Thursday, February 17, 2011

Recipe: More Homemade Hooch!

I spent 90% of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted. 
– Soccer superstar George Best

Photo: jkavo, Flickr ccl
I was quite surprised to learn that Bailey's Irish Cream has only been made since the early 1970s.  When I began looking for information about the history of Irish cream I thought I would find a wealth of interesting information. You know, stuff like Monks, and mist and the way the Irish countryside was perfect for making the beverage in the middle ages. Nope…

Whiskey and milk was used in ages past to quiet an upset stomach, but apparently it used to separate (I assume curdle) after a short time as the alcohol worked on the milk. in 1971 a liquor company began searching for a way to keep the two emulsified over a long period. The first Irish Cream was finally brought to market by Bailey's in 1974.

Irish whiskeys. Photo: Wiki CC
From Wikipedia:
"Baileys Irish Cream was created by Michael Montanti of Rumson as it searched for something to introduce to the international market. Despite attributions to Andrew Bailey of the R.A. Bailey Company, no such person existed. The choice of the name Bailey was based on branding. It can be compared to other cream liqueurs such as Amarula, Carolans and Sangster's."

Not very romantic, eh? Oh well, the homemade version below will ignite the fires within... for sure.

It's essential to use IRISH whiskey – not anything else. Scotch and American Whiskey have entirely different tastes. Irish whiskey is a mixed grain whiskey which results in a lighter, more "neutral" flavor than North American. Written documentation dates the distillation of whiskey in Ireland to the 1400s but it is most certainly an older activity. The Irish Whiskey Act has given legal governance to its production since 1980.

Jamieson's Irish Whiskey sells at the local "booze-atorium" for $29.99; Bushmills Black Bush Malt (my favorite) goes for $37.00, although there is another Bushmills for less. All three are 750 ml, which is enough to make 2-3 recipes, depending on the strength you make your Irish Cream.

Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk at one time attached this recipe to their product at Christmas time. It was printed on a small folded card, along with a few other cream liqueur recipes. I think I still have it somewhere...

By the way, this liqueur is not for anyone on a low-fat diet. As if you couldn't tell.

Homemade Irish Cream
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand if you wish)
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups Irish Whiskey (depending on how strong you want it)
  • 1 cup 10% cream (Cereal cream / table cream)
  • 3 eggs*
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup (like you get for sundaes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut  OR vanilla extract (optional)

 Mix all ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Strain if desired. Let sit for one day before use (yeah, right…). Keep refrigerated and shake before pouring. Homemade Irish Cream can be refrigerated for up to one month. 

*Use very fresh eggs. If raw eggs are a concern, use an egg substitute product.

Photo: wynlok, Flickr ccl

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