Irish Coffee Mocktail, Nonalcoholic Irish Coffee

Irish Coffee Mocktail

One of the most popular hot cocktails is the Irish coffee. This stimulating drink has an origin that is one part urban legend, one part recorded fact, all topped off with a healthy splash of clever marketing. In this blog we share the history of this bracing beverage, as well as our Irish coffee mocktail recipe – a perfect drink for sober beverage trends!

A mixologist spoons a layer of fresh cream on top of an Irish coffee cocktail, nonalcoholic Irish coffee example
A mixologist spoons a layer of fresh cream on top of an Irish coffee cocktail. Nonalcoholic Irish coffee gets the same treatment!

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Who made the first Irish coffee?

Legend has it that an airport cook by the name of Joe Sheridan whipped up this cream, coffee, and Irish whiskey drink to warm delayed passengers on a dark and stormy night in Shannon, Ireland. An American travel writer named Stanton Delaplane tasted the creamy cocktail at the airport bar a few years later and became obsessed with perfecting the recipe. He brought his memory of the Irish Coffee flavor back to San Francisco and, with the help of Jack Koeppler, owner of The Buena Vista Bar, crafted an American version that catapulted the drink into local popularity. The Buena Vista is now synonymous with Irish Coffee in the United States, serving upwards of 2,000 cocktails per day!

It’s true, other Irish Coffee origin stories exist, but the aforementioned one has perhaps the largest following (and the longest legs). When it comes to cocktail history, who isn’t charmed over by lore and legend?

How to make a nonalcoholic Irish coffee

For St. Patrick’s Day (or any day), charm yourself with a nonalcoholic Irish coffee recipe that tastes as good, if not better, than the tipsy version. Just like the original Irish coffee, the quality and freshness of the coffee and cream have a significant impact on the cocktail flavor – so spring for the best! To capture some of the natural alcohol flavor, this recipe uses a dash of rum extract (although an ounce of nonalcoholic whisky would be a solid substitute, too). Sláinte!

Hoe to make an Irish coffee mocktail infographic
Nonalcoholic Irish coffee is easy to make – just replace the whiskey with rum extract or natural whiskey flavor.

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Irish Coffee Mocktail Recipe


  • ⅔ cup strong black coffee
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon rum extract
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder, for garnish (optional)


  1. Fill a glass mug with ⅔ cup of hot coffee.  Add the sugar and rum extract and stir until dissolved.  Let the cup stand still until the mixture has completely stopped swirling.
  2. Meanwhile, beat the cream in a medium bowl until it’s thick and airy, but still pourable.  Pour it into a jug with a spout.
  3. Pour the cream over the back of a spoon right in the center of each mug.
  4. If desired, dust the cream with cocoa powder using a stencil, and serve immediately.


1 serving

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