Over the years we have been learning how to make a few more of our favorite beverages ourselves. Part creative outlet and a whole lot of fun, especially when they work!
We make limoncello, eggnog, Kahlua, and have tried our hand at tonic, ginger beer, hard cider, “regular” beer, bitters, and have now added a lovely, silky Irish Cream to the list.
When I was first introduced to Irish Cream, it was through a latte at Starbucks when I worked there in the 90’s. I honestly thought it was gross. Of course I soon realized that an Irish Cream syrup is not really Irish Cream at all. I was pretty sure I still didn’t think I liked it so I went several years before I considered it again, this time in a recipe by Jamie Oliver for Irish Cream soaked bread pudding. I served that for Christmas one year and it was fantastic. It tasted even better than it looked and it looked just like you would hope. Good will to men that year for sure (and a few since).
That actual Irish Cream (vs the syrup in the latte) experience was Bailey’s, which I thought was around for hundreds of years or something only to find out later that it was new(ish) and they just hired the right marketing team to promote it! Bailey’s is fine, but when I worked at the old Irish Pub, the “house” Irish Cream (for Irish Car Bomb’s – an Irish whiskey and Irish cream drop shot into Guinness) was Carolan’s. It is FAR superior to Bailey’s so I began to occasionally buy that for the bread pudding and occasional sip.
A couple of years ago a good friend gave me a beautiful blue bottle of Irish Cream (Five Farms Single Batch) with a ceramic flip top. It looked cool and as I read the label, discovered it is made by a small family run operation and let me tell you, is so far the BEST commercial Irish Cream I have had.
I guess I figured that if another small family can do it, and since I have some very basic knowledge of how liqueurs are made, it may not be that hard.
So I went on a search and found a very simple recipe from Smitten Kitchen, the famous food blog from NY who has inspired many of us to step up our home-cooking game with her easy-to-follow recipes and brilliant “food photography” (funny, but yes that is now a ‘thing’).
I made a small batch for Thanksgiving this past year and it was a HUGE HIT so I made it for Christmas too and it was perfect added to my coffee, iced coffee, or by itself with a couple of ice cubes. Gave some to the sister and had around the home for those that stopped by, invited or not.
Maybe next year we will add it to our DIY Christmas gifts and YOU can be on the list!
Homemade Irish Cream
1 t unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup heavy cream
1, 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 t vanilla
1 cup Irish Whiskey (I like Tullamore Dew)
Sift cocoa powder.
Add small amount of heavy cream and whisk to form a paste. Slowly add more and keep whisking until nice and smooth. Add condensed milk, then whiskey and finally vanilla. If you don’t think it looks right, throw it all in blender and blitz it for a few blitzes (not too much or the heavy cream will thicken up a little too much.
Cover and refrigerate for at least two weeks.
Enjoy over ice or in your coffee!