Irish coffee has a pretty interesting history.

What better way to start Irish Coffee Week and prepare for National Irish Coffee Day on January 25th than with a little background on the classic drink?

The Irish Coffee was invented in the winter of 1943. Joe Sheridan, chef at Foynes Port near Limerick, Ireland. Foynes Port, an airbase, was often used as a spot to stop over for longer flights.

One night, a flight had a delay, and had to turn back to Foynes Air mid-way through the trip. Chef Joe Sheridan wanted to give the passengers something special for the trouble they had experienced.

One customer asked, “Is this Brazilian coffee?” which Joe responded, “No, that’s Irish Coffee.”

It quickly became a smashing success and an airport specialty. After the war in 1952, a travel writer, Stanton Delaplane introduced Irish Coffee to the states.  Joe Sheridan shared the recipe and correct way to make a true Irish Coffee.

Cream needs to be as rich as an Irish Brogue.

Coffee needs to be as strong as a friendly hand.

Sugar needs to be as sweet as the tongue of a Rogue.

Whiskey needs to be as smooth as the Wit of the Land.

Here is our favorite way to make it.

Irish Coffee

Irish Coffee

Photo Courtesy of Jakob N. Layman

Tom Bergin’s Irish Coffee

By Owner Derek Schreck


  • 1 1/2 oz. Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey
  • 1/4 oz. Simple Syrup (or Substitute 1 Sugar Cube)
  • Dark Roast Coffee
  • Chilled Heavy Cream

Preparations: Warm a toddy glass by filling it with hot water. Never build an Irish Coffee in a cold glass. Once the glass is warm, dump out the water. Add your simple syrup and Tullamore Dew whiskey. Fill with dark roast coffee (Tom Bergin’s uses a proprietary house blend – Tom Bergin’s House Blend – from Picacho Coffee Roasters) leaving about a 1/4” of room at the top. Whip the heavy cream until it is just thick enough to stick to an overturned finger. Gently float the cream on top.