The missus talked about making Irish Cream which peaked my interest. I did very little research (top 10 google search results for Homemade Irish Cream) and compared the recipes. They are are pretty similar so I decided to mix and match based on what I wanted.
What did I want? Something less sweet to start with. The store bought brands are all too sweet for my tastes. I think many great foods are ruined by being overly sweet, thus I just make my own my way! I like to taste the Whiskey in my Irish Cream but don't want it too boozy but just the right booziness. Not hot booze but more booze than cream. That's about it for my criteria. Just a couple simple things to make it the way I wanted it. Well, I also didn't want to go to the store. So, there were three I guess.
*UPDATE: I increased from 10 to 16oz and use Bushmills or similar.* I had 10oz Jameson that someone left at my house. It has been here a while, so that Jameson was the whiskey I chose but there are many great Irish Whiskeys to choose from. But, don't stop there. Any whiskey will work as will bourbon. Proportions are important though. A big, strongly flavored Bourbon Whiskey might overwhelm the more fragile flavors.
For the cream, you can use Heavy, Whipping or Half and Half. Half and Half will definitely be thinner and unlike typical commercial brands of Irish Cream. Generally, Heavy and Whipping cream are very close to store bought commercial brands. Different brands will have different fat amounts an Whiskey so it takes a few batches to match your favorite brand.
My first batch, I used what I had on hand which was half and half. After that, I used heavy cream. It help balance the Whiskey and was a bit more creamy -- almost too much. I might do it again with some half and half and some heavy cream.
For the chocolate element. You can use chocolate syrup or cocoa powder. While chocolate syrup is easier, it adds more sugar. I used cocoa powder because I wanted to keep the sugar down and we cocoa on hand already.
For mixing, I prefer to use a stand mixer. You can use a stand, handheld or whisk if you want.
Note: This makes 1 liter (34 ounces) of Irish Cream. Make sure you have a bottle big enough to put it in. The typical commercial bottle is 750ML which is about 25.4 ounces. For a 750ml batch, you need to reduce everything by 25%
*UPDATE: I've changed my recipe after 5 batches now*
16 ounces Irish (Or your preferred) Whiskey
8 ounces heavy whipping cream
7 ounces (half a one can) condensed sweet milk
1 teaspoon Instant Espresso (or whatever instant coffee you want)
1 teaspoon Bourbon Vanilla Extract (or whatever vanilla extract your want. real, not imitation)
1 teaspoon Almond Extract
1 tablespoon Cocoa Baking Powder (We use plain old Hershey's) OR 2 tablespoons Chocolate Syrup (e.g. Hershey's)
*UPDATE: I've updated the procedure to help minimize coffee and cocoa specks*
Making Irish Cream
In a small sized bowl, mix 4 ounces each of whipping cream and whiskey with vanilla and almond extracts. Mix slowly.
Press cocoa through a sifter or fine mesh, while mixing the cream and whiskey mixture. Do this over 20 seconds. this help avoid cocoa clumps or spots.
Now press the instant coffee through the sifter while still mixing.
Transfer to a larger bowl add the remaining whiskey and cream and mix using whatever mixer you prefer. slowly add in the sweetened condensed milk over 30 seconds. Mix until well blended.
Mix for a couple minutes until well blended. Mine had some flakes of undissolved cocoa. That's OK.
You can taste test and adjust by adding more cream or whiskey as your taste prefer.
Put in a suitable container / bottle and refrigerate.
Wondering what's the ABV? 20.6%
You can easily calculate the ABV yourself!
Let's look at at our volumes:
We have 15 ounces of milk and cream. We have 16 ounces of whiskey that is 40% alcohol which laves us with 6.4 ounces alcohol and 9.6 ounces water. So, we have a total of 31 ounces liquid of which 6.4 ounces are alcohol.
Thus 6.4/31*100 equal 20.6% ABV.