Quick and easy to make at home and every bit as delicious as the store-bought bottle－less expensive, too. Irish cream is delightful in coffee, on the rocks, or in a variety of baked goods. It’s a novel treat for holiday and hostess gifts and perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!
A reader from France kindly shared her favorite holiday recipe with me at this time last year. I had shared a recipe for eggnog quick bread, and she was wondering if there was a good substitute. She said eggnog is not commercially available in France, but she just happened to have some Homemade Irish cream on hand. (For the record, I have not tried Irish cream in place of eggnog in the quick bread, but it might work!)
Fondly recalling the days when I enjoyed the occasional glass of Bailey’s Irish cream, I made it soon after and was impressed. It tasted just like the real thing－dare I say better? Fresher. I made subsequent batches to share with friends and give as hostess gifts, all to rave reviews.
Sweet, creamy and not overpowering, Bailey’s Irish cream was the first alcoholic beverage I tasted and enjoyed. I was living in Spain at the time, and it was often served on the rocks or stirred into a strong cup of coffee. It’s lusciously creamy and lightly nutty with hints of chocolate and vanilla.
Generally, I’m no fan of whiskey, but when paired with the following ingredients, it provides just the right amount of kick. (Of course, those who prefer a more prominent flavor may adjust accordingly.)
If you’re a fan of Irish cream or are simply looking for a little something different to give friends who may enjoy it this holiday season, I highly recommend this easy-to-make recipe. With many thanks to Kim!
How to enjoy Irish cream:
- on the rocks
- stir into coffee or hot chocolate…
- …or a milkshake
- add to various baked good batters, like cheesecake, chocolate cake, quick breads, etc.
- use for a portion of the milk in chocolate pudding or bread pudding…
- add to the dipping mixture for French toast
- infuse homemade ice cream or drizzle over plain vanilla ice cream
When Irish cream is served as a nightcap, a small glass served on the rocks satisfies like a good dessert. I most often enjoy it instead of regular cream in my coffee. Irish cream turns a basic cup of coffee into something worthy of a fancy café, albeit with a bit of alcohol.
How much alcohol will I be drinking? Irish whisky makes up roughly one-third of the mixture. If using as a creamer, 1 to 1½ ounces of Irish cream is the standard addition to 8 ounces of coffee. In this case, the actual amount of alcohol consumed would be no more than about a half ounce.
Is whiskey gluten-free?
According to the National Institutes of Health’s Celiac Disease Awareness Campaign, distilled alcohol is inherently gluten-free. This includes gin, vodka, scotch whisky and rye whiskey. Although whiskeys are derived from wheat, barley or rye (which all contain gluten), the distilling process is said to remove the gluten proteins. HOWEVER, there are exceptions and some celiacs have claimed to experience reactions from drinking these liquors. If there’s a need, I recommend checking to see if the brand you will be using is considered gluten-free and proceeding with caution.