It has become tradition and ritual that when my Mom comes to visit, she has a glass of Baileys (and maybe some extra) each night. After dinner, we play games or watch movies and I settle her in and serve her some cookies and Baileys; she loves the attention and the specialness of it all.
Recently, someone told me they made Baileys from scratch, which I had never considered. Now that I have made it, I know how simply it can be done. It is about a third the price of the commercial product and makes a great holiday gift. With so many friends asking about it, well, I wanted to share the idea. And, the best place to get info out is on my own blog. Making Baileys has nothing to do with the mission of my blog, but, while you are here, why not take a peek around it? Bottomline–I dig equality. I love people and I adore God and Jesus. Hence, I care about social justice issues.
So back to the Baileys-making with some background of the product for context. It was first produced in 1974 in Ireland and branded Irish Cream and subsequently named Baileys Irish Cream after a non-existent gent named R.A. Bailey. The name was picked as branding tool for the international market.
Commercial Baileys is 17% alcohol and, I can only tell you by taste, that this recipe is stronger than 17%. First sip will make you say ‘Hmmmm . . . this is a tad strong.” Leave it. It is soooo good.
After the trial first bottle run with Mom and her subsequent very high approval, I decided that a bottle of Baileys and a bar of Ghirardelli chocolate would make an ideal holiday gift. Homemade Baileys is about one-third the cost of the commercial stuff and the “bang for the buck” appeal is impressive. I visited my local wine shop and hit them up for the wine bottles that were already in the Recycle bin. They were also very generous to give me a variety of corks. Stickers, labels, ribbon and a bit of creativity and my gift list is now taken care of. I will not go to one mall, one big box store or stand in lone line with those not of good cheer—done.
This recipe will make about two and a third to two and a half (depends on the wine bottles you use) bottles of Baileys, two for others and some for you. Come on, you can’t give it all away! And this is a tip I learned by being in the right place at the right time. Use the low-end quality whiskey. You can spend $35 or $15 on a bottle. Once you mix whiskey with anything sweet, you have just negated the whiskey quality that you paid for. (The liquor guy was stocking the shelves as I stared at the different brands. I guess he knew that “lost” look.) Other tips: if you are making a lot–find a good price on the condensed milk. I found it from $0.99 to $2.38, same with the cream, prices vary wildly. (Are you getting the sense that I like a good bargain? I could wow you with my wardrobe shopping too no doubt.)
Here are the ingredients:
- 8 eggs
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 tsp chocolate syrup
- 4 tsp instant coffee granules (dissolve it in some hot water so that you don’t get chunks of coffee! I used instant espresso grains that I happened to have in the cupboard in a few teaspoons of hot water.)
- 2 cans condensed milk
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 2 cups whiskey
Blend it all in a bowl with a mixer, use a funnel to fill the washed and de-labeled wine bottles. Mark to refrigerate and with an expiration of 6 weeks (as if it will make it past New Years), dress up the bottle and you are done. Refrigerate. It took me 45 minutes to make and fill twelve bottles. The decorating took longer.
Then sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor that will not fit in the last bottle. Pour it over ice, in coffee, or over ice cream. Save money, save time and save your sanity. And have a great holiday focusing on the real meaning of the season. God come to earth to love His children and show them a way back to Him. All His children.