Baileys Irish Cream (the registered trade mark omits the apostrophe), is an Irish whiskey and cream based liqueur, made by R. A. Bailey & Co. of Dublin, Ireland. The trademark is currently owned by Diageo. It has a declared alcohol content of 17% alcohol by volume.
Introduced in 1974, Baileys was the first Irish Cream liqueur on the market but there are now a growing number of other brands available.
Baileys was the first liqueur to use cream and alcohol together in a manner sufficiently stable to allow commercial distribution. The cream and 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 used is not known but they include chocolate, vanilla, caramel and sugar.
According to the manufacturer no preservatives are required, the whiskey alone is used to preserve the cream.
Storage and Shelf Life
According to the manufacturer Baileys has a shelf life of two years from date of manufacture and should be consumed within 6 months of opening. Storage out of direct sunlight and at a constant, cool, temperature is recommended. If separation has occured or the contents of a bottle have become lumpy it should not be consumed.
Irish Cream can be drunk alone, over ice or as part of a cocktail. It is also commonly used as an addition to coffee in lieu of cream or sugar.
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 lime cordial. While this outcome is undesirable in most situations some cocktails specifically encourage coagulation.
A Cement Mixer is an alcoholic drink usually made with lemon juice and Baileys Irish Cream though acidic alcohols can replace the lemon juice. A shot of lemon 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 lemon juice curdles the Irish cream and the mixture is swallowed.
Baileys Coffee is made using a measure of Baileys in a cup of coffee and then topped off with cream.
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