Homemade Irish Cream Recipe | Dairy & Vegan Options

There are many things the Irish do well, but the ability to make new friends with a glimmer in their eye and a drink in their hand is one of the things I love most. You can’t blame them for wanting a refreshing beverage with just a bit of tipsy to end a day spent in an emerald paradise sodden with rain and a haze of fog.


Photo by RUBEN XOVE on Unsplash

The Irish have distilled whiskey since they invented it 1500 years ago. It’s had a turbulent history but has re-gained dominance in the spirits category, with dozens of new distilleries popping up across Ireland.


Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash

The story of the invention of Baileys Irish Cream, takes us all the way back to… 1973. Two advertising business partners, David Gluckman and Hugh Seymour-Davies responded to a challenge from International Distillers & Vintners to create a new beverage to export from Ireland.

Gluckman’s experience with the dairy industry led him to his first thought of making a dairy based concoction. This prompted Seymour-Davies to wonder, “what would happen if we mixed Irish whiskey and cream?”

That simple statement drove them to the nearest market where they gathered ingredients and after a couple sips and additions, they had the recipe and went off to pitch this idea that “alcoholic drinks don’t have to taste punishing”.

This boozy recipe is easy to make vegan, just simply replace the milk with your favorite non-dairy creamer. Drink on the rocks or add to your coffee for a real top o’ the morning!

YIELD: 1 quart

TOTAL TIME: 5 minutes (no cooking necessary)


Dairy:   • 2 cups half & half

Vegan: • 2 cups Coconut Cream + Almond Milk non-dairy creamer

  • 1 ½ cups Irish whiskey (Jameson is the most common, but there are a lot of small batch distilleries making wonderful varieties. Ask your local liquor shop for suggestions and you may even be treated to a tasting!)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt


Combine all ingredients in a blender for one minute. Pour into a sterilized quart container and chill for 4 hours before serving. Serve over ice in your lovely Irish crystal or add to your coffee for some morning merry! Refrigerate in a tightly-sealed bottle for up to a week.