• 75 ml double cream (well chilled)
  • 2 tblsp light muscovado sugar
  • 2 tblsp whiskey
  • 2 tblsp baileys
  • 2 tblsp kahúla (coffee liqueur)
  • 300 ml freshly brewed piping hot espresso coffee
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, to decorate


  • I’ve perfected this recipe over time and believe it really is the best ever Irish coffee. Heat the glasses if you can be bothered (to keep the coffee hot for longer), by pouring boiling water over them from a kettle, and turning them carefully so that they do not crack. Or you could take glasses straight from the dishwasher while still piping hot.
  • Place the cream in a bowl and whip lightly, then chill until needed. Heat a small, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Sprinkle the sugar over the base of the frying pan and heat for 1 minute, without stirring - the sugar will caramelise.
  • Pour in the whiskey and quickly light with a match or flambé - the sugar will seize and harden, but don’t worry as it will melt again once the flames die down. Stir in the Baileys and Kahúla and cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes until smooth, stirring constantly to help the sugar dissolve.
  • Divide the alcohol mixture between two hefty, thick-stemmed glasses, (both about 250ml/9fl oz in capacity) and then carefully pour in the coffee.
  • Then, over the back of a metal spoon, carefully pour a layer of cream on top (the spoon trick really is worth doing as it helps prevent the cream from sinking). Add a tiny grating of nutmeg and serve at once.