Irish Cream is a cream and whiskey liqueur. (You may have heard of one of the most popular brands, Baileys.) The liqueur also has hints of chocolate, and some say coffee, that rounds out the flavors.
Many people simply drink it on the rocks. But it can also be mixed into a number of different drinks or used in desserts as well.
Packaged up in some pretty swing-top bottles, homemade Irish cream liqueur is a fun and unique gift to give family and friends. (And even yourself!)
How To Make Your Own Baileys
Recipes for homemade Baileys typically include sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream, chocolate syrup, and instant coffee all blended together with some Irish whiskey.
More natural versions will have you make your own sweetened condensed milk by reducing milk with a sweetener. While this works, it also means you’re stuck standing over your stove for nearly an hour waiting for milk to reduce.
Other versions call for eggs as a thickener, similar to making homemade eggnog. And while this method works, the texture of your end product has hints of custard that may or may not be to your liking.
My recipe for homemade Irish Cream liqueur is much more simple than either of these methods, and the result is spot on in flavor and texture!
Homemade Irish Cream Recipe
- Prep: 20 min
- Cook: 20 min
- Yield: 2½ – 3 cups Irish Cream Liqueur (depending on how much the cream reduces during the steeping stage)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ¾ teaspoon coffee grounds (coarse grind if possible)
- ¾ teaspoon cocoa powder
- ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract (learn how to make your own)
- ½ cup honey
- 1 cup Irish whiskey
- In a wide-bottomed saucepan (larger than you think you’d need for this amount of cream, in order to get a good amount of surface area) mix the cream with the coffee grounds, cocoa powder, and vanilla. Heat the cream over medium heat until it begins to steam (but before it begins to simmer). Reduce the heat as necessary to hold the cream at this temperature for 20 minutes, stirring often. (The color of the cream will darken as it infuses with the coffee and chocolate.)
- After 20 minutes of steeping, remove the cream from the heat. Strain the cream through a fine-mesh strainer lined with a few layers of cheesecloth, to catch all the coffee grounds.
- Stir the honey into your strained cream. Then stir in the Irish whiskey.
- Stir the Irish Cream occasionally as it cools, uncovered, on the counter. Once cool, transfer it to a sealed container. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur should be used within 2 months. If you won’t use it within that time, I’d recommend freezing it to make some tasty Irish Cream ice cream. It will last a bit longer that way!
How to Use Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur
The traditional way to drink Irish cream is to simply serve it over ice, but there are so many more ways to enjoy Irish cream liqueur.
Try mixing it in these treats for something really special: