National Irish Coffee Day

Irish coffee is a drink that people have been enjoying for over 79 years. It’s made with strong coffee that’s been spiked with Irish whiskey, some sugar, and a dollop of heavy whipped cream. It’s a drink that can allegedly keep out the cold wetness of an Irish winter and fortify travelers for the journey ahead. It’s also a drink that’s celebrated with its own day. The day used to celebrate this iconic drink is called National Irish Coffee Day, and it’s observed on January 25th every year.

The History of Irish Coffee

According to popular lore, this drink was invented by chef Joe Sheridan at the Shannon Airport in southwest Ireland in 1942. When travelers came in looking for something to warm their bones, he made them a drink of hot, strong coffee that had a dash of Irish whiskey, a teaspoon of brown sugar, and a dollop of heavy whipped cream. When the travelers asked him what the drink he served them was called, he dryly told them that it was Irish coffee. And from that day on, a legend was born.

A travel writer named Stanton Delaplane loved the drink so much that he brought the idea back to the U.S. Of course, the recipe wasn’t given to him, so he had to make a few trips back and forth to Ireland to taste the drink and figure out what it might contain. Eventually, in 1952, he figured out how to make it. Although the original recipe uses brown sugar, most people now use white sugar to make it. For our readers’ convenience, we’ve placed the traditional Irish coffee recipe below. Unfortunately, the origins of this holiday elude us at this time.

The Original Irish Coffee Recipe


  • One cup of hot, strong coffee.
  • One tablespoon of brown sugar.
  • Three tablespoons of Irish whiskey.
  • Slightly whipped heavy cream.


Pour hot coffee into a warmed glass until it’s about 75% full. Add the tablespoon of brown sugar and stir the drink until it’s completely dissolved. Now add the Irish whiskey and give the drink a good stir. Top the drink with whipped heavy cream and serve hot.

Observing National Irish Coffee Day

National Irish Coffee Day can be observed by making yourself a cup of Irish coffee. It can be the original version made with brown sugar or the more modern version made with white sugar. It doesn’t matter. Just make sure that once you’ve crafted this beverage, you take a picture of it and post it on social media using the hashtag #NationalIrishCoffeeDay.

When is it?
This year (2024)
January 25 Thursday
Next year (2025)
January 25 Saturday
Last year (2023)
January 25 Wednesday
Food & Drinks