Irish Coffee Is A 2-Ingredient Cocktail That Deserves A Proper Whiskey

From coffee negronis to creative espresso martinis, bartenders are constantly expanding the world of coffee cocktails. Yet, while the innovations are tasty, there's still an undeniable appeal to a perfectly prepared Irish coffee. With thoughtful proportions and ingredients, the seemingly straightforward drink is actually a complex sipper. And although the drink does exhibit a stiff note, its alcohol content is surprisingly balanced.

Attaining such a caffeinating, boozy, yet creamy character all rests in the careful selection of the components. Of course, the coffee is important, with strong and bold flavor a requirement. Yet even more, it's all in the whiskey — after all, the spirit should be a discernible flavor in the drink. So, a liquor with enough of a foundation to hold up to heating and the other flavors is a must. However, simultaneously, it can't have an overly dominant character, or else the drink becomes less seamless. And as per the cocktail's name, a booze of Irish origin is essential. Let's dive into the details.

Utilize Irish whiskeys with a balanced flavor profile

In addition to its place of origin, Irish whiskey is a defined style of the barrel-aged booze. It's one of the oldest renditions of the style, with regulations limiting the mash to a grain and cereal composition, rested in barrels for three years or more. As a result, the style exhibits a brighter, fruitier taste, all finished with a balanced barrel note. Such a flavor palate ideally meshes with the creamy drink — any Irish whiskey is preferential for the cocktail. Storied, widely distributed Irish distilleries, like Jameson Irish Whiskey, work well for the job.

Yet, if perusing for whiskeys even more aligned for the drink, there's an expansive selection. Smooth and slightly sweet Powers Irish Whiskey is a popular choice among bartenders, its tasting notes meshing well with the sugar and hot coffee. And blended Irish whiskeys are another favored choice, their groomed flavor working well in a mixed format. It's best to avoid single-pot expressions and other Irish whiskeys meant for sipping. A complex whiskey may not translate all of its nuances into the drink. So grab a bottle, and tinker with ratios — with some practice, a terrific Irish coffee will result.