One of my favorite “dessert” drinks is coffee with Bailey’s Irish Cream. Sometimes, just Bailey’s on the rocks.

Bailey’s is essential in lots of creamy-goodness concoctions like the Mudslide. There are lots of copycat brands of Irish cream, but none seem to quite measure up. Not to say it cannot be improved upon, just so far (in my experience) no one has. Unless….you make it yourself.

One aspect can always be improved upon, and that is freshness. Since Irish cream uses, well…cream, freshness most certainly plays a part. If you are just a once-in-a-while Irish cream drinker, then making your own is not necessarily worth it. BUT, if you drink it often, or want to maybe make it better, then why not? It is rather simple and allows lots of experimentation.

Irish creams use Irish whiskey. It’s in the name. And perhaps the traditional taste works best with a good Irish whiskey. Using different brands might result in different smoothness, nuances, etc. But you can also use anything from bourbon to rye to even single malt scotch or brandy.

Ready to make your own? Here is a recipe to use as a basis:

>> 7 oz. Irish whiskey (or try a different kind)

>> 7 oz. sweetened condensed milk

>> 3 oz. heavy cream

>> 1/2 tbsp instant coffee granules

>> 1 tbsp chocolate syrup

Add all ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix well. Pour in a bottle (preferably glass), seal tight and refrigerate until chilled. It will keep for up to two months.

Experiment by using vanilla extract, cinnamon, or other flavors. Instead of coffee granules and chocolate syrup, you can use Kahlua. Other variations include using Screwball peanut butter whiskey (omit the coffee and add more chocolate syrup).