How to fake a Baileys Irish Cream

Without a doubt Baileys is one the unhealthiest alcoholic drinks out there. It is packed with sugar, with 6.25 grams of sugar per each 25 ml serving. It is also 81 calories per serving. Yet it was my taste of Christmas. I used to delight in getting the best price, and felt I was treating myself as I guzzled through bottle after bottle.

Can Baileys be faked?

There are many cocktails that taste great with a swapped or omitted ingredients, such as ginger beer in a mojito, or a Virgin Mary. With the amount of sugar in a Baileys, there should be no reason why you can’t create a version that comforts, even if it does not deliver the sharp astringency of the whiskey.

Most recipes I have found include an array of ingredients that in themselves include lots of sugar. So I have tried to deconstruct those, to create a drink that only gets its sweetness from the condensed milk. Which itself is already very, very sweet.

Be sparing with the almond essence. Just a tiny drop will do, and you could even go without. If you want a bit of bite, you could add some whisky essence, bitters or Holy Lama Ginger Spice Drops.

Add more coffee or chocolate to taste, and some mint essence if you liked their mint chocolate flavour.


Makes about 5 x 25 ml measures (300ml)

  • 1/4 can of condensed milk
  • 250 ml double cream
  • 2 heap teaspoons of cacao
  • pinch powder or drop of vanilla essence
  • 2 drops of almond essence
  • strong brew half a teaspoon of coffee, and use 2 teaspoons in the mixture
  • pinch of salt.


Whizz all ingredients together in a blender. If you start with the cream base then you can adjust the other ingredients bit by bit to get the level of sweetness that works for you.

Serving suggestions

Serve on the rocks, or fake an Irish Coffee. The drink can last for two months in a sterilised container in the fridge. Did I mention it had a lot of sugar?

This recipe is a work in progress, please add your ideas.

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