Cocktail And Cream Liqueur Alternatives To Bailey’s Irish Cream

Baileys’ Irish Cream is a drink enjoyed across the West. Whether it’s Christmas time, or it’s just a drink you enjoy, Baileys’ can be an ideal alcoholic drink to wind down on an evening.

For some people they enjoy using Bailey’s Irish Cream in baking applications due to its alcohol and dairy content.

Whether you simply want to try a different cream liqueur or want something similar you could order at a bar or make at home, we have your covered.

In this article we are going to discuss some substitutes for Baileys’ Irish Cream.

In some circumstances you may just want something similarly creamy and alcoholic to enjoy before bed, or you may require it as an ingredient in a baking recipe but find you need a sub.

In either case, we think we have found some suitable substitutes to save you in whatever situation you may require. 

Keep reading to find out what the best substitutes for Baileys Irish Cream – read more below!

Cocktail And Cream Liqueur Alternatives To Bailey’s Irish Cream

What Is Baileys’ Irish Cream?

Put simply, Baileys is a cream liqueur, an alcoholic drink that is around 17% ABV. Cream liqueurs are quite common and popular as an alcoholic drink, that said Baileys; is globally recognized as the most popular.

It is made in Dublin, Ireland, and Mallusk, Northern Ireland, and often considered the original ‘Irish’ cream, having been created in 1971.

Of course, the alcohol in Irish Cream is Whiskey, its original creation was a result of surplus whiskey and alcohol that needed to be used in Whiskey distilleries as distilling processes changed.

The flavor of Irish cream is that of cream mixed with nutmeg, cocoa, and coffee. It has a balanced flavor of nuttiness, chocolate, and coffee which work together well, and has a creamy mouth feel.

Baileys can taste a lot like chocolate milk, which is probably the closest thing you can relate it to if you haven;t tried it before. The alcohol flavor is generally indescribable beyond 

being alcoholic, but it adds a pleasant taste to cut through what is quite sweet and creamy.

Cocktails Similar To Baileys

So, perhaps you are sick of Irish Cream Liqueur and want to have something that tastes similar, with similar qualities, but that is fundamentally not Baileys.

There are plenty of cocktails out there which are actually similar in features but not exactly the same, which can present you with the satisfaction you want with some different looks.

1. White Russian

If you have never had a white russian but you enjoy Baileys, you may have just found your new favorite drink. A white russian is basically milk mixed with vodka, you can get as sophisticated or simple with this as you like. 

Literally just milk and vodka is a lot nicer than you think and the fatty elements of the milk do well to override the alcohol’s flavor.

But there are many recipes to make a sophisticated white russian that uses nutmeg, chocolate sprinkles, or many other accouterments to gussy the drink up.

White Russian is very commonly served with an espresso shot in it though, which adds that coffee flavor typical of a Baileys. This said, a white Russian is very comparable to a Baileys – both creamy and alcoholic.

2. Espresso Martini

If you are looking for a drink that can provide you with similar flavors, but perhaps does away with any uncomfortable dairy additions, then the espresso martini is for you.

An espresso martini is very easy to order at most bars, and is a little classier than a white Russian or Irish cream.

It’s ideal when you want those deep chocolate and coffee flavors but you don’t want a belly full of dairy while you are out at the bar.

Commonly, the drink combines vodka, coffee liqueur, and espresso. If you wanted you could even add Baileys in place of coffee liqueur.

3. Dirty Horchata

Have you ever had a Horchata? It’s basically Mexican Cream liqueur, a spicier variation on your creamy alcoholic beverage.

Horchata is common throughout Latin America and is a sweet cinnamon drink with flavors of coffee, chocolate, but importantly the slightly spicy cinnamon.

In this way it is similar to Baileys but with more spiciness, which some may be looking for.

While Horchata is traditionally non alcoholic, more modern applications in bars and restaurants do offer a Dirty horchata.

The spicy and creamy milk drink is combined with another alcohol such as rum or vodka to make a really tasty and alcoholic beverage that is a spicy take on your classic Baileys.

Other Irish Cream Brands

While Baileys is certainly the original Irish cream liqueur, there are many other brands out there which may be available, should you specifically be looking for a cream liqueur that is similar to Baileys.

This may be pertinent if you are using Baileys for baking, basically any of these cream liqueur alternatives would be applicable in a recipe that requires Baileys.

4. Saint Brendan’s Irish Cream

Also made in Ireland, in Derry, this is considered one of the better Baileys alternatives, especially from the ones you can get in the US.

It is also around 17%, like Baileys, being made from triple distilled whiskey known as ‘The Quiet Man’. It is very comparable to Baileys, with very similar tastes if a little less sweetness.

5. Emmets Classic Irish Cream

Also made in Ireland, this is a slightly sweeter irish cream that can provide a slightly different flavor profile to your classic Baileys, Also at 17% this Irish Cream is actually made with vanilla and cocoa beans which brings a little more sweetness than most are used to with Baileys.

While many suggest you can tell the difference, it is slightly sweeter than Baileys which many may prefer.

6. The Whistler Irish Cream

Another Irish cream that is made in the motherland itself. This is perhaps unique as it uses something called a single-pot Irish whiskey, which is triple distilled, and has malted and unmalted flavors.

It’s  got slightly more caramel and silky flavors with whiskey undertones, similar to Baileys but a little different. Moreover, it’s stronger than Baileys at 19% ideal for those who want a slightly more alcoholic cream liqueur.

7. Amarula Cream Liqueur

Actually from South America, this is a cream liqueur that isn’t Irish in origin,, but embraces its own unique flavors.  This dream liqueur has much more unique flavors than your generic Irish Cream.

Amarula is actually made from the South African fruit known as marula, only really found in the sub-Saharan African plains.

The fruit is fermented and distilled into its own unique alcohol that is perhaps most similar to tequila. They combine the fruity alcohol with fresh cream, bottled at 17% just like Baileys.

This is a much more fruity unique twist on your classic Baileys, but is just as creamy. If you can get your hands on it it is a worthwhile swap for the Baileys, for something a little more unique and fruity.

Final Thoughts

As you can see there are quite a few drinks out there you can both make and buy that are quite similar to Baileys.

Whether you are sick of Baileys and want something that is a little different, there are cream liqueurs out there that can offer different flavor profiles. 

In addition, you can make a bunch of cocktails, likely with ingredients you already have, which can create something quite similar to a Baileys in that it is creamy or has coffee and chocolate flavors, but is slightly different.

In baking applications you may need another cream liqueur that is similar, which you can certainly find online or in your local stores.

On the other hand, there are loads of other cream liqueurs that aren’t Baileys that have similar and also quite different flavors, should you want to branch out within the world of cream liqueurs.

Cocktail And Cream Liqueur Alternatives To Bailey’s Irish Cream

Recipe by AubreyCourse: Substitutes


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Baileys Irish Cream is really popular but there are many cream liqueurs out there, as well as cocktails that are similarly creamy – find out some alternatives below!


  • Decide on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy
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