Irish Cream Cold Brew

An Irish Cream Cold Brew is the ultimate morning cuppa or afternoon pick-me-up for the holidays and springtime. With a heaping spoonful of an Irish cream-flavored cold foam topping, this copycat coffee drink is easy to make at home.

Foam sinks down into a glass of iced cold brew. A gold spoon sits next to the glass with a jar of Irish Cream syrup in the background.

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Irish Cream Cold Brew recipe

If there’s one cocktail I could enjoy every single day, it’s an Irish coffee.

It’s warm, sweet and packs a boozy punch. But that last reason is why I can’t sip on it every day!

The Irish Cream Cold Brew is the perfect everyday coffee drink to enjoy instead.

It features iced cold brew coffee that’s been sweetened with an Irish cream coffee syrup. On top is a creamy layer of cold foam with another hint of Irish cream flavor.

More coffee drink recipes: Pumpkin Cream Cold BrewCinnamon LatteWhipped Coffee

Why you’ll love this recipe

Making coffee shop drinks at home like an iced brown sugar oat milk shaken espresso or a caramel macchiato is one of the best ways to start the day.

This cold coffee drink is equally great for your morning coffee and the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. Here’s why I think it’ll be one of your new favorite drinks:

  • Irish Cream Cold Brew is the perfect drink for warmer days during the winter months.
  • It’s much cheaper to make coffee drinks at home than to get them at a coffee shop.
  • You can give this coffee drink a boozy kick if you want to!
  • It’s made with fresh ingredients so you can feel good about what you’re drinking. And you can sweeten it as much as you like.

Enjoy from the holidays all the way until St. Patrick’s Day, or anytime you’re craving this seasonal drink and some holiday spirit!

A gold platter holds two glasses of Irish Cream Cold Brew.

What is Irish Cream Cold Brew?

Irish Cream Cold Brew is a coffee drink starring lightly sweetened, cold-brewed coffee over ice that’s topped with a thick layer of cream that has notes of coffee, vanilla and chocolate.

In 2019, Starbucks unveiled the Irish Cream Cold Brew for their holiday menu. The holiday menu is always available for a limited time (usually the month of December) and has included other drinks like the Eggnog Latte, Peppermint Mocha, Sugar Cookie Latte and Gingerbread Latte.

The Starbucks Irish Cream Cold Brew features their in-house Irish cream syrup and a sweet cold vanilla foam on top.

The Starbucks copycat recipe below shows you how to craft your own Irish cream syrup to add to you favorite cold brew and to sweeten your own cold foam.

ingredients for Irish Cream Cold Brew on a marble countertop


You only need a few ingredients at the grocery store to make this delicious Irish cream coffee drink.

Heavy cream

The cream layer on top of Irish Cream Cold Brew is similar to whipped cream, but it is not whipped nearly as much. If you’ve ever made whipped cream at home before, you will know you are looking for stiff peaks.

In the case of the cold foam that goes on top of this coffee drink, you will agitate it until it is thick and smooth, but it doesn’t have to be quite as stiff as whipped cream.

To make it, you will need heavy cream or whipping cream. Heavy cream is the same as whipping cream. Either is fine for this recipe, but do not use milk. Milk does not have the proper fat content to be whipped.

To flavor the sweet cream, you can use a few different things:

  • Homemade Baileys whipped cream (though not quite as stiff) that has real Irish cream liqueur in it.
  • A splash of Irish cream syrup
  • Any kind of sugar: granulated sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar or powdered sugar
A jar of brown syrup with a gold spoon resting inside.

Irish cream syrup

This coffee is flavored with a delicious Irish cream syrup.

Irish cream syrup has all the flavors of homemade Irish cream liqueur. It’s sweet with flavors of vanilla, coffee, chocolate and Irish whiskey. However, it doesn’t contain cream or any dairy at all.

Though you can buy Irish cream syrup at the store or online, it is super simple to make at home with ingredients you already have on hand.

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own Irish cream syrup:

  • sugar
  • water
  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Instant espresso powder
  • vanilla extract
  • a splash of Irish whiskey (optional)

If you have leftover syrup, you can use it in other coffee drinks, like a latte or coffee soda, or try it in a cocktail like an Irish old-fashioned with your favorite Irish whiskey.

A mason jar with lid contains rich, dark cold brew coffee.

Cold brew coffee

We can’t forget the coffee! The Starbucks version uses cold brew coffee, but you could certainly make this with hot coffee if you’d like!

Cold brew coffee is brewed without heat. As a result, the coffee is less bitter and has a pleasant taste for sipping.

While you can buy pre-made cold brew at the grocery store, you could also use coffee that was hot that has cooled down.

Or — my favorite — you can make your own cold brew concentrate at home.

