The Story of Irish Coffee

Imagine being brought back to the airport from your takeoff location. That’s where the story of Irish Coffee starts—a tale brewed with history, warmth, and the rich flavor of Ireland.

The Story of Irish Coffee

On a stormy winter night in 1953, Joe Sheridan, a chef at the airport’s restaurant, crafted the first Irish Coffee to warm up weary travelers. His simple yet revolutionary idea of adding whiskey to coffee, topped with cream, became an instant hit.

This concoction gained international fame when travel journalist Stanton Delaplane brought the recipe to San Francisco in the early 1950s. Despite initial challenges in replicating the drink, The Buena Vista Cafe eventually perfected and popularized it, turning Irish Coffee into a global phenomenon.

Here’s a video of the bartender at Buena Vista Cafe still making the famous drink all these years later:

Best Time to Enjoy Irish Coffee

While Irish Coffee can be a treat for any day, it finds its perfect moment on cold evenings or as a luxurious after-dinner indulgence. Its warm embrace is ideal for thawing frosty spirits, making it a favorite for both quiet nights in and festive gatherings.

Irish Coffee vs. Baileys Coffee

Distinguishing between Irish Coffee and Baileys Coffee is all about the layers of flavor. Irish Coffee celebrates the boldness of whiskey, balanced with coffee’s bitterness, softened by sugar, and crowned with cream. In contrast, Baileys Coffee leans into sweetness, with the creamy liqueur adding a rich, velvety texture and a hint of indulgence.


Irish Coffee is more than just a beverage; it’s a piece of cultural heritage, a symbol of hospitality, and a testament to the simple pleasure of fine ingredients. Whether you’re new to its charm or a long-time aficionado, each cup offers a moment to savor, a taste of tradition, and the warmth of Ireland’s storied history.

Embrace the tradition, explore its history, and enjoy the timeless taste of Irish Coffee, a beverage that transcends seasons and brings people together, one sip at a time.

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