Irish Cream

This homemade Irish cream is an easy homemade Baileys Irish cream that you can make at home with whiskey, coffee, heavy cream, milk, cacao, sugar, and the luck of the Irish. Tastes just like the store-bought stuff. Cheers.

A tumbler half-filled with homemade Irish cream and an ice cube, and a bottle of cream in the background

Homemade Baileys Irish cream, baby! This DIY liqueur lacks the multisyllabic preservatives and stabilizers that make the store-bought rendition shelf-stable yet retains all the characteristic creaminess that makes it go down sooooo incredibly easily. (Soooo easily!) You may want to consider gifting some of your stash just so you’re not left home alone with the entire bottle. We’re not kidding. Originally published March 12, 2015.Tristan Stephenson

Homemade Irish Cream Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 1 H, 25 M
  • Makes 1 liter

Special Equipment: Suitable bottle with an airtight cap; cheesecloth

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Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups whole milk
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 ounce cacao nibs (1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) sea salt
  • 1/2 ounce freshly coarse-ground coffee (3 tablespoons)
  • 1 3/4 cups Irish whiskey, such as Bushmills Black Bush
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream

Directions

  • 1. Sterilize a reusable glass bottle and cap by boiling it in hot water.
  • 2. In a small saucepan, bring the milk, vanilla seeds, and cacao nibs to a simmer. Hold it at a gentle simmer, just so there are a few bubbles here and there, for 30 minutes. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Return the liquid to the pan along with the sugar and salt and gently simmer until it’s reduced by about half, so you should have about 2 cups total, which may take as long as an hour. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool for a minute or so.
  • 3. Add the coffee to the milk mixture, stir well, and let rest for 5 minutes. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve or tea strainer and then let cool completely.
  • 4. Stir the whiskey into the milk mixture. Pour it into a blender or use an immersion blender directly in the saucepan and slowly and steadily pour in the cream as you blitz the mixture for 20 seconds. Stop the blender, pour the finished lrish cream into the sterilized bottle, and then seal it. Tuck it in the fridge until chilled through or for up to 1 week shake it to recombine before serving. (If you need your homemade Irish cream any longer than a week, perhaps you’re not living life quite right!)

Recipe Testers Reviews

What a step up from the store-bought stuff! And relatively easy to make! This homemade Irish cream is wonderfully creamy and has an authentic whiskey flavor that you don't get in Baileys.

After a few days, the liqueur did settle in the bottle, so it needed a good shake before serving. This would make a great holiday gift!

I'm really enjoying my homemade Irish cream liqueur. It's nice and creamy. So far I've only served it over ice although I'm thinking I could toss the ice and Irish cream in the blender and have a nice slushie. Or maybe splash some in coffee.

I found I needed to strain the liquid through cheesecloth twice since my coffee was ground just a little too fine.

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Comments

  1. I make this every year for Thanksgiving, but my recipe seems a bit more common as far as pantry items go. Since who keeps cocoa nibs in the pantry? I use 2 c. Jamieson Irish Whiskey, 1/4 cup Kahlua (or brewed coffee), 2 TLB Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup (found near the Ice Cream aisle in groc store), 1 TLB pure vanilla, 1 tsp. Almond extract, 4 cups (1 Qt) Half n Half (I normally use Fat Free H&H to keep fat down, but it’s still “caloric”) and lastly, 1 can of Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT Evaporated Milk). Mix well and refrigerate. It will keep for one month if kept refrigerated.

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