Rocket Fuel: 5 High-Octane Libations for National Irish Coffee Day

Image: Q77photo / iStock / Getty Images Plus

January 25 is approaching like a slow but steady snow storm. This is important for three reasons:

  1. It’s National Irish Coffee Day!
  2. Coffee has been great chums with Irish whiskey for decades.
  3. It’s winter and even the Deep South has snow. Everyone needs coffee, STAT!

I’m certain your bar team knows how to make a traditional Irish Coffee: pour brown sugar and strong hot coffee into a mug, stir until the sugar dissolves, add Irish whiskey and stir again, and float cream down the back of a warm spoon.

Read this: The Rise of Caffeine Culture

So, why not do something different and offer your guests these creative variants? Hot coffee, cold coffee, coffee liqueur, chai tea… There’s a riff on the Irish coffee for everyone. Oh, and be sure to check out the coconut whipped cream recipe at the bottom—it’s an excellent cream alternative for lactose intolerant (or just avoiding dairy), vegetarian, vegan and paleo guests.


Teeling Whiskey Irish Coffee cocktail - 5 High-Octane Libations for National Irish Coffee Day

The Teeling Whiskey Irish Coffee

Recipe and image courtesy of Teeling Whiskey

  • 1.5 oz. Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey
  • 4 oz. Freshly brewed, robust coffee
  • ½ oz. Spiced stout syrup (see note)
  • Orange-zested cream
  • Freshly grated nutmeg to garnish

Preheat mug or other hot drinks glass with some warm water and discard. Add the Teeling Whiskey, spiced stout syrup and brewed coffee. Stir to combine. Warm a large spoon and gently pour the cream over the back of the it and onto the coffee.

For the spiced stout syrup:

  • 2 pints (32 oz.) of Irish Stout (Guinness or similar)
  • 4 cups Demerara sugar
  • ½ cup Whole cloves
  • ½ cup Pimento/allspice
  • 3 Cinnamon sticks
  • 1 Whole orange zest
  • 2-inch Fresh ginger root, grated
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 Whole star anise pods

Add all ingredients to a saucepan and bring to the simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and steep for 5 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and cheesecloth, and bottle. Keeps for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Read this: Coffee Cocktails & Sophisticated Serves Grow in Importance


Mint Mocha Spiked Coffee cocktail - 5 High-Octane Libations for National Irish Coffee Day

Mint Mocha Spiked Coffee

Created by Pam Wiznitzer of Seamstress

Mix ingredients and pour over ice. For extra flair, insert an inverted 50ml bottle of Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur into glass.


Macchiato Martini cocktail - 5 High-Octane Libations for National Irish Coffee Day

Macchiato Martini

Recipe and image courtesy of Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur

To build this classic, coffee-inspired Martini, shake all ingredients with ice. Strain the ingredients into a Martini glass with no ice. Garnish with chocolate cookie crumbles.


Irish Slang cocktail - 5 High-Octane Libations for National Irish Coffee Day

Irish Slang

Recipe and image courtesy of Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur

Shake and strain into a Highball. Garnish with an orange slice.


Golden Cuppa chai tea cocktail - 5 High-Octane Libations for National Irish Coffee Day

Golden Cuppa

Created by Pam Wiznitzer of Seamstress

  • 1 oz. Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur
  • 1 oz. Aged rum
  • 6 oz. Fresh heavy cream
  • 4-5 oz. boiling hot Chai tea
  • Dash allspice to garnish
  • Dash nutmeg to garnish

Pour hot chai tea into large hot drinks glass or mug. Combine Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur and aged rum with fresh heavy cream in a shaker or mixing glass. Shake or stir until cream thickens and becomes the consistency of whipped cream. Top tea with cream mixture. Garnish allspice and nutmeg.


Coconut Whipped Cream

  • 1 14-oz. can Full-fat coconut milk (light or “lite” won’t whip)
  • 1 Tbsp. Pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Chill the can of coconut milk for at least 12 hours, and chill the beaters of a hand mixer or the whisk attachment of a stand mixer along with a metal bowl for an hour before making this cream substitute. Remove the coconut milk from the refrigerator carefully—avoid shaking the can. Open can and scoop the coconut cream solids into the chilled bowl. Beat or whisk at medium speed until stiff peaks form. Add pure maple syrup, vanilla extract and salt and beat for an additional minute. Can be stored for up to three days in a glass container; whisk or shake to fluff before serving.

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