What is Irish Cream?

Irish cream is a popular liqueur that is enjoyed by many people around the world. It is an Irish whiskey-based cream liqueur created with cream and additional flavorings.

The most popular flavorings are vanilla, coffee, and chocolate. The most popular version is Irish coffee, which is often served either on its own or combined with other drinks.

Irish cream’s origins can be found in the 1970s when a group led by Tom Jago of Gilbeys of Ireland originally developed it. Baileys, which is still the most widely used brand of Irish cream today, was the original Irish cream. However, there are a variety of other Irish cream brands on the market, each with distinctive flavors and components.

There are several ways to enjoy Irish cream, which is a flexible liqueur. It is frequently topped on desserts, combined into drinks, or added to coffee or hot chocolate. It is a well-liked option for individuals who love a little indulgence in their drinks because of its sweet and creamy flavor.

What is Irish Cream?

Irish cream is a popular liqueur that is enjoyed all around the world. It is a cream-based alcoholic beverage that is made with Irish whiskey, cream, and other flavorings.

The drink typically has an alcohol by volume (ABV) level of 15 to 20% and is served on its own or in mixed drinks, most commonly Irish coffee. Its largest markets are the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States.


Irish cream liqueur was first introduced in the 1970s by a company called Bailey’s. The company was based in County Cork, Ireland, and they used a combination of cream and Irish whiskey to create the drink. The recipe was an instant success, and it quickly became one of the most popular liqueurs in the world.


Irish cream is made with a combination of cream, Irish whiskey, and sugar. The whiskey used in the drink is typically a pot still Irish whiskey, which is a type of whiskey that is made from a combination of malted and unmalted barley. The cream used in the drink is typically dairy cream, which gives the drink its creamy taste and texture. The sugar used in the drink is usually cane sugar, which adds a sweet taste to the drink.

Irish cream is a protected geographical indicator, which means that it can only be produced in Ireland. The drink must be made with Irish whiskey and cream, and it must be produced in accordance with strict regulations. The regulations ensure that the drink is of high quality and that it meets the standards set by the Irish government.

How is Irish Cream Made?

The Process

Irish cream is a delicious and creamy liqueur that has become popular all over the world.

It is made by blending cream, whiskey, sweeteners, and other flavorings. The process of making Irish cream is quite simple, but it requires the right ingredients and the right techniques.

The first step in making Irish cream is to combine the cream and whiskey. The cream used in Irish cream is usually a dairy cream that has a fat content of around 40%. The whiskey used in Irish cream is typically a pot-still Irish whiskey that has been aged for at least three years. The cream and whiskey are blended together until they are fully combined.

Next, sugar and other sweeteners are added to the mixture. The most common sweetener used in Irish cream is cane sugar, but other sweeteners like honey or corn syrup can also be used. The amount of sweetener used will depend on the desired sweetness of the final product.

After the sweeteners are added, other flavorings can be added to the mixture. These can include vanilla, chocolate, or even Irish butter. The flavorings are added until the desired taste is achieved.

Finally, the mixture is bottled and labeled. Irish cream is typically bottled at an ABV (alcohol by volume) level of 15 to 20%. The label will also indicate the origin of the Irish cream, which is usually County Cork in Ireland. The term “Irish cream” is a protected geographical indicator, which means that only Irish cream made in Ireland can be labeled as such.

Irish Cream Cocktails

Irish cream is a versatile liqueur that can be enjoyed on its own or used to make delicious cocktails.

Here are some classic and creative Irish cream cocktails to try at home.

Classic Cocktails


The Mudslide is a classic cocktail that combines Irish cream, coffee liqueur, and vodka. It’s a creamy and indulgent drink that’s perfect for dessert or a nightcap. Here’s how to make it:

  • Fill a shaker with ice.
  • Add 1 ounce of Irish cream, 1 ounce of coffee liqueur, and 1 ounce of vodka to the shaker.
  • Shake well and strain into a glass filled with ice.
  • Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

White Russian

The White Russian is another classic cocktail that features Irish cream. It’s a simple but delicious drink that’s perfect for any occasion. Here’s how to make it:

  • Fill a glass with ice.
  • Add 1.5 ounces of vodka and 1 ounce of Irish cream to the glass.
  • Top with 2 ounces of milk or cream.
  • Stir well and garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg.


