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Warming Irish coffee: the classic recipe

Irish coffee is a worldwide favorite. As a hot (and potent) drink, it is a pick-me-up on a cool day, perfect for sitting around the fire with friends. Irish coffee is believed to have developed in Ireland in the 1950s and has become a symbol of Irish hospitality.

It is easy to make this drink at home. The only equipment you need is a coffee maker and a set of beaters if you want to whip your own cream. You do not need any particular bartending expertise. Irish coffee is great to start an adventure with friends or for a pick-me-up in the middle of the day.

Brew a pot of your favorite coffee. I prefer a full city roast (or light espresso) which is dark and toasty, but does not taste burned.

Warm your mugs by running them under hot tap water. A warm mug will keep its contents warmer for longer. Then dry quickly. Clear glass mugs can show a beautiful drink – but any mug will hold a delicious one.

Place a shot of Irish whisky in each mug. Jameson’s is always a favorite, but any type you like will do.

Add a teaspoon (or more) of your favorite sweetener. Brown sugar enhances the roasted taste of the coffee and is traditional, but white sugar, honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar work just as well. By making Irish coffee at home, you can control whether it has a lot or a little bit of sweet in its flavor.

Pour a little bit of coffee into each cup and stir. Then, fill each cup to ½ inch from the top. This is the space you leave open for whipped cream or cream.

Top with whipped cream. Alternatively, you can top with cream or half-and-half. Invert a spoon just over the top of the coffee and pour the cream carefully to create a distinct layer over the coffee. Do not mix in the cream – you drink the coffee through the cream to add the flavor.

You can change this drink to fit your lifestyle. Use less alcohol to lighten it up. Or switch out half of the whisky for Irish cream liqueur. You can make this with no alcohol if you prefer. Use decaf instead of regular coffee. Oat milk is an excellent vegan substitute for cream. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, or shaved chocolate to the top. Chill it by pouring the mixture over a tall glass filled with ice cubes.

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