The holidays are over and we are well into the coldest, greyest part of winter, but don’t worry, there is still something to celebrate. January 25th is National Irish Coffee Day and the perfect occasion to gather with friends and warm up with this classic boozy treat. To help get you in the mood, here is everything you need to know about this delicious drink.
About Irish Coffee on National Irish Coffee Day
Irish Coffee, or caife Gaelach in Irish, dates back to 1943 when it was first invented by chef Joe Sheridan while working at Foynes airport near Limerick, Ireland. Today, the drink is enjoyed throughout the year and is the 10th most popular drink on cocktail menus across the United States. However, when winter weather hits, the drink gains even more popularity and bumps up to the 8th most popular drink listed on U.S. menus. While different bars and mixologists have put their own spin on the drink, the basic ingredients include coffee, Irish Whiskey, cream liqueur, and/or brown sugar.
Where to Get an Irish Coffee on National Irish Coffee Day
Since Irish Coffee is so popular, you should be able to walk into any establishment that serves spirits and order one. If you want to go back to the source, you can visit the Buenavista Hotel in San Francisco, California, which was the first location in the U.S. to serve Irish Coffee. Today, they serve more than 2,000 Irish Coffees per day.
Alabama is also a hotbed for Irish Coffee lovers. In fact, Irish Coffee accounts for 6.4% of all cocktails listed on menus across the state. That is four times the national average and the most out of any state. Behind Alabama is Maryland with 4.8%, Mississippi (4.6%), Pennsylvania (3.8%), Utah (3.5%) and Wisconsin (3.4%).
What’s in an Irish Coffee?
When it comes to choosing which liqueur to serve in an Irish Coffee, most bars and restaurants are going with Baileys Irish Cream. In fact, Baileys, which is the most popular brand in Irish Coffee, accounts for 42.6% of all brand mentions on menus across the U.S.
Irish Coffee Statistics from the Overproof Database:
First, let’s take a look at the size and scope of the Overproof database. It includes information from more than 1 million bars and restaurants, including 3.1 million menus. The database has collected 8.4 million mentions on both print and digital menus that list 5.1 million cocktails. There is also data on 23,000 brands, 218,000 products, and 979 different suppliers.
After sorting through all that data, here is what we learned about the popularity of Irish Coffee across the United States:
- Irish coffee is mentioned at 4,365 different venues and on 51,777 menus (the majority of establishments offer various menus throughout the day i.e. happy hour, brunch, etc.).
- 53 suppliers are mentioned in Irish Coffee cocktails
- 144 brands are mentioned in Irish Coffee cocktails
- There are 62,540 total product mentions in Irish Coffee Cocktails
- There are 78,646 Irish Coffee cocktail mentions
Top 10 Product Brands Used in Irish Whiskey
- Baileys 42.6%
- Jameson 18%
- Kahlúa 10.6%
- Frangelico 9.5%
- Disaronno 5.5%
- Tullamore DEW 5.4%
- Licor 43 4.2%
- Borghetti 1.1%
- Teeling Whiskey .3%
- Tia Maria .2%
Top 5 Liqueur Brands by Mentions
When you look at just liqueur brands by mention, here are the top five:
- Baileys (Cream) (57.5%)
- Kahlua (Coffee) (14.4%)
- Frangelico (Hazelnut) (12.8%)
- Disaronno (Almond) (7.4%)
- Licor 43 (Spanish blend) (5.6%)
Top 5 Whiskey Brands Used in Irish Whiskey
When it comes to whiskey brand mentions, these are the top five whiskeys used to make Irish Coffee:
- Jameson 73.6%
- Tullamore DEW 22.3%
- Teeling Whiskey 1.3%
- Bushmills .7%
- Slane .6%
As you might imagine, Diageo USA, which is the supplier for Baileys, is the top supplier with 42.9% of all mentions across 23,600 Irish Coffee cocktails.
Next is Pernod Ricard USA with 28.7% of menu mentions. This supplier is responsible for both Jameson, which is mentioned in 11,200 cocktails, and Kahula, which accounts for 6,600 mentions.
The supplier with the third-highest number of menu mentions is Campari America with 9.8%. They supply Frangelico, which is mentioned in 5,900 Irish Coffee cocktails, and Grand Marnier with 76 mentions.
Easy Irish Cocktail Recipes
It’s important to note that the original Irish Coffee recipe included only hot coffee, Irish whiskey, brown sugar and heavy cream. But today, the data shows that the majority of bars and restaurants are serving it with a modifier. In fact, of all brands mentioned in Irish Whiskey, the brand most mentioned is Baileys, an Irish cream liqueur.
You can get creative with your Irish Coffee recipes, but here are a few easy combinations to get you started.
For the two recipes below, you can begin by heating a glass with hot water and then pouring out the water.
If you prefer to stick with the classics, try your hand at this original recipe. Dissolve 1 tbsp of brown sugar in 4 parts of hot coffee, stir, then add 2 parts Irish Whiskey and stir again to combine.
Alternatively, you might want to go with the version that is most commonly served in bars. For this one, mix 1 part cream liqueur, 1 part Irish Whiskey, and 3 parts hot coffee.
For some added flare, you can add a dollop of whipped cream to both recipes and enjoy!
About Overproof Menu Analysis
This report was built by Overproof, the most powerful business intelligence platform for alcohol brands. At the core of our products is the belief that actionable insights inform better decisions that fuel business growth. Overproof helps brands leverage predictive and prescriptive market intelligence, access account insights, and identify microtrends to outsmart the competition in the field, on the bar, and in liquor stores.
Overproof’s products are powered by Overproof Insights, an artificial and business intelligence repository that combines proprietary, aggregated, and real-time data generated by day-to-day actions on the Overproof platform and app. The innovative suite includes Overpoof, a commercial planning and execution management portal, and mobile app; Tastings, a platform to create and execute off-premise sampling programs while gathering retail data; and F&B Insights, which integrates with merchant POS systems to offer comprehensive on-premise insights to suppliers.
Overproof’s leading menu analysis technology uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to read and extract insights from beverage menus at scale. Our proprietary algorithms scan digital and physical menus to understand their composition and capture cocktails, branded beers, wines, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages, product categories and subcategories, price point, promotional indicators, sponsorship indicators, cocktail styles, and cocktail families. In a matter of seconds, Overproof identifies the brands, products, suppliers and cocktails on each menu.
- When is National Irish Coffee Day?
- What is Irish Coffee?
Irish Coffee is a warm cocktail that combines coffee, Irish Whiskey, a cream liqueur, and brown sugar.
- Where to get Irish Coffee?
Irish Coffee is the 10th most popular cocktail in the U.S., which means that you should be able to order one at practically any establishment that serves liquor. The first Irish Coffee served in the U.S. was at the Buenavista Hotel in San Francisco.
- What’s in Irish Coffee? Typically, Irish coffee will include coffee, Irish Whiskey, a cream liqueur, and brown sugar although many bartenders will add their own spin to the drink.
- How do you make Irish Coffee?
A common way to make Irish Coffee is to mix 1 part Irish Whiskey, 1 part liqueur, and 3 parts coffee in a glass that has been preheated.