Homemade Irish Cream might not be the fanciest of things. The Whiskey liqueur has a bit of an old-school vibe to it. But it's sweet, it's tasty, and it's a real crowd-pleaser. There's no shame in having a soft spot for the classics.
And the best thing about homemade Irish Cream is that you can use your favorite Whiskey. You can try getting it as close to being a Baileys copycat as possible, or you can make your very own version. -If it's intended to be a gift, and you know the favorite Whiskey brand of the recipient, that's even better.
What is Irish Cream
Irish Cream is made mainly from Whiskey and cream. And these two components get refined with spiced cocoa and vanilla, added sugar, and some other flavoring. On average, Irish Cream has an alcohol content of about 15-20%.
Some think Irish Cream has a long tradition in Ireland. But in fact, it sprung from the mind of three British guys in the 1970s and was given the name Baileys.
Ingredients for homemade Irish Cream
To get the best homemade Irish Cream, you have to invest a little money into the ingredients. Not too much, because you also don't want to waste top shelf Whiskey by mixing it with cream. But use ingredients you would like to drink without flavorings masking their taste.
The first Irish Cream ever was made with Jameson Whiskey. So if you want to go with the product that kicked off the whole concept of Irish cream, Jameson Irish Whiskey it is. Otherwise, as I said, go with something you like. Only remember that you want the Whiskey to have a bit of an alcoholic bite because it has to cut through all the sweetness and richness from the other ingredients.
The cream part
The guys who dreamed up Baileys went with single cream for their first shot. Single cream has a fat content of about 18%. That's pretty low, but still, 1.5x the fat content of half and half.
The overall fat content of Baileys is over 15%. And it's safe to say half and half won't achieve that. So they won't do, at least if you're not on a diet. I like to go with a cream containing at least 20% fat. -Which is still not enough to get to the 15%, but there's more fat coming.
Flavorings for your homemade Irish cream
Again, the initial flavorings were sugar and some cocoa powder. That's not getting you the perfect Irish cream, though. You will also need vanilla, a bit of coffee powder, and sweetened condensed milk. -This is where the sugar and the additional fat are coming in.
Ways to enjoy Irish Cream
You can enjoy your homemade Baileys neat, straight, or on the rocks. It's as delightful cold on a hot day as it is warm, out of the bottle on a cold winter day.
It works a treat in a coffee, for instance, you can turn a regular Irish Coffee into a Baileys Irish Coffee. Or you can spice up a regular hot chocolate, as well.
And you can also create sweet and rich dessert cocktails with your homemade Irish Cream, for instance, the Chocolate Martini or a Screaming Orgasm - sounds more bizarre than it is. And then, there are some evergreen shots like the B-52 or the Baby Guinness. Those are especially popular during St. Patrick's day.
- 7 oz light cream
- 4 oz Irish Whiskey
- 1 tsp instant coffee
- 1 tsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
- First, mix a tablespoon of the cream with coffee, and cocoa powder
- Then slowly stir in the remaining cream - I don't use a blender because I like a smooth but still liquid consistency. I don't want the cream to become thick and stiff.
- Now, add the Whiskey, vanilla extract, and condensed milk.
- Fill in an airtight sealable bottle and store in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.
- Shake the bottle before drinking.