Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur
Serve this dreamy homemade Irish cream liqueur chilled over ice, or stir it into coffee, black tea, rooibos, or chai. Or pour it into a tasty shake along with vanilla ice cream, cocoa powder, and a banana. The ratios of sweet to cream to booze may be different from standard Irish Creams, so add it to taste in cocktails and other recipes. If you don't wish to condense your own milk, don't substitute the canned stuff, as your ratios will be off; rather, try this recipe from Design Sponge. This is a boozy beverage, whose flavor comes through when mixed, so feel free to dial down the whiskey if you prefer.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Cooling Time: 10 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 cups
- 1 quart whole milk
- 1/2 cup sugar (preferably organic cane sugar)
- 1 plump vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup toasted, sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup cacao nibs
- 3 tablespoons coffee beans
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups Irish whiskey (such as Jameson)
Combine the milk, sugar and vanilla bean in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. The more surface area, the faster the milk will reduce, so use a large saucepan or even a soup pot if you like. The heavier the pot, the less likely the milk is to scorch. Bring the milk to a simmer over medium heat, stirring very frequently, scraping the bottom and sides of the pot to prevent the milk from burning. When the milk has reached a simmer, reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture has reduced to between 2 1/4 and 2 1/2 cups. You can speed the process up to about half an hour by keeping the heat at medium and stirring constantly, or you can reduce the heat to very low and give it a stir every few minutes, which will make the process take a couple of hours.
When the milk has reduced (pour it into a heatproof measuring pitcher to check), stir in the cream, almonds, nibs, coffee beans and salt. Continue to heat the mixture until steaming, stirring occasionally, then remove from the heat, cover, and steep for 10 minutes.
Strain the milk mixture through a fine mesh strainer and let cool slightly for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to release the heat (this prevents the whiskey from curdling the mixture when you add it). Optionally whiz the mixture with an immersion blender (this helps prevent the fat from the dairy from clumping up in the fridge). When the mixture has cooled slightly, stir in the whiskey.
This liqueur is not shelf-stable, so pour it into jars or bottles and store in the fridge. It should keep for at least a month. (If I can make it last that long, I'll update this post with an official shelf life!) Cheers.