Calling all coffee enthusiasts! There’s a whole latte to love about this Irish Cream Breve recipe! Ok, cheesy. But true.
If you love a rich, indulgent, creamy coffee drink, you’re going to love this combination of dark espresso and Irish cream.
Let me show you how to create this super popular coffee shop favorite right in your kitchen – no fancy equipment required!
What is an Irish Cream Breve?
One of the more dessert-like coffee drinks out there, an Irish Cream Breve is a mixture of strong brewed espresso, creamy half-and-half and Irish cream syrup.
The Irish syrup has a unique flavor and adds a smoothness to this delicious drink, with hints of vanilla and nuttiness. It’s kind of a cross between a vanilla syrup and a hazelnut syrup. Some even say that their taste buds pick up hints of chocolate.
Sadly, we don’t have Dutch Bros. here on the East coast. But I did some research on the Dutch Bros Kicker recipe, and tried to get as close as I could to their masterpiece with this copycat recipe.
What’s the difference between a Breve and a Latte?
The main difference between a breve and a latte is the type of milk used. A latte can be made with skim milk, 2% milk or whole milk to create a smooth, frothy drink. A breve, on the other hand, is always made with half-and-half.
You may see breve recipes out there that call for heavy cream, but most of them are going to use half-and-half.
The cream used in an Irish Cream Breve provides an indulgent, almost dessert-like creaminess, making it a more decadent treat compared to a latte’s lighter and frothier texture.
What’s in this Irish Cream Breve recipe
Three simple ingredients is all you’ll need to create this popular drink:
- Brewed espresso. No worries if you don’t have an espresso machine. I’ll provide several alternatives further down in this post.
- Half-and-half. This is exactly what its name implies: It’s half cream and half milk. And it’s what sets the breve apart from the latte. It’s got to be half-and-half (not regular milk) to be a breve.
- Irish cream syrup. You may be able to find this at your local grocery store. My local store does not carry it, so I order a small bottle from Amazon.
How to Make an Irish Cream Breve
Brew the Espresso
In the bartending world, one shot is equal to 1.5 ounces. But in the barista world, one shot is equal to just one ounce. So one espresso shot = one ounce.
We’re going to use two espresso shots, or two ounces, to make this Irish Cream Breve. If you prefer a stronger beverage, feel free to add more shots of espresso.
(As an aside, Dutch Bros. also makes a drink called the 9-1-1. It’s the same as the Kicker, except instead of 2 shots of espresso there are six!)
For alternative ways to make delicious espresso without a fancy machine, keep reading below.
In a pinch, you can use very strong hot coffee.
Steam the Milk
If you have an espresso maker with a milk frother attachment, you can use it to steam the cold half-and-half.
Place the frother attachment just underneath the surface of the milk without going too deep. When the cup of milk becomes almost too hot to handle, you’ll know that it’s ready to add to the espresso.
You can also steam the half-and-half in a small saucepan on the stove, watching it carefully so that it doesn’t boil over and scorch. The microwave also works!
Make the Irish cream
Pour that Irish cream syrup right into your steamed half-and-half and froth it while it’s still very hot.
There are different ways to froth milk, and the easiest way is to use a handheld frother. Seems like everyone has one of those handheld frothers these days. They make it so easy to create pretty coffee drinks, homemade whipped cream, omelettes and more.
If you don’t have a handheld frother, pour the hot milk into a French press coffee maker and plunge up and down vigorously until foam forms.
Combine the Irish Cream and Espresso
Now, pour your Irish cream over the shots of espresso and stir to combine.
How to serve this Irish Cream Breve
Serve your creamy beverage as-is or give it a dusting of cocoa powder or a drizzle of caramel syrup on top.
Whether you enjoy it as part of your morning coffee routine, a decadent after-dinner drink or even a substitute for dessert, you’re going to love the rich creaminess of this Irish Cream Breve.
Variations on the classic Irish Cream Breve recipe
Now that you know the basics of this Irish Cream Breve recipe, try out these variations the next time you make one:
1. Iced Irish Cream Breve. At Dutch Bros, the Kicker can be made hot, cold or blended. It’s easy to make this hot beverage into an iced one. Simply skip the step where you’d steam the half-and-half and stir it directly into the espresso. Use a tall glass and leave room for plenty of ice cubes.
2. Make it a Cold Brew. There’s a Starbucks Irish cream cold brew beverage that shows up on their holiday menu every year. It’s not quite a breve, but it makes use of Irish cream syrup. It’s made with cold brew coffee, Irish cream simple syrup and cold foam, all served over ice.
3. Blended Irish Cream Breve. Coffee milkshake anyone? Pour all of your ingredients into a blender along with a cup of ice and blend until frosty.
4. Make it an Irish Coffee. Pour the shot of espresso into a glass, followed by a shot of quality Irish whiskey and the Irish cream syrup. Don’t steam the half-and-half. Just froth it and spoon it on top of the espresso.
5. Booze it up. Swap out the Irish cream syrup for its boozy cousin, Irish cream liqueur. The most popular brand is Bailey’s, which is a mixture of Irish whiskey and cream. Bailey’s is used in famous cocktails like White Russians, Mudslides and other indulgent drinks.
What if you don’t have an espresso machine?
Many coffee lovers out there think that they can’t make fancy espresso drinks without a machine. Not the case!
Here are alternative ways to get it done:
- Instant Espresso: Dissolve instant espresso powder in hot water to create a concentrated coffee. I keep espresso powder on hand to use in many cookie and baking recipes, and it’s an easy way to create the base for macchiatos, lattes and other specialty coffee drinks.
- Stovetop Moka Pot: A stovetop moka pot is a classic Italian coffee pot that can produce a strong, espresso-like coffee. It might not be true espresso, but it’s a great option for home brewing.
- French Press: While traditionally used for making coffee, a French press can be used to brew a strong coffee concentrate that can serve as the base for your macchiato.
- Aeropress: The Aeropress is a versatile coffee maker that can produce a concentrated coffee shot akin to espresso. It’s a popular choice among home baristas.
- Nespresso Machine: Another popular choice, you can have espresso in just the press of a button if you choose the right capsule.
When you make this Irish Cream Breve recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
For more fun drink recipes, try these:
- Iced Mocha Macchiato (Starbucks Copycat Recipe)
- Easy Mango Smoothie Recipe (No Yogurt or Dairy)
- Hot Mocha Macchiato (Easy Coffee House Recipe)
- Apple Cider Ice Cream Floats
- Mulled Spiked Cider
How to Make an Irish Cream Breve (Easy Coffee Recipe)
- 2 oz. brewed espresso
- 8 oz. half-and-half
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. Irish cream syrup
- Brew the espresso and pour it into a large glass that holds at least 10 ounces of liquid.
- Steam the half-and-half using the attachment on an espresso machine, in a saucepan on the stove or in the microwave.
- Pour syrup into the steamed half-and-half. Froth the half-and-half using a handheld frother, if desired.
- Pour the half-and-half into the glass with the espresso. Stir gently and enjoy.