Homemade Irish Cream


Kiss me!  I'm nearly 1/4 Irish!

The tradition of enjoying a "drop of the hard stuff" on St. Patrick's Day is an old custom known as Pota Phadraig or Patrick's Pot.  The legend goes that St. Patrick taught a stingy innkeeper a lesson, when served a less than generous portion of whiskey.  He threatened the innkeeper, claiming there was a demon in his basement who thrived on dishonesty.  The next time St. Patrick returned to the inn, the innkeeper made a point of having the glasses overflowing and declaring that everyone should enjoy a drink on the day for St. Patrick.  Well played.  That's my kind of saint.

My more than generous and much more than 1/4 Irish neighbor recently shared with me her family recipe for homemade Irish Cream.  This elixir is whipped up in a minute or two and kicks Bailey's to the curb.  Creamy, sweet, swirling with rich flavor, this Irish Cream tastes decadent and very special.  Chill it well and enjoy it on the rocks, added to coffee, drizzled over ice cream, or dare I say...in a milkshake.  Anyway you choose, a treat indeed, for a fraction of the cost of store bought, you know exactly what's in it and can adjust the alcohol strength to your liking.

Have a safe and lucky St. Patrick's Day.


makes approximately one quart.

1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups Irish whiskey (I use Jameson's)
1 teaspoon instant coffee
2 teaspoons thick chocolate syrup (I use Fox's U-bet)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a blender, or whisk by hand. Pour into a clean container, and refrigerate to chill. Drink cold, over ice, added to a cocktail, or over ice cream.

Will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Shake well to combine if it separates from sitting.

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Catie Baumer Schwalb is a chef, food writer and photographer, who splits her life between the city and the country. Not too long ago Catie was a New York City based actress and playwright for more than a decade. She has her Master of Fine Arts from the National Theater Conservatory, and her Grand Diplôme in classic culinary arts from the French Culinary Institute in New York City. ... Read More

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