Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur

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I learned to cook from my mom, who works a certain kind of magic in the kitchen. Of all the things I’ve learned from her, how to make homemade Irish cream liqueur may not be one of the most practical, but it is one of my favorites.

The short version of this recipe is: Add all ingredients to your blender. Process until smooth. Strain, bottle, and refrigerate. Drink within one month.


Read on to see what I did, step by step. Because I don’t like to fill my blender to the top, I thoroughly blend all the ingredients but the whiskey first, then add the booze and pulse the blender quickly to incorporate it.

Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur: What can I do with it?

Here are some serving suggestions:

+Serve straight up or on the rocks (to enjoy it in its blissfully natural cocktail state).
+Make a decadent milkshake with good vanilla ice cream and Irish cream.
+Shake up your own house cocktail with a mixture of Irish cream, Kahlua, Amaretto, or Frangelico.

Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur: How long will it keep?

This liqueur should keep for about a month if properly refrigerated. It will naturally separate in the fridge. Just shake it up before serving.

All that said, use common sense: If it looks or smells funky, toss it.

Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur: Bottling your liqueur

Use any food-safe bottle that you like. Just wash it well with hot, soapy water. I used a couple of glass Perrier bottles.

Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur: A note on raw eggs

This recipe does include raw eggs. You can leave them out if you like, but your liqueur won’t be as creamy or thick. It’s entirely up to you.

Here’s the official, obligatory warning: Consuming raw or undercooked eggs, beef, fish and/or poultry may increase your risk of food borne illness, especially if you have certain medical conditions.

OK! On with the liqueur making!

Irish Cream Liqueur

Half of a 750 ml. bottle of Jameson’s Irish whiskey (or any Irish whiskey you like)
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk…see the link in Kel’s comment below)
1 cup heavy cream
4 eggs
2 Tbls. chocolate syrup
2 tsp. instant espresso
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract

Gather together your ingredients.

Put the condensed milk in your blender.

Pour in the cream.

Crack the eggs into a small bowl.

Fish out any little bits of shell, if there are any. Then add the eggs to the blender.

Add the chocolate syrup.

Toss in the instant espresso powder.

Add the vanilla and almond extracts.

Cap your blender and process ’til smooth. The condensed milk is pretty thick. It may take a minute or two for it to distribute completely.

You want it to be uniform in color and consistency, like this:

Pour in the whiskey.

Cap your blender again and blend well.

Set a strainer over a bowl and pour the liqueur through it. (Just in case there were any bits of egg or espresso that didn’t blend completely.)

Set a funnel in the mouth of your bottle.

Ladle the liqueur into the funnel to fill the bottle.

Cap and pop into the fridge. If you’re giving it as a gift, tie a little label on it (along with a “made-on” date and a “use-by” date that’s 30 days out.)

Serve straight up or shake up in your favorite cocktail. Your liqueur will keep for about a month in the fridge.

Cheers!



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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

136 COMMENTS

    • Thanks, Courtney!

      Ya know, you’d think that, but it’s not quite right. Heat is actually what kills the creepy crawlies inside eggs that can make you sick.

      If you’re worried about it, leave the eggs out, or use pasteurized eggs.

      Cheers!
      +Jessie

  1. Thanks for the inspiration! I just whipped up a batch of this, and WOW – it is incredible! It is so fresh and creamy in a way the the bottled stuff will never be. But watch out – it makes a lot – about 6 cups. Next time, I think I’ll halve the recipe and make it with half & half, to thin the consistency out a bit. I think I doubled the chocolate and espresso – it’s nice to be able to make it to your own taste! I’ve blogged about it over on my blog too. http://tinyurl.com/aaltee

    • Oh fabulous! I’m so glad you liked it! I totally agree…store-bought can’t touch homemade.

      Let me know if you try it with half & half. I’m curious about how it is. Another way to get around the richness is to thin it out with a little milk in your glass. A friend of ours does maybe half Irish Cream and half regular milk.

      Cheers!

