Homemade Irish Cream

Leprechaun figurine sitting next to three bottles of tan-colored homemade Irish Cream, and three cocktail glasses with ice and Irish Cream. Sitting on white table with pine branches for decoration. Christmas decorations in background.

Well, aren’t you lucky!

You know how to make Irish Cream and can surprise your friends with this easy and absolutely delicious holiday gift that is ready in 30 minutes.

The origins of Irish Cream are a bit opaque, but seem to mostly point in the direction of a marketing effort in the 1970s by Gilbey’s of Ireland concocted by an Englishman…yes, that would be Baileys.

This recipe was gifted to us by Grass Valley born and bred Sarah Cain, an expert cordial and spirit maker. Now based in Vallejo, Cain currently works in beautiful, molded chocolate. Learn more at spiritedsweetschocolates.com.

Drink with a bit of ice, or mix with some coffee, for an Irish coffee. There are loads of fun cocktails to enjoy once you’ve made your liqueur.


  • 750ml Whiskey (your choice of style, but buy something you’d like to sip!)
  • Dairy version: Cream base
  • 1cup heavy cream (or ½ & ½)
  • 1cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup dark roast coffee beans – coarsely cracked
  • ¼ cup cacao nibs
  • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • Non-dairy version: Coconut milk base
  • 2 14oz cans coconut milk (full fat!) – you could also sub 1 can for 14oz coconut cream (thicker)
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup dark roast coffee beans – coarsely cracked
  • ¼ cup cacao nibs


  1. Combine the cream/coconut milk), brown sugar, coffee and cacao nibs in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring frequently, especially as the mixture approaches a boil. Remove from the heat and let steep for 10 minutes.
  2. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean jar and stir in the condensed milk, then stir in whiskey. Store in the refrigerator. Use within a month.