This recipe for Irish cappuccino (Irish latte) is super simple to follow. Enjoy a cup of this hot cocktail at home – it is a perfect way to get warm and cosy during long winter evenings and the upcoming festive season.
Why You’ll Love This Irish Cappuccino
With the holiday season fast approaching, this old-fashioned recipe is one of my (and my boyfriend’s) favourites for several reasons:
- It is delicious and warming, perfect for dark winter nights and holidays.
- It's simple to make, as all you need for this recipe are four common ingredients.
- It can be served as a dessert – light, yet satisfying, a cup of this hot coffee with all the toppings will please every sweet tooth.
- Making it at home saves you money as opposed to having it in a café.
This blackberry sangria is also great for cosy winter evenings.
Why Is It Called Irish Coffee?
The first Irish coffee was invented in late 1943 by Joe Sheridan at Foynes Airport, near Limerick, Ireland. Sheridan was a chef who created this hot cocktail for passengers waiting for a delayed flight. When a passenger asked him if the delicious drink was made with Brazilian coffee, Sheridan said in a joke ‘No, it was Irish coffee!’ Since then, it quickly became popular across Ireland and across the globe.
You can visit the birthplace of Irish coffee and enjoy a cup of this delightful treat in the Irish Coffee Lounge at Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum until this day.
To make this wonderful warming coffee drink in the comfort of your home, you need only a few basic ingredients:
- Coffee – espresso (1-2 portions) or strong instant coffee will work well here.
- Whole milk – full-fat milk froths better than semi or low-fat milk. Reheat it in a microwave, or gently on a hob (careful, milk burns easily!) and then blend it with a hand blender until you get a smooth and thick foam on top.
- Irish whiskey – the original recipe asks for Irish whiskey, however, any whisky or bourbon will do in this recipe. Feel free to choose an affordable brand, as some of the taste will be ‘lost’ when mixed with coffee and milk.
- Whipped cream – proper Irish coffee contains whipped cream. You're in for a real treat! Especially now before the holiday season, it’s great to enjoy a bit of indulgence.
- Nutmeg, cinnamon or cocoa powder – they all make great toppings and provide this traditional drink with even more delicate flavours. Use at least one or combine them.
- Sugar or sweetener - depending on the coffee and whiskey used, this hot coffee can taste a bit bitter sometimes, try it and add sugar or sweetener before adding whipped cream.
- Shaved chocolate, chocolate sauce or toffee sauce – for the most indulgent version of this drink, add some on top.
Substitutes & Variations
Plant-based milk – swap cow’s milk for any desired milk alternative. Almond, oat, rice or soy milk will work well in this recipe. Choose a barista edition if you can, these are better suited for frothing.
Decaff - use decaffeinated coffee, and you will still be able to enjoy the beautiful flavours of coffee, just without caffeine.
Baileys (Irish cream) can be used instead of whiskey in this drink - it will be deliciously creamy and will resemble more of an Irish Cream Latte.
Alcohol-free - use Irish coffee syrup or whiskey-flavoured syrup instead of Irish whiskey to enjoy the same indulgent taste, just without the alcohol.
Iced version - you can also serve it cold, using cold brew, chilled milk and ice.
Equipment & Method
To create this barista-style Irish cappuccino at home, you will need:
- A tall bowl or saucepan to reheat the milk,
- Hand-held milk frother (electric blender), or a mason jar with a lid,
- A latte glass, or a mug and a spoon for serving.
Of course, if you’re a lucky owner of a milk steamer or an automated milk frother, use these for warming up and steaming the milk 🙂
This delicious Irish cappuccino is ready in four easy steps:
- Make the coffee.
- Heat up and steam up (froth) the milk.
- Mix the whiskey with hot coffee. Add milk.
- Top with whipped cream and nutmeg and serve.
All measurements and details are in the recipe card below this article.
What To Serve This Irish Coffee With
This cappuccino can be served on its own, and/or with your favourite desserts.
This homemade Irish cappuccino is intended for immediate consumption.
When serving it hot, do not delay the serving too much, as the milk foam will become flat again soon, and reheated milky coffee doesn’t taste great when reheated.
Although, if for any reason you do need to keep it for later (no one wants to waste a good coffee and alcohol!), then put it in the fridge once cold - without the whipped cream. The coffee, milk and whiskey mixture will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days. Do not reheat it before serving, instead serve it with ice and fresh whipped cream.
Classic Irish coffee contains coffee, a shot of Irish whiskey, sugar and cream. This rich and flavourful hot cocktail is often served in cafes and restaurants all over the world.
Irish cappuccino made with Irish whiskey does contain alcohol. If you are looking for an alcohol-free Irish cappuccino, then swap Irish whiskey for a whiskey-flavoured coffee syrup. Always drink responsibly.
Irish coffee was invented by Chef Joe Sheridan at Foynes Airport, Ireland. He came up with the idea of serving a hot coffee with a shot of whiskey, sugar and cream on top when serving passengers waiting for a delayed flight in late 1943.
📖 The Recipe
Irish Cappuccino (Irish Coffee with Milk)
- 2 shots espresso or 50 ml brewed instant coffee hot
- 100 ml whole (full-fat) milk
- 25 ml Irish whiskey
- 30 g whipped cream
- 1 pinch nutmeg or cinnamon or cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar or sweetener
- 1 tablespoon chocolate or toffee sauce for serving
- Prepare the coffee.
- Heat up and froth the milk. Leave it to set for a minute or two until you see clear line where the foam has separated from the milk.
- Add whisky in a latte glass, add coffee and mix. Add forthy hot milk.
- Top with fresh whipped cream and nutmeg and serve.
- Plant-based milk – almond, oat, rice or soy milk will work well in this recipe.
- Decaff - use decaffeinated coffee.
- Alcohol-free - use Irish coffee syrup or whiskey-flavoured syrup instead of Irish whiskey.
- Iced version - add cold coffee and milk and serve on ice.
Nutritional Information (Estimates Only)
This Irish cappuccino contains alcohol and is not suitable for children, and pregnant women. Always drink responsibly.