      +Jessie

  2. this is wonderful and beautifully photographed! I had to post on your blog today for my edible crafts column at craftgossip.com (you can see the post at ediblecrafts.craftgossip.com). thanks for sharing! meaghan

  3. Uhhh….yum. I am sitting here at gymnastics and all I am craving is Irish Cream. I will definitely be making this for St. Paddy’s day. Might even make it green like a Shamrock shake.

  4. mmmm jameson, my favorite ๐Ÿ™‚ This looks great! I have no probs with raw eggs, but I’m (way too unfortunately) sensitive to caffeine. Do you think leaving the espresso out will destroy the intended flavor?

    -emily

    Chicago Dining Examiner

    • Hmmmm…..OK, how about decaf instant espresso (or is that trace amount still too much)? I haven’t had it, but found that Cafe Bustelo does make a version: http://tinyurl.com/cnyonf OH or maybe add a little coffee liqueur (w/o caffeine). How about either of those? Honestly, I think it’d probably still be really good without it.

      +Jessie

  5. Please use pasteurized eggs in this recipe. You can get pasteurized shell eggs at the grocery store. The extra cost is really worth it.

    Alcohol does not kill pathogens.
    Contamination can be inside the egg. Pasteurization kills it.
    This is especially important for anyone with a weakened immune system — any kind of illness (even a cold) or chronic condition.

    It is just not worth it to take a chance as food poisoning is largely preventable with proper ingredients and safe handling practices.

    That aside, thanks for the recipe. It looks wonderful.

  6. You mention this recipe follows the “short” way, i like to do things the long traditional way…is there a long way?

    Also to circumvent the egg issue wouldn’t it be possible to mix the non-alcohol ingredients as you did then use a double boiler or other method to bring the mixture to 120F to pastuerize it and then let it cool before adding the whiskey? One of my hobbies is cheesemaking and i have pots i use in the process for slow even heating of milk and cultures that would be ruined should i heat over direct flame. Oh…and wouldnt heating the egg to pastuerize be the same process as making hollandaise?

    I can think of a few ways to use the egg but not have to worry about bacteria or added cost of pastuerized eggs. I’m just not sure if the texture would be ruined by “cooking” the egg.

    • Hey Jenson,

      Thanks for stopping by! OH, when I was talking about the “short version” at the beginning of the article, I just meant that I was giving a summary of the instructions that followed.

      In terms of pasteurizing the eggs, I bet you could totally heat the non-alcoholic ingredients first, as you suggested. Not sure how it would affect the texture/taste, but I’d be willing to try it next time I make this. You’d want to heat them slowly, and stir constantly, so you don’t scramble the eggs.

      On a totally different note, I’d love to know more about your cheesemaking! I’ve always wanted to try that.

      Cheers!
      +Jessie

  7. This looks great, I plan on making it tomorrow, I’ll let you know how it goes. One question: what are pasteurised eggs? I do a lot of baking, and I’ve never seen or heard of them. Can you get them outside of the US?

  8. Hi Jessie,

    Tonight I get to inaugurate some Kahlua that I made, and making some Irish creme was next. I liked your recipe, but dont get how Bailyes has a forever shelf life and yours has 30 days. I am guessing the eggs are part of the problem, and I dont want to not include them, as it just seems right to chuck them into the blender. But I dont want to have to guzzel the stuff at the end of the month either.

    Any suggestions?

    • Hmmmm, ya know, I honestly have never tried to freeze it. I think it would certainly keep, but you might have consistency/texture issues. I’m wondering if the eggs would get a kind of funky texture.

      If you try it, I’d only freeze a very small amount to test it, just to be safe. Let me know how it goes?

