« back to Trends & Inspiration

EXPLORING THE WORLD OF INNOVATIVE LIQUEURS

Liqueurs may not be the first ingredient that comes to mind when creating experimental drinks, but don’t be deceived – the combination of Irish cream and whiskey can bring a depth of decadence to cocktails.

Since its creation over 40 years ago, Baileys has been leading the way in innovation so let’s take a look at the story behind this famous liqueur and the other exciting variants it has created to get experimenting with.

NATIONAL SPORTS

Baileys liqueur has been a bona fide bar classic for well over 40 years now. But where did this creamy nectar first appear? And who’s responsible for it?

Ireland is celebrated around the world for its lush green pastures (a product of perpetual rainfall) and the rich quality of dairy supplied by cows there.

The idea was straightforward enough: combine two of Ireland’s favourite sports, quality dairy and fine whiskey, in an experiment with nowhere to go but delicious.

Now available in over 150 countries, Baileys is beloved around the world as the quality go to for that unmistakable cream liqueur. The brainchild of Baileys, David Dand, with a team of technical experts, set out to make an unapologetically luxurious liqueur.

The team, armed with a standard fare Kenwood kitchen mixer (over 40 years ago now) and a plucky idea to create something entirely original, got to work.

Early on, the team agreed they had stumbled across something delicious, but the difficult task of trying to combine whiskey and cream in one bottle without separating was still ahead of them.

It took David and the team almost 3 years to settle on a recipe that had all the taste and a significant shelf-life. Not a long wait for perfection, mind.

ALTERNATIVE ALMANDE

Baileys was one of the first liqueurs to respond to the rising demand for dairy-free alternatives.

A revolution across the culinary world, coffee scene and wider hospitality, meant more calls for non-traditional options and Baileys got busy innovating.

The result: Baileys Almande, a vegan-friendly almond liqueur that’s light on dairy, but heavy on delish.

Blending sweet almond oil, cane sugar and purified water with a touch of real vanilla – Almande is as delicate as decadent. With a light, candied almond profile and lavish mouthfeel, it’s a great digestif (neat or over ice) or as component of a cocktail or dessert.

For cocktails, why not adopt Baileys Almande as orgeat’s ‘heavier cousin’? Try in a Mai Tai riff, using a spiced rum with nutty elements to draw out the Almande. It plays nicely with lime, pineapple and orange liqueur notes for a more weighted after-dinner drink.

LIVING YOUR BEST LUXE LIFE

Bailey’s didn’t hold back when it created the Chocolate Luxe variant. Launching 37 years after Baileys Original Irish Cream, the variant took 839 tries to create an indulgent chocolate liqueur that matched the quality and multisensory experience found in its original liqueur.

There is an intriguing science behind Baileys Chocolate Luxe that involves testing out of 200 different types of chocolate and a very stringent shortlisting process when it came to finding all the right sensory elements for the liqueur. In the end, a chocolate partner created a bespoke chocolate for Baileys Chocolate Luxe and a perfect blend was mastered.

Combining Belgian chocolate and Baileys original Irish cream, Baileys Chocolate Luxe may not be the type of drink customers would be inclined to order all night but it’s certainly up there with one of the most impressive drinks to offer chocolate lovers after a meal. I mean, who would want dessert when there is one of these decadent serves waiting at the bar?

USING BAILEYS IN YOUR BAR

There is a whole world of indulgence that can be served up with a simple addition of Baileys. It’s an easy way to upsell a dessert or add an extra layer of indulgence to your coffee or cocktails.

Here are a few delicious Baileys-inspired recipes to try at your venue:

Baileys Almande Peach Smoothie Recipe (serves 4):

Ingredients:

Method:

Alcohol content: 11g per serve

Baileys Chocolat Orange

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Recommended for you:

  • 3 STEPS TO STACK YOU

    3 STEPS TO STACK YOUR BACK BAR FOR SUCCESS

    Is your back bar winning? We worry about the performance of individual drinks, brands and bottles at our bars but taking stock of the collective back bar is necessary housekeeping.

  • SUSTAINABILTY TIPS F

    SUSTAINABILTY TIPS FOR YOUR VENUE

    The term ‘sustainability’ gets thrown around a lot of late. We’re not saying this is a bad thing, but use it too much, or wrongly, and it begins to lose some of its potency.

  • A VODKA WITH A FAMIL

    A VODKA WITH A FAMILY TRADITION

    Voted as the favourite vodka of bartenders, Ketel One is known for its smooth quality and sophisticated taste, but behind this unique spirit is over 327 years of distillery expertise.

  • THE STORY OF THE MAR

    THE STORY OF THE MARGARITA

    If Pina Coladas are about getting caught in the rain, then Margaritas are for lazing about on a hot terrain – preferably somewhere in Northern Mexico.

Want to keep up to date on cocktail trends and get access to exclusive content?Sign up to Diageo Bar Academy today for unlimited access to it all.