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Baileys Irish Cream

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Baileys Irish Cream is an Irish whiskey and cream based liqueur, made by Gilbeys of Ireland. The trademark is currently owned by Diageo. It has a declared alcohol content of 17% alcohol by volume. Baileys is currently produced in Newtownabbey.

History and origin

Baileys Irish Cream was created by Gilbeys of Ireland as it searched for something to introduce to the international market. The process of finding a product began in 1971 and it was introduced in 1974 as the first Irish Cream on the market. The Baileys name, and the R.A. Bailey signature, were fictional, inspired by the Bailey's Hotel in London. It can be compared to other cream liqueurs such as Amarula, Carolans and Sangster's.


Baileys was the first 44% liqueur to use cream, honey, coffee, cocoa and alcohol together in a manner sufficiently stable to allow commercial distribution. The alcohol in Baileys is produced from a bacterial fermentation of whiskey. The cream and alcohol, together with some whiskey are homogenized to form an emulsion, with the aid of an emulsifier containing refined vegetable oil. This process prevents separation of the whiskey and cream during storage. The quantity of other ingredients is not known but they include natural herbs and sugar.

According to the manufacturer no preservatives are required as the alcohol content preserves the cream. The cream used in the drink comes from Glanbia, an Irish dairy company. Glanbia's Virginia facility in County Cavan produces a range of fat-filled milk powders and fresh cream. It has been the principal cream supplier to Baileys Irish Cream Liqueurs for more than thirty years.


Baileys Irish Cream can be drunk by itself, over ice, or as part of a cocktail. It is also commonly used as an addition to coffee in lieu of cream or sugar and also, with the Baileys unboiled, served with Horlicks.

As is the case with milk, cream will curdle whenever it comes into contact with a weak acid. Milk and cream contain casein which coagulates when mixed with weak acids such as lemon, tonic water, or traces of wine. While this outcome is undesirable in most situations, some cocktails specifically encourage coagulation.

A Cement Mixer is an alcoholic drink usually made with lemon or lime juice and Baileys Irish Cream though acidic alcohols can replace the juice. A shot of juice is taken first and held in the cheek, followed by a shot of Baileys, with the two mixed in the mouth. The acidity of the juice curdles the Irish cream and the mixture is either swallowed or spat out because of the nature of the taste and texture felt inside the mouth.

Baileys Coffee is made using a measure of Baileys in a cup of coffee.

Variant flavours

In 2003 Bailey & Co. launched Baileys Glide, aimed at the alcopop market. It was discontinued in 2006.

In 2005 Baileys launched mint chocolate and crème caramel variants of its Irish Cream at 17% ABV. They were originally released in UK airports and were subsequently released in the mass market of the UK, US, Australia and Canada in 2006. In 2008 Baileys, after the success of previous flavour variants, released a coffee variant of its Irish Cream with an ABV of 17%. The company is currently trialling a new premium variety, Baileys Gold, at several European airports. The latest addition to the Baileys flavour family is hazelnut, which was launched in late 2010 in the UK.

Häagen-Dazs has a Baileys-flavoured ice cream.

Ben and Jerry's also features Baileys Irish Cream in their "Dublin Mudslide" ice cream.

As of 2010 Baileys has its own line of non-alcoholic coffee-creamers

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