      +Jessie

  9. Ohh Goodie! No problem using raw egg over here… I found a supplier of Pasteurizsed Eggs! More expensive but any recipes calling for raw eggs like this one and tiramisu, it’s a saver! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Btw, it’s a great idea using Perrier Bottle too ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Made this for the first time just today with a 40% scottish whiskey, ‘Queen Margot’ from Lidl. At first it had a very sharp whiskey taste, but I mellowed it with the rest of the cream (.5 liters in total) and the rest of the evaporated milk (condensed milk, sweetened or not, is near impossible to get here), along with some maple sirup because I didn’t want granulated sugar in it. The flavor has turned out a bit like bailey’s with a scent of irish coffee, and is already a hit with my roomie!
    Best of all I made two liters of it for the same price as one .7 liter bottle of Baileys. >:D

  11. With the rising prices of Irish Cream and taxes on liquor, making my own is economical. My wife got a recipe from work which had the same ingredients and proportions, but your recipe had the how. I just made a batch. Turned out okay. I overpoured the almond extract a little and the flavor came through a bit too strong. I’m with an earlier entry, next time I think I’ll add more chocolate and expresso. Maybe a little more vanilla too. I’ll report on my experiment in about 3 weeks (or sooner)…. Good stuff! Thank you!

  12. Cool Recipe! I made some up last night, didn’t have a blender to work with, but the mixer worked fine for me. I thought it was a bit thick, so I added another quarter of the bottle of whiskey, which gave it more of a bite as well as thinning it a little. I also used Starbuck’s Columbian Via rather than instant espresso. When I tried it last night, it was just so-so, but after sitting in the fridge overnight, it seems to have melded the flavors together and now tastes wonderful.

    And overall, I suppose it is cheaper given that it completely fills 2 750ml bottles for the price of some standard ingredients and less than one bottle of moderately priced whiskey!

    Thanks so much for a great website!

  13. Hi Jessie,

    Just wondering can you make an non alcoholic version by just leaving out the whiskey or would you have to include another ingredient?

    • Hmm, the whiskey is really what makes it Irish Cream. That said, you could totally probably substitute cold brewed coffee for it. If you do that, I’d use it up within a day or two. The alcohol is really what preserves it. (Remember, there are raw eggs in here.)

      Let me know what you come up with!

      Cheers,
      +Jessie

  14. We are totally gonna try this – my DH is always giving me a hard time because I like “expensive” Bailey’s as opposed to his “cheap” beer! I sent him the link and he is as excited as I am to try this out. We’ll let you know how it goes. Who knows? It may become a new Christmas tradition in our home!

  15. Omg! I just made 4 batches of this last night for Christmas gifts, and I had enough for leftover for us. It is much better than Bailey’s! No comparison! This is thick, rich, creamy and so wonderfully robust in flavor!!! I’m going to keep making this all year round! For my home, for gifts, for potlucks! It’s heavenly! And I shared ur recipe with my friends already!!! Life changing! Haha! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank u for a wonderful Christmas gift (to me!!) ๐Ÿ™‚
    Do y know how to make homemade Tequila Rose (strawberry cream liquer) too? I love that stuff, and have to learn how to make it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  16. this tasted amazing but it curdled.. how can that be avoided?? it didnt affect the taste at all but its just a weird texture to drink.. thanks!!

  17. I had the same curdling problem and all my ingredients were fresh. I don’t know if I blended too fast or not enough. Taste was great just had that weird texture. Any advice to not have that problem????

    Thanks a lot.

  18. hi, I’m working on my own cheesecake cookbook, and had a request for an irish cream version. saw some recipes that call for the baileys, but wanted to try my own, and I think I can morph your recipe into a chocolate cheesecake with the cream. just curious, should the wiskey amount be about the same if I plan on cooking it?

  19. Hey Jesseie,

    I am from Iran and I am in love with Irish Cream Liqueur …
    Unfortunately we could not buy Alcoholic Drinks here because of Iranian rules …
    Thanks to you, With this recipe I can make my loving drink and have fun …
    God bless you … Cheers …

  20. Your labels are so cute, aren’t you crafty!
    This might be my Christmas gift next year, replacing the traditional homemade shortbread or fruitcake…. or, if I’m feeling ambitious I’ll give it in addition to shortbread and fruitcake. Thanks Jessie!

  21. I’ve just made Irish Cream based on this recipe but I used the Scotch whisky (Ballantines) and I love it! (I’m not a whisky fan and never tried the Irish – why would it be better?) Also I added cocoa instead of chocolate syrup. One issue with it is that it stratifies – thin bottom is unmixed coffe/cocoa, mid looks normal and top is bright (cream or something). Is this normal it needs to be shaked before pouring?

