As author Alex Levine put it, the Irish coffee provides the “four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and fat,” - but what about jello?

The crew at Huffington Post decided to delve into some retro cocktail recipes and they came up with a 1969 recipe for "Jellied Irish Coffee Cocktail." Apparently gelatin was a big deal in the 1950s and 60s and often found its way into recipes where it shouldn’t have. Even salads, they claim.

We’re not quite sure what Irish coffee purists might think about this recipe. The hot, caffeinated drink was invented by Limerick chef Joseph Sheridan in 1942 to welcome Americans visiting Ireland. The travelers arrived in the west of Ireland on a cold winter night, so Sheridan added whiskey to their coffee to warm them up, telling the Americans they were being served Irish coffee.

A San Francisco Chronicle travel writer, Stanton Delaplane, brought the recipe back to the U.S. after drinking Irish coffee at Shannon Airport. It was first served at the Buena Vista Café in San Francisco on November 10, 1952.

And then in 1969 they made this concoction!

Well what do you think? The crew at HuffPo didn’t seem to be fans.

For 6 servings.


1 tbsp. unflavored gelatin
2 cups water
1 1/2 tbsp. instant coffee
4 tbsp. sugar
3 ounces Irish whiskey
Sweetened whipped cream


Soften the gelatin in 1/2 cup of water.

Heat the rest of the water, add the instant coffee and sugar to the softened gelatin.

Stir to dissolve the gelatin, add the whiskey, and remove the pan from the fire.

Pour into demitasse cups or small bowls and chill until firm.

Just before serving, mask the top of the jelly with whipped cream.

You can find more traditional Irish recipes on IrishCentral's recipe page on Facebook. 

Here’s the HuffPost Live report:

* Originally published in 2013.