Today is a day you will see a LOT of green. You’ll hear “Irish eyes are smiling” as well as the sweet, haunting sounds of bagpipes. “Everyone is Irish” on St. Patrick’s Day they say – so in honor of this holiday, let’s take a look at one signature drink that mixes a couple of our favorite things – coffee and happy hour! Cue the Irish Coffee and the surprisingly one-of-kind story of how it came to be.

Irish Coffee’s First Public Debut

One cold, blustery night in the 1940’s – a group of American passengers was traveling via seaplane from Foynes Airport when their trip was cut short due to bad weather and they were forced to return to the airport. As the staff prepared to receive the cold, miserable travelers – Joe Sheridan, a chef from Ireland, decided the best way to combat the bone-chilling night was to add a little whiskey to their coffees. Curious, the passengers inquired if they were drinking Brazilian coffee. To their surprise, Joe informed them that no, this was Irish Coffee – and so was termed the marriage of coffee and Irish Whiskey.

Cupa Cabana Irish Coffee Post
Photo Credit: Debs and Didge

Irish Coffee DNA

There are many different variations of Irish Coffee – but the essential ingredients call for coffee, whiskey, cream and brown sugar. The coffee and whiskey blend well, creating a warm and spicy blend. The top of the cup has a layer of cream, which the coffee and whiskey is sipped through, to help sweeten the taste. A sprinkling of brown sugar on top caramelizes, adding an overall sweet layer to the potent brew below.

irish coffee green
Photo Credit: Trinity Web Media


Today there are many variations of Irish Coffee. You have your Black Irish Mocha (Jameson Black Barrel Whiskey and creme de menthe into a hot cup, with a freshly-pulled espresso shot) as well as your Ballycotton Toddy (Irish whiskey, creme de cassis, honey syrup, carrageen moss extract with allspice and lemon juice). When you choose to drink an Irish Coffee – make sure it’s with a smile and a little luck of the Irish on your side.

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