There is a very good chance I was a bootlegger in a previous lifetime. I’ve come to this conclusion since I *love* making homemade booze. The best thing about homemade Irish Cream (aside from the incredible taste and relative cost savings), is that you can whip it up and serve it immediately. This is in direct contrast to some of the other hootch I make (Kahlua and Limoncello) which takes a lot of prep time and a month or more to age.
There are a number of recipes on the internet for homemade Bailey’s. Many call for light cream or half and half. I opted to use heavy whipping cream because that was what I had in the fridge. The result is a thick, frothy and decadent elixir that can be enjoyed straight up, over ice, or in coffee. I doubt, now, I would make this any other way. I brought a bottle to my cookie exchange and my gal pals polished most of it off. I can hardly blame them. Can you think of anything more fun on a Saturday afternoon than Christmas cookies and coffee drinks?
I love the Grolsch-style self-sealing bottles like the one pictured. You can buy bottles at many big box stores or World Market but the cost of bottles can add up unless you use empties from your kitchen. If you plan on giving the Irish Cream as a gift (and you have time) you can get better deals by ordering bottles online. Because every good bootlegger needs a source for cheap bottles, I use Sunburst Bottle. For years, they have had the best prices I’ve found.
So, if you’re still on the hunt for novel gifts or if you want to be the toast of your next holiday get-together, this is the recipe for you.
- 1 cup light or heavy cream
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk (I used fat-free)
- 1-2/3 cup Irish whiskey (I used Bushmills)
- 2 tablespoons Hershey’s chocolate syrup (I used fat-free)
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
Pour all ingredients in a blender and mix for a minute or two.
Transfer to a bottle with a tight seal and refrigerate. Shake gently before pouring.
Drinkable immediately. Will keep in refrigerator for 30 to 60 days (if it lasts that long).
Kat’s Tip: This recipe is perishable. If you do give bottles away as gifts, make sure you add a label with the expiration date and a reminder to keep the bottle refrigerated tied around the neck with some ribbon!