Homemade Irish cream liqueur is easy to make, customizable to your taste, and you probably already have most of the ingredients in your pantry!
Irish cream liqueur is a popular spirit all year round, but never more so than around St. Patrick's Day. It's consistently in the top ten best-selling spirits, and the Bailey's brand in particular often ranks #1.
But what *is* Irish cream? What gives it that creamy texture and unique flavor? I tested several versions at home, and got quite drunk more than on more than one occasion, to share with you what I feel is the best homemade Irish cream liqueur. I hope you appreciate my sacrifice.
First things first: Irish whiskey. Surprised? I thought not. Since we're blending this with other ingredients, you don't need to use the best of the best. I went with what's probably the most popular brand: Jameson. If you don't typically drink or use whiskey, see if your liquor store has a smaller-size bottle. Mine sells Jameson in 200 mL bottles, which was the perfect size for one batch of this liqueur.
Next, sweetened condensed milk. This adds sweetness, and since the milk is condensed, it doesn't water down the final liqueur. We'll also add heavy cream. Finally, vanilla extract (the real stuff), coffee extract (you can also use instant espresso powder, but if you don't have a heavy duty blender, your final liqueur could have a fine grit to it), and chocolate syrup. Yep, chocolate syrup. Blend all that together.
I think this liqueur might even be better than anything you could buy at the store. It's also a bit stronger. You can definitely taste the whiskey more in this than you can in any store-bought brand. And if you don't actually want to taste the whiskey, you can simply add less to your homemade batch.
Kept in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator, homemade Irish cream liqueur should keep for about two months. I can't tell you from personal experience, because Irish cream never lasts longer than about two weeks in my house. It's gone by then. It's my favorite liqueur. In addition to drinking it straight with a dollop of whipped cream, I've included a few suggestions for using down below the recipe, and I have a post scheduled for next week with another idea for using Irish cream, so stay tuned!
- 1 1/4 cups Irish whiskey
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp espresso powder
- 2 tbsp chocolate syrup
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Place all ingredients in the carafe of a blender. Blend on high speed until well-combined.
- Pour the mixture into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate for at least two hours before using.
- Mixture will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Shake before using.
Recipes to use your homemade Irish cream liqueur:
- Frozen Irish Cream Mousse Cake by Life Love and Sugar
- Irish Cream Brownies with Caramelized White Chocolate Buttercream by Fifteen Spatulas
- Irish Cream Profiteroles by Baking a Moment
- Irish Cream White Chocolate Chip Cookies by NoshOn.It
- Mini Irish Cream Cheesecakes by The Redhead Baker