Hot Drink: Irish Coffee Twist

Photos by Paulette Phlipot

Irish coffee is for the daytime rule breakers. Having a cup of joe after 2PM or indulging in a libation before 5PM? No cause for concern when it’s whiskey mixed with java. It’s a rebellious cocktail so it makes sense that it became Americanized at a San Francisco cafe. Popular theory suggests that it was San Francisco Chronicle travel reporter Stanton Delaplane who first brought the idea back from an airport in Ireland to the Buena Vista Cafe. Buena Vista boasts it’s sold 30 million cups since, but you don’t need to visit Fisherman’s Wharf to enjoy this rich concoction.

PUNCH’s photography director (and resident foodie) Paulette Phlipot devised her own interpretation of this classic belly warmer. Whether you are trying to go dairy- free or not, you’ll definitely like this twist on the traditional Irish Coffee sweetened with maple syrup and topped with cashew cream. You will need to plan ahead to make the cashew cream as the cashews need to soak for at least an hour. Soaking the cashews overnight is even better to make the cream even creamier. You will have extra cream, but not to worry, once you try it, you will want to top everything with it!

make it

Irish Coffee Topped with Cashew Cream


  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in cold water
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 Tbl maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ⅔ cup hot coffee (strong brewed)
  • 2 Tbl Irish whiskey
  • 1 Tbl maple syrup
  • Pre-warm your glass, by pouring boiling water in it.


Drain the cashews. Place the first five ingredients into a high-speed blender; blend until creamy. If it’s too thick, add a bit of water until it’s smooth. If you prefer it sweeter, add a little more maple syrup. Place in fridge until ready to use.


Pour the hot water out of your glass, pour in about ⅔ cup of hot, strong brewed coffee. Stir in Irish whiskey and maple syrup. Take a big spoonful of the cashew cream and stir it into the coffee. Enjoy!