    • Hey! Mine has never separated. I’m guessing that it’s because you used cocoa instead of chocolate syrup. If you shake it up, it should be just fine. Worst case, you could always strain it. Let me know!

      +Jessie

      • Thanks. Next time I’ll remember about syrup and to double all the ingredients. I think I’ll add some spirit because now liqueur dissapears too fast ๐Ÿ™‚ Also mixing with home-made Malibu may be sweet.
        Cheers!

  22. i make mine with white chocolate also calls for sweetend condensed and evaporated milk plus heavy cream i saw your site because i was wondering about shelf life ?

  23. I can’t wait to try this recipe out. Do you know how long it can stay good without the eggs added? Does it stay longer?

    • hi , i just made a simple conversion, 375ml of irsh whiskey 420ml condensed milk , heavy cream 240ml , chocolate syrup 30ml. am i right with these ?

      or 35% whiskey , 40% c.milk 20% heavy cream , others 5%

  24. I cooked the cream and eggs (Alton Browne’s eggnog method) and it is absolutely delicious. the heating doesn’t seem to change anything.

  25. Hi…. how much exactly is 1 cup of heavy cream….(in volume or mass ) ?????

    Also have you come across any instant mix which can be directly mixed in Irish whiskey to get the required flavor??

  26. In the cases of curdled texture – could it be that some of the cream
    became bits of butter? This happened to me one time while making
    ice cream.

  27. Jessie,
    I received a very similar recipe a few years ago from a friends aunt… it was very good, as I’m sure your’s is too. The recipe said to let the mixture sit, “the longer the better up to 6 months”… It did have raw eggs and I figured that would make it spoil earlier as you’ve suggested. Mine rarely made it to 6 weeks of storage because my family and I liked it so much. Any ideas if the 6 months was a typo or if its reasonable to let it be refrigerated that long? id like to make larger batches and store some for events 3+ months away.
    I must also say the recipe I received did not come with such creative photographs. Well done! I’d love to whip up some wild irish cream drinks someday with your photography skills at hand.

    • Hey! Not sure what your friend’s aunt’s recipe was, but I wouldn’t let anything with raw eggs sit out unrefrigerated. I feel like 6 months was definitely a typo, but…ask her about it! (And let me know what she says?) Very curious about it now.

      • Better to leave it longer as the alcohol will kill any bugs. Alcohol is a classic preservative it surprises me the comments about not letting the mix sit too long (how about a 25 yr old whiskey!?). Sugar is another classic preservative (why marmalade is a ‘fruit preserve’). The recipe calls for sugar and alcohol, if you like less alcohol make it very sweet. When food goes ‘off’ its because microscopic creatures are eating it and, like us, they produce waste. Like ours, this waste is often what causes the bad odour and can make you sick. Or, the you ingest the micro creatures and they start feeding off you! Ethanol (CH3CH2OH) and sugar (C12H22O11) affect the function of cell walls (both animal and plant). This is why when, say, berries are soaked in something like vodka, the berries will become alcoholic. They may leach their colour, go squishy (as the cell walls no longer hold their shape) but they won’t rot because the alcohol also affects the cell structure of bacteria. The chemical processes in cells are slowed when they are cold (wow, like people are) and that’s why refrigeration helps keep food fresh longer. If you are worried about whether your eggs are safe, LEAVE the alcohol mixture for a couple of weeks to give it time to kill off any bacteria. Use super fresh ingredients. As long as your alcohol/sugar component is strong enough, your mix should keep for months!

  28. Thank you for posting this recipe. I’ve always wanted to try and make my own and I am very excited about trying it! I was wondering though, do you think this recipe could be modified to be used with other liquors? For instance, using tequila?

  29. Made cupcakes yesterday with Kuhlua and Baily’s in them. Make my own Kahlua, had to buy Bailys. Will make this Baily’s before I make my next batch of cupcakes. Thanks a lot.

  30. Make this first, then add it as flavor to your homemade whipped cream recipe for pies. It is delicious.

    Thank you for the recipe, and maybe I missed this with the comments, but any idea on the yield? I am doing this again for Christmas presents, but am curious how much I will get out of each recipe.

