There are times when a cocktail is simply too much work. Times when one wants to simply kick his or her feet up and forget about the chores or the trifling details of day. These are times when one should put on a Queens of the Stone Age album and just chill. These are times that call for nothing more than Bailey’s Irish Cream.
Simple, yet sophisticated, Bailey’s has been a staple of the drinking scene since around its inception in 1974, when Gilbeys of Ireland introduced it as a product for the international market. The combination of a low alcohol content (declared at 17%) and unrivaled drinkability made Bailey’s Irish Cream a quick success.
Bailey’s Irish Cream is a liqueur made with a base of Irish whiskey and cream. Simple in composition, yet wildly various in application, it has become the base for many a cocktail and has also made great strides in becoming the go-to beverage for adult-drink novices.
Encased in a classically stout brown bottle, Bailey’s Irish Cream is one of the most handy cordials to keep in the cabinet. It has a shelf life of 30 months according to the manufacturer, and will retain its flavor for 2 years from the date on which it was made, making a big jug of Bailey’s all the more enticing.
When I’m not mixing drinks, I like to pour a couple ounces of Bailey’s over ice and swirl it around a bit just to chill it slightly. The almost taupe liquor is, of course, relatively thick in consistency, and the ice serves to cut that effect slightly. The flavor is smooth and almost coffee-like. Sweet, creamy flavor hits the tongue with an almost indistinguishable spark of oaky whiskey. The finish is mellow and long, inviting you back for another, and another.
As we’ve stated, Bailey’s is indeed good for more than just sipping. Use Bailey’s in your coffee for a delicious kick, or if the evening’s going to be a long one, add some Jameson’s Irish Whiskey to that coffee as well. Go wild — mix Bailey’s with some banana and hazelnut liqueur, or perhaps some amaretto. The choices are nearly limitless.