For many, an evening spent around the fireside isn’t complete without an adult beverage in hand. Sipping on a glass of wine under the stars, taking a swig of beer, or appreciating the taste of an after-dinner cocktail seems to taste that much better when you’re outside and among friends. And with cool Michigan nights, whether you’re indoors or not, Irish coffee might be just the thing.

You can customize your Irish coffee depending on your preferences. According to an article at Whiskey Advocate about the perfect Irish coffee, if you want a stronger coffee flavor, pick a lighter whiskey; if you want to mask the coffee flavor, use a lighter roast or add more sweetener/cream; if you like it strong, double the whiskey. You can add other flavors such as a flavored liqueur (use your imagination!) or drink it iced on warmer Michigan evenings.

If you can, make the whipped cream at home. Nix the store-bought stuff. It really makes a big impact and takes only about 10 more minutes. You can make it ahead of time, no more than four hours, if you’ll be sharing the evening with guests and don’t want to be in the kitchen.


Classic Irish Coffee

From Ireland, a classic Irish coffee is an intentional blend of whiskey, cream, and sugar. It’s crafted to warm you up and cheer you up from the inside out.


  • Demerara sugar (brown sugar can be used as substitute)
  • Black coffee
  • Irish whiskey
  • Whipped cream


  1. Add 2 teaspoons of sugar to a warm mug or Irish coffee glass.
  2. Add 4-6 ounces of coffee and stir well to dissolve sugar.
  3. Add 1.5 ounces of Irish whiskey and stir to combine.
  4. Float whipped cream on top.
  5. Enjoy the luck of the Irish.


Irish coffee with Bailey’s and Kahlua

If whiskey really isn’t to your taste, then swap out the whiskey for cream liqueur for a smooth, milky Irish coffee. Plus, this recipe doesn’t include the sugar.


  • Bailey’s Irish cream
  • Kahlua
  • black coffee
  • Whipped cream


  1. Pour ¾ ounces each of Bailey’s and Kahlua into mug.
  2. Add hot black coffee.
  3. Top with whipped cream.
  4. Enjoy!


Reinvented Irish Coffee –

For those who look forward to breaking the mold or like to try twists on classics, then there’s an Irish coffee recipe with your name on it. Nine bartenders were given the challenge to reinvent this favorite drink. Many of them require too many specialty ingredients, but we were intrigued by the Irish Stout by Matt Ragan, Victor Tangos, Dallas. Being in Texas, he wanted an Irish coffee that Texans could drink on hot days. He used beer in his version, and since Michigan has plenty of craft brews to choose from, you can choose a Michigan-made stout for your campsite version.


  • 1 1/2 oz Irish whiskey
  • 1/2 oz Varnelli Caffè Moka coffee liqueur
  • 1 oz strong cold brew coffee
  • 3 oz Southern Tier Mokah Imperial stout (or a Michigan stout from one of our craft breweries!)
  • 1/2 oz vanilla syrup
  • Dollop of vanilla crème anglaise (whipped cream can be used as a substitute)


  1. Add the whiskey, liqueur and coffee in a shaker tin.
  2. Add three ice cubes, and give the tin a quick shake.
  3. Strain into a glass, and top with the stout.
  4. Finish with the vanilla crème anglaise (or whipped cream)