frozen irish coffee – coffee granita with bourbon whipped cream

Before you say it, I know! Bourbon is not Irish! But it just goes so nicely with the whipped cream here that you’re going to have to forgive me. Admittedly, the last time I had an Irish coffee I made a real faux-pas. I stirred it. The poor guy who had made it and was so proud of his defined layer of cream was devastated. Safe to say, I have learnt from my mistake and instead come up with this recipe. You just can’t make the same mistake I did when the coffee is in frozen form!

I love this idea because it means you can have Irish coffee for dessert, even in the summer. It’s a little lighter than serving a heavy chocolate dessert or a tiramisu but you still get that hit of coffee and a lil bit of booze. You might see a pattern of boozy desserts emerging here…

So if you haven’t eaten/made a granita before, it’s basically an Italian version of a snowcone, but waaaay fancier, because it’s from Sicily. It’s more textural than regular sorbet, and marries perfectly with the light airiness of the whipped cream.

You can make a granita in a huge variety of flavours, all you have to do is take your chosen liquid and pour it into a baking tray. Pop it in the freezer and give it a good scraping with a fork every now and then until the ice crystals have fully formed. Way easier than ice cream and much more forgiving on the waist-line. Until you load it up with whipped cream that is.

But hey, life is all about balance, and that’s exactly what this dessert represents! Cold and crunchy, smooth and creamy. Strong coffee, sweet cream. If you’re a purist and you want to use Irish whiskey, go for it! I just love the sweet richness of bourbon. If you have a long afternoon of cooking for your guests, do as Andrew Rea over at Binging with Babish does and pour yourself a glass while you’re at it! I won’t tell.


  • Serves: 3
  • Cooking Time: 4 hours


  • 2 cups strong coffee
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp bourbon


  1. Start off by making 2 cups of really strong coffee. Add the sugar, stir and pour it into a baking dish. Leave it to cool to room temp.
  2. When it has reached room temperature, place it in the freezer. Every 30 minutes, take it out and using a fork, rake up the ice crystals to separate them.
  3. After about 3 hours the granita should be fully frozen and should look a bit like fine gravel or coarse sand.
  4. In a medium sized bowl, whip up the cream, bourbon and powdered sugar using an electric whisk. Beat until soft peaks form.
  5. Divide the granita between serving glasses and top with the whipped cream. Enjoy!
Written on September 8, 2017