Irish Coffee Vs. Spanish Coffee (And Learn How to Make Them)

Last Updated on January 24, 2022 by John Moretti

Irish coffee and Spanish coffee have their own perks and seem like it’s hard to decide which one to have. It shouldn’t be that difficult. Between Irish coffee vs Spanish coffee, let’s find out which one is the better option.

Spanish coffee is an American adaptation of Carajillo, made using coffee and overproof rum. A flame of fire lights the rum, which leads to the sugar rim’s caramelization on the glass. Irish coffee consists of a mixture of coffee and Irish whisky combined with sugar and topped with cream.

Craving citrus with an island-style taste, or feel for more an oak barrel quality taste? Why don’t you treat yourself to an IRISH on one day, then on the next day, treat yourself to a SPANISH. I’m talking about COFFEE! Spiked coffee lover, you NEED to keep reading on because you are about to discover a whole world of Spanish and Irish Coffee.

What Is The Difference Between Irish And Spanish Coffee?

There is an entirely different taste between the two coffees. The Irish coffee has more of a solid oak taste because of all the years the whiskey has been fermenting in the barrels. Spanish coffee has three different types of alcohol: citrus liquor, rum, and Kahlua. With having tasted both Irish and Spanish COFFEES, the quality of the coffee has to be the best (preferably Arabica).

The quality of ingredients that you add to both coffees will have a significant impact on the taste. However, if you do not have time to go out and buy an excellent quality Irish whisky because you have dinner or breakfast guests at your home, use any whiskey you have got on hand. 

The same thing for Spanish Coffee if you do not have the time to go out and buy good quality orange liqueur or rum use what you got on hand; but remember the better the coffee quality, the better the taste.

In the 1940s, after the war, Irish coffee was invented. It was winter, and chef Joe Sheridan started the infamous Irish coffee. 

In the 1970s, Spanish coffee made its debut. James Louise, co-owner of Hubers Bar in Oregon, created the fantastic Spanish coffee. Don’t confuse the name “Spanish Coffee” for a Spanish drink because it is from Oregon! Now, go ahead and order or make them!

How Do You Make An Irish Coffee?

coffee making

Feeling for an Irish? Here are the ingredients needed to make Irish coffee:

  1. Black coffee (always the best quality dark roast)
  2. Whiskey (preferably Irish or any other whiskey)
  3. Double Cream
  4. Sugar
  5. Nutmeg

Have all your ingredients ready with you at hand because this is how you make an Irish coffee:

  1.  Place brown sugar into an Irish coffee glass.
  2.  Pour in the coffee and then mix in the whiskey.
  3.  Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  4.  Pour in the double cream over the back of a spoon so that it will stay on top. Now, watch your drink come together and see how the magic begins to happen as you sprinkle the nutmeg over the cream.

What Ingredients Do You Need For A Spanish Coffee?

Spanish Coffee
  1.  Dark Roast Coffee
  2.  Kahlua (or any other coffee liqueur)
  3.  Triple sec (or any other orange liqueur)
  4.  Rum (preferably 151 rum)
  5.  Sugar and lemon

Finally, the time has come for the making of a decadent Spanish coffee:

  1. Start by making your favorite top-quality dark roast coffee.
  2. Wet the very edge of your glass, dip it into the brown sugar, so only the rim has the” sugar.”
  3. Use a blowtorch or cigarette lighter, whatever you prefer, and caramelize the sugar.
  4. Add coffee and sugar, stir until sugar has dissolved
  5. Pour Kahlua, Triple Sec, and rum. Remember to mix well!
  6. Fold in the double cream over the back of a spoon so that the cream does not dissolve.
  7. Sip and enjoy!

The main event is the making of the Irish vs. the Spanish!

When Is The Best Time To Drink Irish/Spanish Coffee?

The absolute best part about Irish and Spanish coffee is that there is no specific time to drink them as you can decide whenever you feel like it. Many people enjoy drinking both Irish and Spanish coffee with breakfast and dinner. That’s what makes these two fascinating blends of coffees so unique and exciting! So, go ahead and experiment when you prefer your spiked coffee! 

What Is Better, Irish Or Spanish Coffee?

Answer these questions to decide and pick your taste buds’ wish:

  • Are you craving something not too sweet but with a bit of a kick? Then, the coffee to choose will definitely be Irish coffee.
  • Do you desire something exotic with a citrus and rum flavor? Then the Spanish coffee will settle all those desires! 

The Irish will say theirs is the best-tasting coffee. The Americans will say theirs is best. As a middle man, I choose two excellent tasting coffees! It goes down to the required taste that you crave.


To conclude, remember that what makes Irish and Spanish coffee taste so extraordinary is a potent blend of high-quality dark roast coffee because if the mixture is weak, it will destroy the real taste of both of them.  The whiskey is also a key ingredient to Irish coffee. If you plan to make one go out, treat yourself to a good bottle of Irish whiskey. However, any high-quality whiskey will do! 

The same goes for Spanish coffee. Any high-quality rum and orange liqueur in your cabinet will do the trick. Both Irish coffee and Spanish coffee have that sensational factor that will leave your taste buds with a fantastic taste like no other!

Use the instructions and ingredients from the guide above, and get mixing and making or go out and order one of these incredible drinks. Or maybe even both!