Irish Cream Liqueur

Irish Cream Liqueur
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When we cook in our kitchen we tend to get real. Really real. We can spend hours sharing our hearts, our fears, prayers, and frustrations. Our anger, joy, success and our wins.

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—are the key to keeping the spirit of the season alive.

Irish Cream Liqueur

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.

We encourage you to be generous this year, knowing that generosity can be much more than just wrapped gifts. Be generous with your time, your hands and heart. Sometimes the best gifts are ones that money can’t buy.

Irish Cream Liqueur

What is Irish Cream Made Out Of?

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.

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 a whiskey that taste 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 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 Irish whiskey.
  • What is cream of coconut? It’s just what it sounds like—the cream layer of coconut milk. You can buy it at a liquor store (usually the Coco Lopez brand) or 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.
Irish Cream Liqueur

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 Liqueur

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!
Irish Cream Liqueur

How to Gift this Homemade Irish Cream:

The perfect gift for just about anyone on your list, 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, Kerr and 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 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).
Irish Cream Liqueur

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.

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.

Irish Cream Liqueur

Serves 1

Ingredients

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

Method

  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 serving yields a one quart batch of Irish Cream.