The B-52 is a layered shot that’s made with Irish cream, coffee liqueur, and orange liqueur. It’s a fun and impressive drink to make for guests. Here’s how to make it:

  • Fill a shot glass with 1/3 ounce of coffee liqueur.
  • Carefully layer 1/3 ounce of Irish cream on top of the coffee liqueur.
  • Finally, layer 1/3 ounce of orange liqueur on top of the Irish cream.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Creative Cocktails

Cement Mixer

The Cement Mixer is a fun and quirky shot that’s made with Irish cream and lime juice. It’s a unique drink that’s sure to impress your friends. Here’s how to make it:

  • Fill a shot glass with 1 ounce of Irish cream.
  • Squeeze a wedge of lime into the shot glass.
  • Swirl the shot glass to mix the ingredients together.
  • Drink the shot quickly before the Irish cream curdles!

Irish Slammer

The Irish Slammer is a popular shot that’s made with Irish cream and Irish whiskey. It’s a smooth and flavorful drink that’s perfect for St. Patrick’s Day. Here’s how to make it:

  • Fill a shot glass with 1/2 ounce of Irish cream.
  • Fill another shot glass with 1/2 ounce of Irish whiskey.
  • Drop the shot of Irish cream into the shot of Irish whiskey.
  • Drink the shot quickly and enjoy the smooth taste.

Starbucks Copycat Irish Cream Syrup

If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic way to enjoy the taste of Irish cream, try making this Starbucks copycat Irish cream syrup. It’s perfect for adding to coffee, hot chocolate, or any other beverage you like. Here’s how to make it:

  • In a saucepan, combine 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar.
  • Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of instant coffee and stir until dissolved.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of almond extract.
  • Finally, add 1/2 cup of Irish cream and stir well.
  • Let the syrup cool and store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Irish cream is a delicious and versatile liqueur that can be used to make a variety of classic and creative cocktails. Whether you prefer creamy and indulgent drinks or smooth and flavorful shots, there’s a recipe out there for you to try.

How to Make Homemade Irish Cream

Making homemade Irish cream liqueur is easy and budget-friendly.

With just a few ingredients, you can create a sweet and nutty drink that is perfect for sipping on the rocks or adding to coffee. Here’s how to make it:



  • 1 cup Irish whiskey
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Kerrygold butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)


  1. In a blender, combine the Irish whiskey, sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream, chocolate syrup, vanilla extract, instant coffee granules, honey, and Kerrygold butter. Blend until smooth.
  2. If desired, add the almond extract and blend again.
  3. Pour the mixture into a glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid.
  4. Chill the Irish cream liqueur in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.
  5. Serve the Irish cream liqueur on the rocks or add it to coffee for a delicious drink.

Shelf Life

Homemade Irish cream liqueur can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Shake well before using.


  • To make a vegan version of Irish cream, substitute almond milk for the heavy cream and use a vegan sweetened condensed milk.
  • For a chocolatey twist, add 2 tablespoons of Nesquik powder to the blender.
  • To make a mudslide, blend 1/2 cup of the Irish cream liqueur with 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream and 1/4 cup of vodka.
  • For a budget-friendly version, use lower-priced whiskey and store-brand ingredients.

Making homemade Irish cream liqueur is a fun and easy way to enjoy a delicious drink at home. With a few simple ingredients, you can create a sweet and nutty liqueur that is perfect for sipping or adding to coffee.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

Written by Paul Kushner

I have always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. My restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time I turned 17 I was serving tables, and by 19 I was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, I opened my first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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