Homemade Baileys Irish Cream

Homemade Bailey's Irish Cream is super easy and delicious! | themillennialmenu.com

People go crazy for my mom's Homemade Baileys Irish Cream recipe, and I've recently started making it for people and they can't get enough. Around the holidays, we've always got a bottle in our fridge. It's perfect for a nice cold glass cozied up on the couch catching up on your favorite show, for entertaining friends at a holiday party, or as a delicious gift.

When people ask what's in it, I basically just answer "sugar + whiskey" which is basically true. And cream. Three things that are all pretty amazing separately, and are even better when whisked together into a bottle of this creamy, sweet, indulgent treat. It's a really flexible recipe that you can't mess up - while the ingredients are all important to bring the flavor together, a little bit more or less instant coffee or hot chocolate powder won't make or break the thing...and a little bit MORE (or less, I guess) whiskey definitely isn't a problem, either. I hate to say this but - I don't use the nicest whiskey for this. I think if you did, it wouldn't be a bad thing, you just don't have to. I like nice whiskey in my cocktails, but since this drink is paired with indulgent cream and sweetened condensed milk, the alcohol itself isn't even the star of the show - it's the combination of the flavors that makes the drink. That means it's okay to get a cheaper option - no one will know, or care, especially when the whiskey does start to hit them!

I love that this recipe takes 10 minutes or less to come together, and it's a great treat to bring to holiday parties or to give as a gift to really impress people. My mom has found some beautiful recloseable bottles at the dollar store to serve hers in, but I've used Acqua Panna bottles that I've cleaned the labels off of. They look nice tied up with red ribbon and a recipe label. Or, like me, you can just make a few batches to keep in your fridge for those cold December nights.

Homemade Baileys Irish Cream

Makes about 2 liters (or 8 cups)
Prep time: 7 minutes
Cook time: 3 minutes (to boil water - microwave is probably fastest!)
Total Time: 10 minutes


  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee
  • 2 teaspoons hot chocolate mix
  • 2 tablespoons boiling hot water
  • 2 cups half & half (or non-dairy creamer)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 6 shots whiskey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Dietary Substitutions:
Gluten Free
Vegetarian Friendly
Dairy-free/vegan: Use non-dairy creamer and sweetened condensed coconut milk. Make sure to choose a vegan hot chocolate mix.


1. Dissolve 2 teaspoons hot chocolate mix and 2 teaspoons instant coffee in 2 tablespoons boiling hot water.
2. Mix in 2 cups half & half, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 6 shots of whiskey, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Whisk well to combine. Store in the fridge to cool before serving.


Storing & Extra Ingredients

STORING - Homemade Baileys should be stored in the fridge. If stored properly, the Baileys can probably last up to a month (although I doubt you'll wait that long to finish the bottle!) - it might need to be shaken before serving again.

EXTRA INGREDIENTS - You'll likely have some extra half & half, which can be used in just about any recipe that calls for milk or cream with slightly different results. I used my extra half & half in a homemade mac & cheese recipe (coming soon!) and it came out great. Hopefully you can come up with some ideas for that extra whiskey, my favorite is a Classic Whiskey Sour (with an egg white!) I save up any extra hot chocolate mix or instant coffee for another batch of Baileys, because once you try this, you'll definitely want more!