Baileys Irish Cream is a whiskey and cream based liqueur. It is one of the iconic Irish drinks that is recognisable around the world. It is owned by the alcohol giant Diageo, the company that also owns Guinness, Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff.
Baileys is manufactured in Dublin, using various Irish whiskeys, and cream from Irish dairy company Glanbia.
It is popular with both men and women, and is often drank during the Christmas holidays. It is normally served in a whiskey glass over ice. Because of its sweet creamy taste, Baileys is a popular ingredient for various deserts. It can be used to add flavour to dishes such as ice-cream, cheesecake and chocolate brownies. It can also be used instead of milk in tea, coffee or hot chocolate, particularly in the colder winter months.
Alcohol acts as a natural preservative
Baileys has an alcohol content of 17%. It is made with Irish whiskey and cream, which are mixed together along with various other ingredients including vanilla and sugar. Vegetable oil is also used, as it stops the alcohol and cream separating. The manufacturers claim that no artificial preservatives are added to the drink, as the alcohol content acts as a natural preservative. Each bottle has a shelf life of two-and-a-half years when kept out of direct sunlight and in temperatures between 0 and 25 °C.
Baileys is such an iconic Irish drink that many people believe it has been around for hundreds of years. In fact, it is less than half a century old. Baileys was first created in the early 1970s, when drinks company Gilbeys of Ireland decided they wanted a new product to launch internationally. It took three years for them to come up with a drink that they were happy with, and Baileys Irish Cream was launched on to the market in 1974.
It proved popular with the general public, and there have since been numerous different versions of Baileys introduced such as Belgian Chocolate Baileys and Hazelnut Baileys.
‘A drop of the soft stuff’
Many people will remember the Baileys advertising campaign of the late 1970s, when the drink’s slogan was: ‘A drop of the soft stuff’, as opposed to the hard stuff – whiskey.
Baileys is not named after anyone who played a part in the creation of the drink, but is in fact inspired by the Baileys Hotel in London.
Baileys is used to make various cocktails. A Blind Russian is made by mixing Baileys with vodka and a coffee liqueur. It is the same as a ‘White Russian’, except that Baileys is used instead of cream. The drink gets its name, ‘Blind Russian’, because all of its ingredients contain alcohol.