The Irish have a rich and storied history. Part Irish myself, I love the literature, songs and, of course, recipes (These are our favorites!) Surprisingly, there isn’t much history for the Irish cream liqueur recipe our taste buds know and love today. Barely older than me, Irish cream is still relatively a babe when compared to the tomes of Irish history and lore.
What Is Irish Cream?
It’s made of cream, milk, sugar, chocolate and coffee (plus or minus a few ingredients). The history of Irish cream is a short one. In the early 1970s, Irish distillers were looking to sell a product internationally. Tom Jago, a liquor executive, came up with the Irish cream liqueur recipe and a bestseller was born.
Are Irish Cream and Bailey’s the Same Thing?
Kind of. Bailey’s is a brand that is synonymous with Irish cream—consider it the Kleenex of the Irish cream world. However, there are other brands available in Ireland and beyond, like Kerrygold. (We taste-tested the Kerrygold Irish cream, by the way.) So Bailey’s is Irish cream, but Irish cream can be any one of many brands, or even made at home.
How to Make Irish Cream
It’s straightforward and easy, but nonetheless tasty. The key is selecting your preferred whiskey and, as always, making sure you have the best quality ingredients available.
- 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup 2% milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (Here’s how to make your own.)
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 1/2 cups Irish whiskey
Step 1: Blend the Ingredients
In a blender, combine the first eight ingredients. Cover and process until smooth.
Step 2: Add the Whiskey
Slowly stir in the Irish whiskey. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator until you are ready to drink.
Step 3: Serve It Up
You can serve this Irish cream liqueur recipe a few different ways. Here are my recommendations:
- Enjoy it straight up
- Pour a shot or two over ice
- Mix in with your afternoon cup of coffee (and add a dollop of fresh whipped cream—yum!)
- Add a splash of Kahlua or Frangelico for a different flavor and extra punch