  31. I love Irish Cream and plan on trying this recipe, as the other recipes I have found just don’t sound as rich and delicious as this one. I enjoyed reading all of the feed back given from others who have tried this recipe and am impressed with your acknowledgment of all posts and alterations that were given (very cool), that has made me feel like everyone is a “friend” of yours. Have a wonderful Holiday.

  32. Hello ! New here and I was reading the recipe and noticed in one of the comments, someone wrote about “Green Beanies”…you asked about them also and since its been sometime since that post, 2009,my question is, did you ever find out?
    And, also, the recipe for a Baileys cake, perfect sounding for Christmas!
    All the best to you!
    Holly

  33. I have been making this Irish Creme recipe for years to give as gifts. I used to make it with raw eggs but have left it out for about the last 10 yrs and can’t notice any difference and feel safer. I do use Bushmills Irish Wiskey usually because it is often on sale around Christmas time. But have used Jamieson’s also. The one thing I do differently is I add 1 tsp coconut extract also and it gives it a little more flavor. You can adjust the 3 extracts to your own liking but I usually add more vanilla than the almond and coconut. Try it I think you will like it.

  34. Hello, today I just made your recipe for the first time and after blending in the Jameson’s Irish Whiskey, it instantly curdled. Is this normal? How can this be prevented? my whole family loves Irish Cream and I wanted to surprise them for Christimas. I would appreciate it if you could respond. Thanks for sharing your awesome tasting recipe. Happy Holidays!!!!!

    Christine

  35. This is a great recipe. I used a blended whiskey so you can make it stronger with out the whiskey taste over powering it. If you had a problem with it curdling .You cant probably eliminate that by blending everything but the whiskey putting it in a pan and heating it just to the point of boiling stirring it constantly. Let it cool, reblend it and add the whiskey to it then it will also let you store it longer

    • Gah, you know…I’ve never actually cooked with egg beaters before. My gut is that it’s not going to be the same. I looked on the egg beaters website, and it looks like they’re made with egg whites and some other stuff, which means they’re lacking the yolks, which means that they’ll be lacking some of the richness that whole eggs contribute to this recipe.

      If you’re concerned about using raw eggs, I’d actually try to find pasteurized whole eggs instead. Some markets do sell them. Let me know!

      Cheers!
      +Jessie

  36. I’m curious about the curdling question … haven’t seen an answer to that one yet. But I don’t want to try this yet without knowing what causes that or I’ll just be wasting a lot of ingredients. Although it might taste the same, my husband has ‘issues’ with things that “don’t look right!” LOL!

  37. Excellent. just made it.. It is smooth and creamy. For those who are sill not sure.. just do it.. this is a bucket list recipe..lol..

  38. What an excellently recipe and pictures. Not even I could mess this up. This recipe is almost. Identical to my Irish friend mothers recipe from years ago. I wouldn’t waste Jameson’s on this (I never mix my Jameson’s) but use a mid grade whiskey. Comes.out very well

  39. I’ve researched the curdling issue and it seems that for the greatest success you need to use the richest cream (fat content) and add the booze last and slowly. Too much acidity too soon will cause the milk to separate. Fat content (rich creams like whipping cream) will help prevent this separation. This is a great recipe! Enjoy.

    • So much Alcohol…Not good for Teetotals

      Oh please, Captain Obvious!
      Of course there’s sugar in Irish cream liqueur; it’s just as natural as having alcohol in it.

  40. Just made it yesterday. Delicious………… Better than Baileys ( at half the price)…………….. Can’t wait til noon to have some more. No problem with curdling at all. Poured Jamesons in very slowly for the last step and mixed by hand. This stuff is great.

  41. We’ve given as Christmas gifts for some friends that imbibe; have for past three years. TJ Maxx is a great source for stoppered bottles to clean and hold the liqueur. We leave out the eggs and the mouth feel is still pretty awesome.

  42. I just made this recipe without the eggs but it has curdled – help!! what can I do to fix it…..??? Im making it as gifts to bottle…….

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