Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur makes an amazing gift and tastes better than the real thing! It’s perfect for celebrating the holidays, St. Patrick’s Day or enjoying a nightcap anytime.
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Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur recipe
Ireland is a magical place. I have visited once, when I was a teenager with my family. We spent the holidays there and enjoyed a rare White Christmas in Galway.
The two things that stick out most to me about that trip and Ireland in general are the scenery and the food.
Ireland is just gorgeous. If it’s not on your travel radar, it totally should be. The countryside is a lush emerald green you’ll never forget — a pretty exact match to that specific shade of St. Patrick’s Day green. My favorite sight was the Cliffs of Moher: steep cliffs overlooking a sea of crashing waves.
In fact, Irish cream is so good, it’s worth making at home too.
Why you’ll love this recipe
You’ll love this homemade liqueur recipe, for a few reasons:
- This Irish cream is thick and creamy — and packs a real punch.
- It’s simple to make at home with easy-to-find ingredients.
- You can use it to mix into drinks like Baileys iced coffee or sip it as a nightcap.
Homemade Irish cream also makes a great holiday gift, housewarming gift or hostess gift. I love to jar it up and share it with friends for Christmas.
And, of course, this Irish drink is the best St. Patrick’s Day drink. You’ll definitely want to stock up on the ingredients every March.
History of Irish cream
Baileys Irish Cream is a brand name we all know — and it’s also the origin of all Irish cream. It was created by Gibley’s of Ireland as a marketing effort to combine Irish dairy with Irish whiskey.
Now owned by liquor conglomerate Diageo, this creamy liqueur is manufactured in Dublin, Ireland and Mallusk, Northern Ireland.
According to Baileys, approximately 200 million liters of Irish milk from family-owned farms are required for its production. (That’s apparently enough to make about 3.3 billion Baileys milkshakes!)
And here’s a fun fact: It’s Baileys Irish Cream, not “Bailey’s Irish Cream” — there’s no apostrophe in Baileys!
I remember the first time I tried Irish cream liqueur. My mom sometimes serves it as an after-dinner drink over ice, sometimes as a splash in coffee.
The first sip was as magical as that first trip to Ireland. Irish cream is a sweet liqueur you can sip on its own or mix into cocktails. It’s smooth and creamy with a hint of chocolate and coffee.
And you’ll taste that in this homemade Baileys recipe, as it calls for both coffee and cocoa. All you need are a few ingredients, most of which you might already have at home. Here’s what you’ll need:
- unsweetened cocoa powder
- instant espresso powder
- heavy cream
- sweetened condensed milk
- vanilla extract
- Irish whiskey such as Jameson
How to make Irish cream liqueur
If you’ve ever purchased it, you might be shocked to know how easy it is to make homemade Irish cream liqueur.
- In a 1-quart pitcher or mixing bowl with a spout, whisk together cocoa powder, espresso powder and a splash of heavy cream.
- Whisk in more cream, a little at a time, until it reaches the consistency of a paste. You want it to be smooth with no clumps remaining.
- Then whisk in the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and Irish whiskey.
- Stir in the remaining heavy cream.
- Pour or decant with a funnel into a 1-quart carafe or bottle.
To store homemade Irish cream, keep it covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. If the date on your cream is shorter than that, use that as the date to finish your liqueur by.
How to drink Irish cream liqueur
Irish cream is delicious on its own or mixed into drinks.
To sip it on its own, use a rocks glass and pour it over ice. You can also enjoy it neat, meaning without ice. Since this homemade Irish cream is chilled, the ice isn’t totally necessary.
Irish cream cocktails
If you like Irish cream, you’ll love mixing it into cocktails. This homemade version is so thick and creamy and really elevates a lot of recipes.
You may have heard of the Irish cream cold brew drink from a famous coffee shop. There’s no alcohol in it, but it does use Irish cream syrup which is flavored with coffee, cocoa and vanilla to resemble the famous liqueur.
Culinary uses for Irish cream
Because it is so sweet and creamy, Irish cream also works well in dessert recipes.
There are just so many ways you can enjoy it! Whatever you choose, it’s bound to stir up some of that Irish magic.
More DIY liqueurs
If you like infusing alcohol, try one of these homemade liqueur recipes.
Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1 cup heavy cream divided
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk 14 ounces
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups Irish whiskey
- In a 1-quart pitcher or mixing bowl with a spout, whisk together cocoa powder, espresso powder and a splash of heavy cream. Whisk in more cream a little at a time, until it reaches the consistency of a paste.
- Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and Irish whiskey. Stir in the remaining heavy cream.
- Pour or decant with a funnel into a 1-quart carafe or bottle. Store in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 2 weeks.
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