How to Make Irish Cream

Irish Cream, or better known to many as “Bailey’s” is dead easy to make at home.

Now, you might be thinking “But adding alcohol to dairy is going to make it curdle!” And you are right. You might think “EEW gross!” but think about it this way: if you are buying Bailey’s and it’s not curdling and can be left warm on a liquor store shelf for months at a time, what are they putting in it to keep it from doing that?

Now that we’ve established that it will curdle, how do we prevent that? Aside from keeping it in the fridge, a nice hearty shake of the container will bring it back to its luscious velvety state in no time. I tested this out when my handy dandy mason jar was full of homemade Irish Cream, half full, and even when there was only a couple ounces left. No matter how lumpy it started, it always reverted to the desired texture after shaking.

Next question: does it taste as good as the original? HELL YES. I’m not exaggerating. I would even say it tastes better than the original, simply because it’s fresher. Mine tasted a little bit less sweet (which I’ll discuss below the recipe),  but that didn’t change the authenticity of the flavour all that much.

Of course, you must be wondering: “But how will it taste and mix into my coffee?” Again, exactly like the original.

However, the best part about making it home: you have to use Irish whiskey. Which means that not only are you given the power to choose which Irish whiskey you use, but you’ll have some left over after you make it. My biggest hesitation to buying Irish Cream or any other liqueur I would largely have simply to put into coffee, is that I’m going to drop $30 on something I use infrequently. Irish whiskey however, is far more versatile. I could mix that in anything or just drink it straight up; the possibilities are endless!

The recipe I used from sourced from All Recipes, and I knew it was good because my friend made it for me and gave it to me as a birthday present. She also used soy milk and cream, though I am not certain how she found a non-dairy replacement for the condensed milk, or if that hadn’t been taken into consideration.

I tested it out at half the recommended yield (4 cups on the recipe page), as I wanted to ensure I would enjoy it. The great thing about All Recipes is you can specify what yield you want and it automatically modifies all the quantities for you.

“Original” Irish Cream Recipe
Makes 2 cups

  • 1/2 cup whipping (heavy) cream (35% MF)
  • 7 oz condensed milk (half a 14 oz can)
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp + 1 tsp Irish whiskey
  • 1/2 tsp instant coffee granules
  • 1 tbsp chocolate syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

In a blender, combine whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, Irish wIrish Cream Gift Bottlehiskey, instant coffee, chocolate syrup, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Blend on high for 20 to 30 seconds. Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. Shake well before serving. Keeps for about 2 months in the fridge.

I did not have chocolate syrup on hand, so I used 1 tsp of cocoa powder instead. This made my version slightly less sweet but did not change the flavour otherwise. Next time, I will add 1 tbsp of sugar as well.

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