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Irish Cream Liqueur

Luxuriously rich and creamy, this whiskey-spiked homemade Irish cream is perfect for gifting, and for warming your loved ones from the inside out.


Homemade Irish Cream being poured from a bottle into a glass with ice.

Homemade Irish Cream, The Perfect Gift To Give or Receive!

Every year, it is an uphill battle to keep the holiday season from simply being a time of stress—too many commitments and endless to-do lists, a frantic hamster wheel of people-pleasing. For us, simple recipes meant for sharing—like this easy, festive, delicious homemade Irish cream liqueur—are the key to keeping the spirit of the season alive.

If you all lived close to us, we would have each one of you over for a lazy, lingering meal. We’d linger over dessert and really get to know each other. But, sharing our recipes with you might be as close as we ever get to sharing our kitchen. So, consider this recipe our Christmas gift to you.

ingredients laid out for homemade Irish cream vanilla, heavy cream, Irish whiskey, chocolate syrup, coconut milk

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What is Irish Cream?

Irish cream was dreamt up in the early 1970s as a celebration of the two most delicious things to come out of the Emerald Isle: fabulously rich heavy cream, and Irish whiskey. For another tasty cream-based drink, we recommend our White Russian recipe. We are here to teach you how to make the best tasting, easiest version of it in your very own home!

How To Make Irish Cream

The key to making a great homemade version is to invest a little—it doesn’t have to be a lot!—in high quality ingredients. You want your Irish cream to sing with the flavors of fiery whiskey and indulgent cream, complimented by gently sweet hints of coffee and cocoa. A few tips:

  • Make your homemade Irish cream with an Irish whiskey that tastes good on its own. You don’t have to spend a ton, but if you use whiskey that doesn’t have a good flavor, your Irish cream won’t have a great flavor either. You’ll want to pick something with a bit of flavorful, boozy heat to cut through the creamy sweetness of the other ingredients. We suggest Jameson, because it’s delicious and widely available, but feel free to use your favorite brand of Irish whiskey.
  • What is coconut cream? It’s just what it sounds like—the cream layer of canned coconut milk. You can simply skim the solid layer of coconut cream from the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk and use that.
  • If you don’t have chocolate syrup on hand, you can use 1 teaspoon cocoa powder instead. Just whisk a bit of the heavy cream into the cocoa powder to make a paste before adding it to the blender to make sure the Irish cream is silky, not grainy.
Homemade Irish cream liqueur in a blender

What Makes Homemade Irish Cream a “Liqueur”?

Not to be confused with “liquor”—which is just another word for a pure distilled spirit, like vodka or whiskey—a“liqueur”, by definition, is a sweet, alcoholic drink. This homemade Irish cream is a textbook “liqueur” in that it is meant to be enjoyed on its own after a meal, much like a dessert. That said, feel free to drink homemade Irish cream any way you’d like!

Irish cream being poured into a glass with ice in it.

Five Delicious Ways to Drink Homemade Irish Cream:

Here are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy this homemade liqueur, although there really is no wrong way to drink Irish cream. If you’re gifting your homemade Irish cream, you may want to go the extra mile (‘tis the season, after all) and include a few of these ideas along with your gift. Without further ado, we love the flavors of this rich Irish cream:

  1. On the rocks.
  2. Poured over ice cream. Chocolate? Vanilla? You pick! You can’t go wrong. It’s the easiest dinner party dessert ever, and so, so good.
  3. In coffee. A wee pour of Irish cream in my Christmas morning coffee? Don’t mind if I do.
  4. Three words: Spiked. Chocolate. Milkshake.
  5. And, our favorite way of all: warm and cozy by a roaring fire, watching the snow drift down outside, surrounded by friends and family. Sláinte!
A bottle of Homemade Irish Cream poured into 2 glasses with ice.
Irish Cream liqueur in a glass bottle

How to Gift this Homemade Irish Cream:

The perfect gift for just about anyone on your list (who's 21 or over of course), homemade Irish cream is a quick and easy holiday DIY you can handle, no matter how busy the season may feel. We promise! A few thoughts on how to present this particular present:

