National Irish Coffee Day

Foynes Original Irish Coffee glasses available at

25 January is not only Burn's Night but also national Irish Coffee Day.

The Irish Coffee got its name on a cold winter night in 1943. The pilot of a night flight from Foynes to Newfoundland decided to return to Shannon Int. Airport in southwest Ireland due to severe weather conditions. The airport personnel was called back and chef Joseph 'Joe' Sheridan had to prepare something to warm the weary travellers.

To cheer his guests up, he served them hot coffee with a dash of whiskey and topped it with whipped cream. When one of the guests wanted to thank him and asked if this was Brazilian coffee, Sheridan responded with a joke: "No, this is Irish coffee".

Joseph Sheridan on the original recipe:
Cream as rich as an Irish brogue; coffee as strong as a friendly hand; sugar as sweet as the tongue of a rogue; and whiskey as smooth as the wit of the land.

Marilyn Monroe sipping an Irish Coffee

Shannon Airport received quite some famous people who helped to spread the word.
Celebrities like Marilyn Monroe have often photographed nipping of an Irish Coffee. 

Irish Coffee crossed the Atlantic to the U.S. with travel writer Stanton Delaplane in 1952. The journalist allegedly introduced the coffee at the Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco. The bar still exists and served more than 32 million Irish Coffees.

The original Irish Coffee


Serves 1 person. Preparation time: 5 min.

  • 3cl Irish whiskey
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup of fresh brewed strong coffee
  • Whipped cream


Pre-heat a stemmed glass with hot water. Get rid of the water and add 2 teaspoons of brown sugar. Add the hot strong coffee and stir. Once the sugar is dissolved add a generous tasty dram (4 to 6 teaspoons) of Irish whiskey. Stir again.

Pour (gently!) the whipped cream over the back of a warm tablespoon. Use the tablespoon you used to stir the coffee. That spoon should be warm by now. A perfect Irish Coffee has to resemble another famous drink: Guinness. The cream should neither be too stiff, nor too liquid.

One last thing: Never stir your Irish Coffee. The coffee should be enjoyed as you sip the warm brew through the rich cream.

Everything you need for an Irish Coffee

The two most important ingredients

And done!