It can be made in a bowl or mason jar with water and your favorite ground coffee beans. I like to use a cold brew jar (pictured above) that was designed for cold-brewing, but you can also do it in a French press coffee maker.

If you make it yourself, plan ahead, because the cold-brewing process takes about 8-12 hours. You can prepare it the night before and have fresh cold brew ready-to-go in the morning.

A coffee foamer is used to create foam in a glass measuring cup.

Easy Irish Cream Cold Foam

Before you get started assembling the coffee, you’ll want to pull together your Irish cream cold foam. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Add whipping cream, Irish cream liqueur and sugar to a medium measuring cup or small mixing bowl. (You can also use a little Irish cream syrup if you don’t want to use alcohol.)
  2. Using a handheld milk frother or a hand mixer, whip the cream until all ingredients are combined and the mixture has thickened. It does not need to be as stiff as whipped cream, but it should be thick.
  3. Store in an airtight, food-safe container for up to 3 days. You may need to re-whip it if it settles.
Cold brew coffee is poured from a glass measuring cup into a cup of ice.

How to make Irish Cream Cold Brew

Once you have your cold brew coffee and your cold foam to go on top, you’re ready to make a copycat version of the Irish Cream Cold Brew. Here’s how:

First, add ice cubes to a 12-ounce glass. Top with cold brew coffee.

Stir in some Irish cream simple syrup to sweeten, if desired. You could also use vanilla syrup here.

Foam is spooned on top of a glass of Irish Cream cold brew.

Finally, spoon a layer of the creamy cold foam over top of the cold brew.

If you like, sprinkle a dusting of cocoa powder on top. Then, you’re ready to sip on this deliciousness!

Enjoy with a cheese danish or madeleine, just like you’d get at the coffee shop!

A gold platter holds two glasses of Irish Cream Cold Brew.


What is an Irish Cream Cold Brew?

The Irish Cream Cold Brew is a cold coffee drink introduced by Starbucks for its 2019 holiday drink menu. It consists of cold brew coffee over ice that’s been sweetened with Irish cream syrup and has a creamy layer of sweet vanilla cold foam on top.

What does Irish Cream Cold Brew taste like?

The Irish Cream Cold Brew has hints of Irish cream liqueur (such as Baileys) but doesn’t contain alcohol. It’s essentially a non-alcoholic Irish coffee with notes of cocoa and vanilla.

What does Irish cream syrup taste like?

Irish cream syrup is a sweet simple syrup with flavors of cocoa, vanilla and coffee. It can have a slight whiskey flavor too, but isn’t alcoholic.

More Irish cream recipes

— Did you make this recipe? —

Please leave a ★★★★★ review or comment below.

Irish cream cold brew on a gold tray

Irish Cream Cold Brew

Yield: 1 coffee
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Enjoy a flavorful Irish Cream Cold Brew at home with cold brew coffee, Irish cream syrup and a sweet cold foam on top.
5 from 53 votes
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Irish Cream Syrup

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon Irish whiskey optional

Irish Cream Cold Foam

  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon Irish cream liqueur or Irish cream syrup (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Irish Cream Cold Brew

  • 10 ounces cold brew coffee
  • ½ ounce Irish cream syrup
  • ¼ cup Irish Cream Cold Foam


Irish Cream Syrup

  • In a small saucepan, heat sugar and water. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Turn off the heat.
  • Whisk in cocoa powder and espresso powder. Continue to whisk until completely dissolved and few or no lumps remain. Stir in vanilla extract and Irish whiskey.
  • With a fine-mesh strainer, strain into a jar or bottle.
  • Store in the fridge for up to one month.

Irish cream cold foam

  • Add whipping cream, Irish cream liqueur and sugar to a medium measuring cup or small mixing bowl.
  • Using a milk frother or hand mixer, whip the cream until all ingredients are combined and the mixture has thickened. It does not need to be as stiff as whipped cream.
  • Store in an airtight, food-safe container for up to 3 days. You make need to re-whip it if it settles.

Irish cream cold brew

  • Add ice to a 12-ounce glass. Top with cold brew coffee, leaving about an inch at the top of the glass for the cold foam.
  • Stir in Irish cream simple syrup to sweeten, if desired.
  • Spoon Irish cream cold foam over top.


In lieu of the Irish cream liqueur in the cold foam, you can use Irish cream simple syrup instead. Be sure to omit the sugar or it will be very sweet.

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nutrition information

Yield: 1 coffee

amount per serving:

Serving: 12ounces Calories: 80kcal Carbohydrates: 12g Protein: 1g Fat: 3g Saturated Fat: 2g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 11mg Sodium: 15mg Potassium: 170mg Sugar: 12g Vitamin A: 103IU Calcium: 23mg Iron: 1mg
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