How to Make a Traditional Irish Coffee

There’s nothing that satisfies quite like an Irish Coffee. You get the belly-coating warmth of hot coffee, yes, but the whiskey also works its way through your body—moving blood closer to the surface of your skin—basking you in a boozy glow that’s nothing short of bliss.

And while you might reserve Irish coffees to nights out at your favorite undiscovered bar, you don’t have to. You can make a traditional Irish coffee right from home. We paid Teeling Distillery a visit in Dublin, Ireland, to get the low down on mastering this classic cocktail.

“The main thing changing up our Irish coffee from your standard Irish coffee is our stout syrup,” says Chris Hayes, Teeling Distillery Brand Ambassador. “This is a homemade ingredient we make at the distillery. It’s a bottle of stout mixed with star anise, cloves, juniper berries, brown sugar, orange zest, ginger, salt.”

Watch the video to get all the steps.

Ingredients

  • 15ml Stout Syrup*
  • 35.5ml whiskey (Teeling Small Batch)
  • 90ml freshly brewed coffee
  • Fresh cream
  • Nutmeg for garnish

For the Stout Syrup

  • 1L Irish Stout (Guinness or similar)
  • 1kg demerara sugar
  • ½ cup whole cloves
  • ½ cup allspice
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 whole orange zest
  • 2 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 whole star anise pods

Directions

  1. For the Stout Syrup: Add all ingredients to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and cheesecloth, then bottle. This will make approximately 1.5L. Keep refrigerated for up to two weeks.
  2. For the Irish Coffee: Heat up the glass by pouring boiling water and letting it sit for a few minutes. Empty the water, then add the stout syrup to the bottom of the glass. Pour the coffee over the syrup, then add the whiskey.
  3. Stir the whiskey, coffee, and syrup together. You want the cream to be thicker than your coffee, so shake it up in the carton. The heat from the spoon and thickness of the cream will dictate whether the cream floats on top of your Irish coffee. Turn the spoon over, then pour the cream over the back of it so it slowly cascades over the coffee.
  4. Garnish with a bit of nutmeg, then enjoy immediately.