Why It Works
- Swapping out the booze in a traditional Irish coffee opens up a world of flavor combinations.
A classic Irish coffee is made with Irish whiskey, but the simplicity of the drink makes it easy to customize. Hot coffee + liqueur + delicious whipped cream opens up a world of possibilities. This is part of a series of Irish coffee variations. Be sure to try this butterscotch rum riff, or this unusual (and exciting) cup with fernet and lemon whipped cream.
As every 90s-era coffee shop once knew, hazelnut and coffee are a winning combo. As every jar of Nutella reveals, hazelnut and chocolate are, too. And, as every chocolate-covered coffee bean attests, those two fermented and roasted beans are a match made in heaven. So why not put all three together? For the alcohol, that means Frangelico, a hazelnut-infused liqueur. For the whipped cream, it means a good dose of Dutch-process cocoa powder. Do I even need to say that it works? Of course, it does! (For all you punners out there, the name of this drink is a pretty terrible play on gianduia, the real name of the Italian chocolate-and-hazelnut spread of which Nutella is just one mass-market version.)
- 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder (1/2 ounce; 15g), plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon (4g) sugar
- Tiny pinch kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
- 6 ounces (175ml) hot black coffee
- 1 1/2 ounces (45ml) Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) 2:1 simple syrup (see note)
Combine cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and heavy cream in a mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Beat, using the whisk attachment, electric beaters, or a whisk, until dry ingredients are evenly incorporated and cream forms soft peaks.
Combine hot coffee, Frangelico, and simple syrup in a prewarmed mug. (You can prewarm it by pouring hot water into it, letting it stand for 1 minute, then draining.) Using a spoon, dollop whipped cream on top of coffee and top with a dusting of cocoa powder. Serve right away. (You may have more whipped cream than the mug can accommodate; feel free to add more as you drink, or use some for the next round.)
To make a 2:1 simple syrup, combine 1/2 cup (120g) granulated sugar with 1/4 cup (60ml) water in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring, until sugar is fully dissolved. In these recipes, you can add the syrup hot, since the drinks are hot; any extra can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three months, and often longer.