A recipe for original Irish coffee contains 1 ounce of Irish whiskey, 4 ounces of hot coffee, 2 teaspoons of brown sugar and a topping of lightly whipped double cream. Stir the sugar into the coffee until it dissolves completely, add whiskey, stir again, top with whipped cream, and serve.
There are many variations of recipes for Irish coffee. While the components seldom change, you may tweak the amounts and specific types of ingredients to suit your taste. Increase the coffee to 8 ounces for a less pungent Irish coffee. Try different coffee varieties and brewing methods, such as Bourbon coffee brewed in a French press.
You also can use maple syrup instead of sugar, or you may experiment with whiskey brands. Most recipes don't specify a brand of whiskey, and any high-quality brand is acceptable. Jameson is an obvious choice for reasons of budget, taste and availability, but Clontarf and Tullamore Dew are both full-bodied and authentically Irish. American brands, such as Jack Daniels and 2 Gingers, work in Irish coffee as well.
Although Irish coffee is traditionally consumed hot, it is just as scrumptious when iced. For a chilled rendition, add to a tin some ice cubes, 1 ounce of coffee liqueur, 1 3/4 ounces of whiskey, 1/2 ounce of heavy whipping cream, 1/2 ounce of egg white and 1 ounce of simple syrup. Shake, strain into an ice-filled Collins glass, and top with whipped cream.