Irish Coffee Recipe

1942 - Cold Travelers
Treated In Ireland

Favorite Restaurant Drink Recipe

The Story of Irish Coffee

Imagine flying 18 hours in what was called a flying boat in 1942. You'd be exhausted and chilled to the bone. That is when and why this Irish whiskey, coffee and cream beverage was created. It happened in Limerick, Ireland, at an airport restaurant.

As I understand it from reading (no, I wasn't there) from 1939 to 1945 air travel from America was by flying boats.

These aircraft were landing at an airport in Limerick, Ireland after a long, cold 18 hour flight (Shannon Airport).

Instead of just offering coffee or tea to the travelers, a Mr. Joseph Sheridan, the Chef at the airport restaurant, developed this beverage - now a famous and favorite restaurant drink recipe.

I sell a great deal of this beverage at the restaurant, especially during the fall and winter months. The restaurant recipe I use is the original as developed by Chef Sheridan (later to move to San Francisco where he introduced the drink to more Americans than just air passengers).

Chef Sheridan's Original
Irish Coffee

Favorite Restaurant Drink Recipe

Preparation time: 2 minutes. Serves 1


  • 1 1/2 shots of Irish whiskey
  • 2 - 3 sugar cubes (1 teaspoon)
  • 6 ounces Hot coffee of your choice
  • Whipped cream (some whipping creams have an additive to increase shelf life. If you can obtain untreated cream you will produce a better tasting beverage)
  • Creme de Menthe (if for St. Pat's Day only)



  • Heat a stemmed whiskey goblet or stemmed glass coffee mug with hot water
  • Pour in Irish whiskey
  • Add sugar
  • Fill with black coffee to within one inch of top
  • Stir gently to dilute sugar and mix coffee and whiskey
  • Top off to the brim with heavy cream slightly aerated
  • Drizzle creme de menthe over whipped cream if serving for St. Patrick's Day

Do not stir after adding cream. The best flavor is obtained by drinking the coffee and whiskey through the cream.

Thank you, Chef Sheridan! Enjoy your famous coffee and Irish whiskey drink and the company of those you share it with! This is another famous restaurant drink recipe. - Donna

“Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat.”

Alex Levine