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An Irish Coffee Recipe with a Canadian Twist

An Irish Coffee Recipe with a Canadian Twist - Zavida Coffee

Though Irish coffee is a popular drink year-round, it’s fitting to have it on Saint Patrick’s Day or during Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations. There are different ways you can make Irish coffee; traditionally, it’s made with coffee, whiskey, and cream. 

Variations include incorporating Baileys Irish Cream liqueur – a sweet, creamy whiskey-based alcohol made in Ireland, or even making a non-alcoholic version of the drink. Please see our recipe below for suggestions to replace the alcohol.


Originating in Ireland, Saint Patrick’s Day is now celebrated with a parade in many major North American cities. The first-ever parade was held in Boston in 1737, followed a few decades later by New York City. The biggest parade in North America is now a tie between Chicago and New York City for first and second place, followed by a surprising location in third place – Savannah, Georgia!

Montreal hosted the first parade in Canada in 1824, but Toronto now hosts the largest Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, with over 500,000 people attending annually. The traditional drink of the parade is beer –sometimes the beer is green, coloured with food dye! If you’re not a fan of beer or you’d prefer something warm, why not try an Irish coffee? 

What exactly is Irish coffee? It’s a combination of coffee, whiskey and cream and is a very popular after-dinner drink served in many restaurants. It’s also very easy to make at home.

Canadian whisky Sortilège used to make Irish coffee


Irish coffee is normally made with an Irish whiskey such as Jameson, but we wanted to use a special Canadian whisky with a sweet taste. Since Saint Patrick’s Day coincides with maple syrup production and sugaring off season in Eastern Canada, we replaced Irish whiskey with Sortilège, a Canadian whisky and maple syrup liqueur. 

This whisky (Canadian, Scottish, and Japanese whisky is spelled without the “e”) is sweet, tastes like maple syrup, and has the burnt toffee notes similar to brown sugar – therefore it acts as a sugar replacement!


Traditionally, Irish coffee is served in a Toddy glass, which is a clear glass mug with a handle and a short stem – it looks like a cross between a coffee mug and a wine glass. The reason the coffee mugs are clear is that the layering of coffee and cream is very distinct. It’s now commonplace for most restaurants and bars to serve alcoholic coffee, such as Irish and Brazilian coffee, in this style of clear mug.  

As well, double-walled glass mugs are another popular way to serve Irish Coffee. They help keep your coffee warmer for longer and are cool to the touch, since the coffee is not in direct contact with the outer wall. Whichever mug you decide to serve it in, it’s what’s on the inside that counts!



1 cup of brewed Zavida’s Irish Cream Coffee, hot

1 tablespoon Baileys Irish Cream

1 shot of Sortilège whisky

1 teaspoon of brown sugar, if needed

Whipped cream, optional

Replacements To Make A Non-Alcoholic Irish Coffee

Adding Baileys Irish Cream to coffee

1 tablespoon of non-alcoholic Baileys coffee creamer to replace Baileys Irish Cream 

1 teaspoon of chocolate syrup or non-alcoholic Irish cream syrup to replace Sortilège whisky


  • Brew a pot of coffee – we recommend our Irish Cream Coffee so that you can really layer in the flavour.
  • Pour one cup of coffee into your coffee mug or Toddy glass. 
  • Add the Baileys Irish Cream and Sortilège Whisky (or coffee creamer and syrup for a non-alcoholic version) and stir.
  • If you would like to sweeten your drink, add a teaspoon of brown sugar.
  • Top with whipped cream.
  • Serve and enjoy!

This is a recipe you can enjoy at any time of the year, but it’s extra fitting to make Irish coffee during the month of March!

Irish coffee made with Sortilège whisky and Baileys Irish Cream