When preparing Irish coffee in a saucepan (caramelizing sugar&coffee, then adding water);

Should I add the whisky while coffee is still being heated in the saucepan or after putting the coffee in glasses?

  • Depends on whether you want the whiskey (only Scotch is "whisky") to be flavoring or kick. Given your description of the preparation, I suspect the former.
    – kdgregory
    Dec 18, 2011 at 14:52
  • Canadian Whisky is also Whisky. Apr 16, 2012 at 19:54

3 Answers 3


At the end, after pouring the coffee into glasses. Alcohol evaporates entirely at 78'C but begins to evaporate before that, so any unnecessary heating should be avoiding. The coffee is cooled slightly by being poured into a glass, so that's the optimum time.

Source: being Irish.

  • 2
    +1 for source. Personally, I'm not sure what the point of the coffee and cream is :-)
    – kdgregory
    Dec 18, 2011 at 14:53

In this recipe the whiskey and sugar is caramelized as the first step.


That said, the Irish Coffee I know, use brown sugar without any caramelizing step. So I am a little curious to know your recipe.

  • Thank you for the link. Currently I first caramelize sugar and coffee, then add water. After putting it into glasses I add whisky, then half cream on top. But as I learned it many years ago, I can’t remember exactly at what stage to add whisky according to this recipe. Dec 16, 2011 at 0:30

I prefer spiking the cream! It's a great pre-mimosa brunch beverage. I served it at our baby shower and at Easter brunch. Here's my recipe:

Darryl’s Irish Coffee 
Makes 4-6 small rocks glass servings
Total time to prep: 10 minutes


  • Bodum 8-C French Press
  • Water kettle with water just off boil at 205F.
  • 1/2-cup of fresh ground French Roast coffee ground very coarse
  • Mixing bowl that you have put in the freezer
  • Wire whisk
  • 1-cup of heavy cream
  • 1-teaspoon powdered sugar
  • 1/2-cup Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • 4-6 each 6-oz Gibraltar rocks glasses


  1. Bring water to boil and then turn off the heat to allow it to cool to 205F.
  2. Add ground coffee and water to the French press. While the coffee is steeping, move on to making the spiked whipping cream.
  3. Take mixing bowl out of the freezer. Pour in the cream, powdered sugar, and whisk until it becomes soft whipped cream—do not over whip.
  4. Whisk in Jameson to the cream and it should become loose and slightly pourable—not too thick.
  5. Press the plunger on the coffee
  6. Pour coffee into rocks glasses filling three quarters with coffee.
  7. Using a teaspoon add two to three dollops of the spiked Irish Cream.

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