Irish Whiskey Mocha

by Julie Cohn
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This Irish Whiskey Mocha is a fun and easy twist on the traditional Irish Coffee, with the addition of espresso instead of regular coffee, as well as velvety rich hot cocoa.  What could be better on St. Patrick’s Day than Irish whiskey, espresso, and chocolate, am I right?!?  

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The classic Irish coffee recipe originated in Foynes, Ireland in 1942.  Foynes, a west Irish airbase, was the main hub for seaplanes between the United States and Ireland in the 1940’s.  Joe Flanigan, the chef of Foynes, created the drink to soothe the nerves of a pilot who had returned to base after attempting to fly to the US in the middle of the storm.  The coffee drink became such a success that Joe added it to the Foynes regular menu.  It became world famous when celebrated travel writer, Stanton Delaplane brought the recipe to the attention of Jack Koeppler, the bartender for the Buena Vista Hotel in San Francisco.  Jack could never get the recipe quite right, so in 1952 the Buena Vista Hotel hired Joe Flanagan to move to the US and make his famous drink. Today, the Buena Vista Hotel is still famous for its Irish Coffee and make over 2,000 coffees daily.  

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Irish Whiskey Mocha

As a well-documented coffee lover, I enjoy espresso drinks as much as regular coffee, so decided to give Joe’s famous Irish Coffee recipe a little makeover.  Irish whiskey and chocolate pair well together too, so I knew the combination of whiskey, expresso, and chocolate would make a powerhouse cocktail for St. Patrick’s Day!  

The traditional recipe requires the whiskey, coffee, and sugar to be heated together, then added to the mug, but my recipe is a bit quicker because everything is mixed together in the mug.  I also like making the mocha this way because it preserves more of the taste of the whiskey.  

  • 2 Raw Sugar Cubes
  • 4 oz. Fresh Brewed Espresso
  • 2 oz. Irish Whiskey (I prefer Jameson) 
  • 5 oz. Milk
  • 2 Tbsp. Hot Cocoa Mix (I use Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Cocoa)
  • Whipped Cream


  • Irish Coffee Mugs
  • Chocolate Curls
  • Chocolate Straws

(This recipe makes two cocktails) 

Place the raw sugar cube in each Irish coffee mug. Add 1 ounce of Irish Whiskey to each cup and let sit for a few minutes so the sugar cube absorbs some of the whiskey. 

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Add 2 oz. of the brewed espresso to each glass and stir to mix.  Heat the milk in the microwave almost to boiling, about 1 1/2 minutes, then blend in the hot cocoa mix until all the powder is melted into the milk.  Pour 2 1/2 ounces of the hot cocoa mixture into each Irish coffee mug, give a quick stir, and top with a dollop of whipped cream and a chocolate straw or chocolate curls.  Sláinte!  

irish Whiskey Mocha8If you like chocolate cocktails, you will also enjoy my Boozy Frozen Hot Chocolate cocktails, as well as my bourbon caramel turtle milkshake.


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