You may or may not have noticed that it has been uncharacteristically quite on The Clean Dish this past month! Here is why: We have moved back to Bragg! Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The last couple of months have been out of this world crazy-busy and exhausting! We practically had less than two weeks to pack, say our goodbyes and leave Florida for a much cooler North Carolina.
We should be moving into a new home in November and in the meantime, we’re staying with our friend Kate, the girl with a black belt in yoga – I am not joking! Kate has some mad arm balancing skills and bends like a pretzel. Check out the photos at the end of the post.
Kate has been graciously and patiently putting up with the three of us; our puppy shedding her summer coat, my husband and I making piles of just random stuff all over the house and I don’t even want to get into the amount of dirty dishes we generate. On the bright side, I’ve been cooking lunch and dinner for everyone and today, I finally found a spare minute to work on my blog!
I am not even sure why I hadn’t thought of this before: Homemade Baileys Irish Cream – especially with the holidays coming up! Baileys used to be one of my favorite drinks which I cut out when I changed my diet. Like, you don’t need a list of ingredients to know Baileys is loaded with sugar. Speaking of Baileys ingredients: nobody knows exactly how it’s made. The Irish keep it a secret! Well, we know these ingredients are included:
- Mystery herbs
It took me a few days of repeatedly tasting Baileys and conferring with my soldier (who has an amazing palate, by the way – no big deal) but I think I finally cracked it. From over 50 commonly used herbs in alcohol (or so my sources tell me) I picked the ones I thought may be present in Baileys and I started to experiment. This herbal mixture seems to add just the right flavor to homemade Baileys:
- Star Anise
Hold up — don’t be discouraged by this list of ingredients you probably do not have sitting around in your pantry — I bought all these in the bulk section of my local health food store for less than $2. You only need a tiny amount of each (see recipe) so it is not a major expense but adds so much flavor and authenticity to your Irish cream! Plus adding this herbal infusion gives Baileys’ almost a healthy twist (I promise it won’t taste healthy, though!!)
As always, feel free to change amounts according to your taste preference. If you like it sweeter, add more maple syrup; if you like more flavor, add more herbal mixture! Of course, you can always add more whiskey, too!
- 2 cans full fat coconut milk
- ¼ cup +1 tablespoon maple syrup (I prefer Grade B Maple Syrup)
- ½ cup brewed cold espresso or strong coffee
- ¾ cup Whiskey (I used Jameson Irish Whiskey)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- 2 tablespoon herbal mixture – see below (optional)
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1 stick licorice root
- ¼ stick cinnamon
- small piece of fresh ginger (about the size of a hazelnut)
- 1 star anise
- 1 pinch cardamon seeds
- Make ahead: In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients for herbal mixture and bring to a boil; cover with a lid. Cook for 10 minutes and steep for at least 1 hour; ideally 2-3 hours or overnight. Sieve and store in glass container until ready to use.
- Combine all ingredients in a glass carafe with lid or container of your choice and whisk until smooth.
- Serve chilled or on ice.