There are two times a year when people buy Irish cream: around the winter holidays when it's cold and everyone wants warm, creamy drinks, and then again at St. Patrick's Day. It's also the kind of thing where you buy a bottle, use it a couple of times, then forget you have it.
That's where homemade Irish cream comes in. Make a small batch, or double it and put it in cute glass bottles to give to your best friend. Or someone you want to be your best friend. You can drink it as is, put in it your coffee or hot chocolate, or use it for some of the best buzzy desserts out there.
This homemade Irish cream recipe is so easy, I'm not even sure we can technically call it a recipe. All you need is heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and, oh yeah, Irish whiskey. If you like, you can also add a bit of instant espresso or instant coffee to bump up the coffee flavor.
Here are some basic measurements:
- 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1-ish cup Irish whiskey (Jameson's is always good)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
The directions couldn't be easier; this is a quick recipe to whip up, too. Simply make a slurry or paste out of the cocoa powder and cream so that your cocoa doesn't get lumpy in the rest of the liquid, then add the rest of the ingredients. Whisk well until combined. Total time to drink goodness is about five minutes.
If all you have is chocolate syrup, no worries. Use that instead of cocoa powder. Rather use a blender than a whisk? You're a go. Like the taste of coffee more than the booze? Put in more espresso powder and less whiskey.
You can also add other spices (some cinnamon or nutmeg could be lovely) or even other flavors like almond extract. Even the liquor is customizable. If you don't have Irish whiskey, try rum or bourbon. And if you run across some caramel condensed milk, well, you know what to do now.
Once you have your homemade Irish cream liqueur, you've got even more options. Yes, it keeps for about two months in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, but why wait to use it? Here is a lucky four-leaf clover of delicious recipes that make the most of this creamy treat.
How to Use Your Homemade Irish Cream
1. Frozen Chocolate Mudslide
I can't help it; the Mudslide is one of my favorite drinks. Sure, it's more dessert than cocktail, especially if you put ice cream in it for a frozen Mudslide. It's also easy, delicious, and fun. And if vodka isn't your thing, swap it out for rum for a more tropical version.
2. Five-Minute Bailey's Fudge Sauce
Yes, please. Take a third or so of your homemade Irish cream and add five more minutes to make this sauce. I dare you not to eat it straight out of the jar!
3. Irish Cream Fudge
This fudge is an easy, delicious recipe filled with chocolate and Irish cream. Remember though, that even though you heat the mixture to melt the chocolate, you're not cooking out most of the alcohol, so consume responsibly.
4. Bailey's a la French Toast
There are very few ways, if any, to use Irish cream in a savory dish. But it doesn't have to be all for after dinner. Here's a way to get your Irish on first thing in the morning.