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Irish cream is a cream liqueur based on Irish whiskey, cream, and other ingredients such as coffee, which can be served on its own, as an alcoholic substitute for milk/cream and sugar in a hot coffee (sometimes with whipped cream added on top), or used in mixed drinks or as part of a shot or a whole shot. Irish cream is very popular in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States.
It is usually served on the rocks as a moderately strong beverage on its own, but is often mixed stronger by adding more whiskey or sometimes bourbon, which complements the Irish Whiskey used in production. Coffee liqueur such as Kahlúa and many caramel liqueurs are also used. Baileys is a common addition to White Russians, due to its creamy flavour.
Some recipes for Irish cream liqueur have been published, which use various combinations of Irish whiskey, cream, coffee (sometimes, and usually optional), sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. Many have significantly less alcohol by volume than the commercial brands. Here are the ingredients for a typical recipe:
- 1⅔ cups good Irish whiskey
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (like Eagle Brand)
- 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp cold coffee
- 3 drops of coconut extract
- a raw egg is optional for a 'creamier' consistency (like egg nog).
Blend, then refrigerate immediately because of the dairy products. Any dairy based liqueur should be bottled in a dark bottle due to a possibility of the photosensitivity of the liqueur changing the taste.