If you thought Irish coffee was strictly for the winter months, you are happily quite mistaken.
New Orleans is a city famous for its cocktails – from the Sazerac to the Hurricane; from the Absinthe Frappe to the French 75. These are all ideal for sitting and sipping, but if you’re looking for a cocktail you can take with you on a stroll on a hot summer’s day (and that is precisely one of the unique joys New Orleans offers) your best bet is a frozen cocktail, and the absolute best of the frozen cocktails is a frozen Irish coffee.
I had the great fortune to try one during a trip to New Orleans, at the Erin Rose, a small and beloved Irish dive. The bar, located just off Bourbon Street, feels like a little secret, worlds away from the commotion around the corner. Their motto? “Local prices, local chaos, local love.”
The bar’s greatest claim to fame is the frozen Irish coffee, and one sip was enough to understand why. A hefty pour of whiskey goes into a plastic cup (all the better for taking it to go), topped off by a frozen coffee concoction from a slushy machine, swirled around, and finished with a light dusting of chocolate and a straw. It’s cool and creamy; not too sweet and with a little caffeine kick.
The Erin Rose recipe is a secret, but some desperate Google searching revealed how to make a close approximation. It’s the perfect summer drink.
Frozen Irish Coffee
- 1oz Irish whiskey
- 1oz espresso or strong, fresh-brewed coffee
- 1/2oz simple syrup
- 2oz milk
- 1 generous scoop of vanilla ice cream
- 5 large ice cubes
Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until totally combined. For authenticity’s sake, serve in a plastic cup, with a swirl of chocolate cookie crumbles, powdered cocoa, or grated chocolate.
* Originally published in 2018, updated in June 2023.