This Twist on an Irish Coffee Is What We’ve Been Waiting For

Sfumato Amaro whipped cream, anyone?

Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist. Photo Assistant: Mitchell Mylius. Food Stylist: Micah Morton with Big Leo. Food Stylist Assistant: Terrance Harvey.
Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist

The drink of choice for the introspective pub-goer who just wants to read a book at the bar on a chilly winter day, an Irish Coffee is the perfect parts stimulating, sweet, boozy, and creamy. Made with hot coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and freshly-whipped heavy cream, the Irish Coffee was invented and named by Joe Sheridan, the head chef at the Foynes Harbor Terminal in Ireland. From 1930 until the late 1940s, Foynes Harbor was the last stop for seaplanes to dock before crossing the Atlantic. To soothe American passengers coming into the harbor on rough winter nights, Sheridan added a healthy portion of whiskey to the coffee he served. When the passengers asked whether or not the coffee was Brazilian, Sheridan responded with, “No, this is Irish Coffee.”

For a slight twist on an Irish Coffee recipe, we asked Shae Minnillo, a bartender at Manolito in New Orleans. "Irish coffee and cigarettes: That was the combo running through my mind," shares Minnillo. "It’s not so easy to improve upon such a classic, but making a whipped cream that involves a smokey element makes great sense to complement a drink fit for any time of day or night—and without the actual smoke!"

Irish Coffee

Bitter, Sweet



Step one

Pour the demerara syrup and whiskey into a glass mug, then add the coffee.

Step two

Fill the small half of a cocktail tin with 4 ounces of heavy cream and 1 ounce of Sfumato Amaro. Shake the cream in the shaker until it is almost solid (you’ll be able to hear the difference). This should be at least two servings or so.

Step three

Top the coffee off with your shaken cream. If done correctly, the whipped cream will sit on top of the coffee and create two distinct layers. It often helps to pour the fresh whipped cream over the back of a spoon.

Step four

Using a microplane, grate fresh nutmeg on top of the cream and serve.

Recipe provided by Shae Minnillo