinado sugar adds.
  • Coffee. 4 to 6 oz of your favorite brewed coffee.
  • Whipped Cream. This is optional as a topping but we recommend it. Even a small amount of cream makes this Irish cream coffee rich and decadent.
A spoon of turbinado sugar being added to a cup of hot coffee - Hostess At Heart

How To Make Irish Coffee Recipe Jameson

Please note, that the printable recipe card has ingredient quantities, complete instructions, and nutritional information. The following is a quick overview of the recipe.

Step One. Brew Your Favorite Coffee.

Add hot coffee to Irish coffee mugs or any cup suitable for hot drinks that will hold at least 8 ounces. We like a dark roast but don’t recommend a shot of espresso as we find it overbearing. 

Step Two. Make it Irish.

Add the desired amount of sugar to the coffee and Irish Whiskey. Stir to combine. Add whipped cream to the top of the drink. Serve immediately.

A dollop of whipped cream added to the top of a cup of hot coffee - Hostess At Heart

Frequently Asked Questions

Which whiskey is traditionally used to make Irish coffee?

We use Jameson; however, your favorite Irish whiskey will work, such as Tullamore Dew.

Can you make Irish Coffee ahead of time?

No. We don’t recommend making Irish Coffee ahead of time. Coffee becomes bitter as it sits, which will ruin the drink.

What should I serve with Irish Coffee?

A dessert and treat in and of itself, you can enjoy Irish Coffee Jameson on its own or with an equally tantalizing dessert such as White Chocolate Irish Cream Cupcakes or a big slice of our Irish Stout Cake.

One cup of finished Irish Coffee in front of a cup of coffee waiting to be made Hostess At Heart

Tips for the Perfect Irish Coffee

  • We recommend Jameson. This mild whiskey with a sweeter finish complements the coffee flavor and sweetness perfectly.
  • Don’t mar the perfect drink with canned or store-bought whipped cream. Instead, make your own! Use a beater to beat heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form. You may add granulated sugar for sweetness if you prefer.
  • Warm your glass ahead of time. Fill your glass with hot water to prepare it for the perfect cup. When you are ready to craft your cocktail, dump the water and add hot, freshly brewed black coffee to the glass.
  • We recommend strong black coffee, freshly brewed. The higher the quality of the coffee, the better the end result of this iconic cocktail. If you can start with freshly ground coffee, even better.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you stir Irish Coffee?

Yes and no. Stir in the sugar to the coffee, but do not stir when you add the alcohol or whipped cream.

How much whiskey is in an Irish Coffee?

We recommend about 1.5 ounces of whiskey for 4-6 ounces of coffee.

How to float cream on Irish Coffee?

The answer to this is to whip heavy cream to soft peaks instead of just adding it to the coffee as is.

Angled view of two cups of Irish Coffee topped with whipped topping

If you enjoyed this recipe, check these out.

Don’t wait for Saint Patrick’s Day. You can enjoy this classic Irish coffee recipe anytime. Here are a few more favorite cocktails.

Black Gold Whisky Cocktail is made with premium whiskey, smooth Kahlua, and orange liqueurs. This sophisticated drink is perfect for any occasion.

Salted Caramel Whiskey Cocktail is warm and buttery making it the perfect after-dinner drink.

Double Espresso Chocolate Martini is deliciously dangerous. This great sipper is smooth and creamy.

I hope you enjoyed this delicious recipe as much as we do. Drop me a comment below, and don’t forget to give it a star rating. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Your comments and ratings help others decide if this recipe is for them too.

Two cups of Irish Coffee on a counter - Hostess At Heart

Best Irish Coffee Recipe (with Jameson Whiskey)

Author: Julie Menghini
Jameson Irish Coffee Recipe is a warming, iconic classic easy to make at home. Try this traditional Irish drink and its delicious flavor!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Course Beverage, Cocktail
Keyword: Irish Coffee, St. Patricks Day, whiskey
Servings: 1


  • 1.5 oz Irish Whiskey we used Jameson
  • 1 tsp Turbinado sugar
  • 6 oz coffee 4 to 6 oz of brewed coffee
  • 1 tbsp whipped cream optional


  • Brew the coffee in the desired coffee cup.
  • Add the desired amount of sugar to the coffee cup and Irish Whiskey. Stir to combine. Top with whipped cream. Serve immediately.


Calories: 136kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 0.3gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.04gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 4mgPotassium: 92mgSugar: 4gVitamin A: 31IUCalcium: 8mgIron: 0.04mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

Did you enjoy this recipe? Don’t forget to pin it for later and follow me on Pinterest for more delicious recipes like this one!

Tableview image for Pinterest of a Cup of Irish Coffee Jameson topped with whipping cream.
5 from 1 vote
Recipe Rating


Thursday 22nd of February 2024

Perfect St Pattys drink!! This will be such a hit, love Irish whiskey!!

Julie Menghini

Friday 23rd of February 2024

I'll be sharing a few too on St. Patrick's Day. Thank you!


Tuesday 20th of February 2024

This is my favorite Apres ski drink! I make mine decaf and my hubby's fully caffeinated. Such a great drink! Totally agree, Jamison is the way to go!

Julie Menghini

Friday 23rd of February 2024

That would be a great sipper after the slopes! Thank you.


Sunday 18th of February 2024

Testing this out for our St. Patty's party. Why haven't I had Irish Whiskey before?

Julie Menghini

Tuesday 20th of February 2024

I know right! It's a great sipper after dinner.

Laura Ashley Johnson

Sunday 18th of February 2024

My hubby and our visiting family loved these! Will definitely keep this one saved and make again soon!

Julie Menghini

Tuesday 20th of February 2024

I'm so glad that you enjoyed them. Thank you.

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