  • This recipe makes about 32 ounces of Irish cream, or 1 quart, making it the perfect fit for your favorite brand of canning jars. Ball, Kerrand Weck all have great options in a 32 ounce size. (Note: Weck jars are measured in metric, but 1 liter is nearly equivalent to 1 quart.)
  • Include a hand written recipe card! Whether it’s a suggestion to enjoy over ice or in a cup of coffee, it’s nice to offer your friend a jumping off point in case they’re new to the goodness that is Irish cream liqueur.
  • Be sure to keep your homemade Irish cream refrigerated until the last minute, and let the recipient know that it needs to stay cold. You may even include a tag that suggests an “enjoy by” date. (it will be good for about 6 weeks).
2 glasses of Irish cream liqueur and ice

Other Irish Cream Ideas:

Our Bailey’s Chocolate Bundt Cake would be just as good (or even better?) made with this homemade version of Bailey’s Irish cream. Or, cozy up with your partner, your favorite holiday movie and a few mugs of Adult Hot Chocolate—featuring a generous splash of Irish cream. Date night in has never been more festive.

We have our friend Betsy to thank for sharing this Irish cream recipe with us many Christmases ago, and we love the thought of you all making it and sharing it with yours, too. So, if you make this Irish cream, we’d love to hear about it! Snap a photo and tag us @themodernproper and #themodernproper if you do. Also, feel free to leave a comment on the post and tell your friends where you discovered the recipe.

Irish Cream Liqueur

  • Serves: 14
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  0 min
  • Calories: 175


  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup Irish Whiskey, such as Jamison
  • 1 tbsp chocolate syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp instant coffee granules
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp coconut cream, shaken


  1. In a blender combine sweetened condensed milk, whiskey, chocolate syrup, vanilla and coffee for one minute.
  2. After the mixture is smooth, add cream and cream of coconut and pulse until combined. Shake before serving. Will keep up to 6 weeks if refrigerated.

Notes: 1 batch of this Irish cream yields 32 oz Irish Cream.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories175
  • Protein3 g
  • Carbohydrates22 g
  • Total Fat4 g
  • Dietary Fiber0 g
  • Cholesterol15 mg
  • sodium51 mg
  • Total Sugars21 g

Irish Cream Liqueur

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Amy Young

    I started making this last night and I think it’s the best think I’ve ever tasted! I saw someone already ask the question about solidification, phew.
    Also wondering if you shake the can of coconut cream before measuring out the tablespoon? Or just skim the solidified cream from the top?
    Thank you for making my Christmas gifts so easy and delicious this year!

    Glad you loved it Amy, shake first!

  • Debbe

    Hi love all of your recipes such a fan. Hey I made a couple of batches separately and this morning when I looked at them they are solid? Followed the recipe exactly. Is this typical and you need to let it sit out at room temperature before serving? Thanks for all you do

    It's because of the coconut milk and the sweetened condensed milk. If you set it out briefly it should liquify.

  • Casey Rauch

    Coconut cream and cream of coconut are two different things. Which should I use?

    coconut cream. not cream of coconut.

  • Grace

    Is there a way to make this vegan? Could I substitute the heavy cream and condensed milk for a can of coconut milk and the chocolate syrup for cocoa powder?

    Hi there. Whole foods carries a coconut based "sweetened condensed (coconut) milk". I would replace the heavy cream with a can of "coconut cream" not milk and then use the sweetened condensed coconut milk. The chocolate syrup is vegan!

  • Jasmin Kü

    Can I mix it with a hand mixer as well?

    Sure! You could even whisk it by hand, as long as all of the ingredients are fully incorporated!

  • Sue

    Easy to make and oh so good just had some over ice I used Windsor whiskey came out great

    That's so great Sue!! Thanks for trying it out!

  • Kathleen Roland

    Wow! This drink is seriously amazing and delicious! 2 thumbs way up!! Thank you for the recipe. This will be a big hit on weekend for slow coffee mornings.

    Thanks so much Kathleen! So happy that you like it so much!

  • Denise Mosby

    Super yummy recipe! I used our Jameson and upped the chocolate syrup just a little. Found some pretty bottles and gave it as a Christmas gift for my girlfriends. Doubled the recipe so I enough leftover over for our families Christmas celebrations.

    So glad you liked it Denise! Thanks for trying it and very nice of you to gift it to friends!

  • Katie B

    My husband and I went to Ireland this past summer and visited the Jameson Distillery, so I was super excited when I found this recipe. We made this as gifts for family and friends for Christmas and it was such a hit! Thanks so much for sharing!

    How fun! I'm so jealous! ; )