Salted Caramel Irish Coffee with Whiskey Caramel

Salted Caramel Irish Coffee

Salted Caramel Irish Coffee with Whiskey Caramel

Unsurprisingly, Sarah and I were having a disagreement.

Because she has a way of convincing me that I should be a reasonably functioning adult, I agreed to be productive and write her some blog posts for St. Patrick’s Day. But she didn’t quite consent to my method.

“We don’t need to get drunk at every excuse,” was the gist of her argument.

“You’re only right because there’s no need for an excuse.”

“You,” she said, and I could feel the lecture building in her diaphragm, “are ridiculous. Not everyone wants to spend all their time in a stupor. We can’t keep posting cocktails one after the other just because you like to see the world in bad resolution.”

“It’s true,” I admitted forlornly. “I take off my glasses in 3D movies.”

(I’ve begun to understand the world better in afterimages.)

Sarah crossed her arms triumphantly. “Exactly. So we shouldn’t just post drinks.”

“But it’s St. Patrick’s Day. Everybody’s goal by the end of the night is to dye their liver green.”

“St. Patrick’s Day,” she corrected me, “is also about more important things. It’s about honoring Irish traditions, and history, and culture –“

“Like whiskey, and beer, and poitín –“

“No,” she snapped. “I refuse to get wasted.”

“That’s very un-Irish of you,” I pointed out.

“Do you really think that’s all Irish people do?”

“Of course. Didn’t we watch The Boondock Saints together?”

“There’s only one bar scene in that movie!”

“You can’t expect me to remember that. I was drunk.”

I don’t know why, but that comment seemed to distress her greatly. Her arms flailed in a series of ambiguously lewd gestures. Disfigured, rhythmic noises came out of her mouth in bursts of alternating volumes. It sounded like she was trying to articulate wingdings.



“I – uh – would you just calm down?”

That’s never a good thing to say to someone who’s angry, but I couldn’t understand why she got so frustrated. Maybe it was because of my obsession with trying to hit 10.0 on the BAC scale, or maybe it was because I’ve managed to make our blog look like it’s trying to get the whole internet drunk, but really, who knows?

Salted Caramel Irish Coffee with Whiskey Caramel

Besides, the event is St. Patrick’s Day. This time, I knew I was right, and I’ll gladly match her stubbornness when the occasion calls for it. I can’t always give in just because she happens to make more sense than me.

“Okay, okay, wait,” I spoke just as she finished inhaling most of the air in our apartment, presumably to talk me out of my beloved nonsense. “Maybe we should compromise?” Her eyes narrowed. She waited suspiciously for me to finish, and I offered my resolution in as placating a tone as possible. “The holiday is next week, right?”


“And there are probably some people who really do want to celebrate your way, and there are probably people who want to celebrate my way. Right?”


“And we disagree about which way is better. So, how about we just be diplomatic about it? We’ll each come up with some options every day leading up to the 17th, and we’ll just try each other’s recipes and post the good ones. That way we’ll get both perspectives.”

My argument seemed to pacify her enough. I could see Sarah’s metaphorical horns retracting from her near-attempt at goring me with good sense.

“Fine,” she agreed after some pause. “I think that’s reasonable.”

“Great! Then it’s all worked out. Maybe you’ll even teach me something by the end of it.”

“I certainly hope so.”

We left the argument at that, but there’s something deceiving about my compromise that Sarah didn’t notice:

  1. Everyday we’ll make a bunch of recipes and taste them together.
  2. Every one of mine will be alcoholic.
  3. Sarah will try them all.

Maybe I’ll be the one teaching her something. Or maybe we’ll both learn our lesson.

Either way, assuming that Sarah trusts me and doesn’t read this post after I publish it, we’ll all be hammered by the end of the week.

Salted Caramel Irish Coffee with Whiskey Espresso Caramel

Salted Caramel Irish Coffee with Whiskey Caramel

For the caramel:

  • 2/3 cups white sugar
  • 1 and 1/4 cups + 2 tbsp of cream
  • 1/4 cup Irish whiskey (we used Jameson)
  • 1 tbsp espresso powder
  1. In a bowl, whisk together the whiskey, espresso powder, and cream.
  2. Put the sugar in a pan over low heat and stir gently until the sugar is dissolved. Let sit. It will turn a caramel color.
  3. Add the whiskey/cream/espresso liquid mixture
    • BE CAREFUL! The caramel will bubble and spit pretty violently.
  4. Stir until combined, then turn off heat

For the drink:

  • 1 oz. Irish whiskey
  • 1.5 oz salted caramel Baileys
  • 1 tbsp sugar (more or less to taste)
  • 2 oz. cream
  • Hot coffee
  • Whipped cream
  1. Fill a mug 3/4-full with hot coffee and mix the sugar until dissolved
  2. Add Baileys, cream, and whiskey.
  3. Top with whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel, and a sprinkle of salt

Enjoy, and if you’re like me and Sarah, alternate sips with spraying whipped cream directly into your mouth.

Photography by Sarah Alice Photography (

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