Keto Irish Cream
Recently, I went on a liqueur making binge.
It was in the lead up to the holidays, images and marketing were everywhere, and I was feeling a bit of FOMO.
... never mind that I don’t even really drink much anymore (makes my ear stuffy, and I CANNOT handle that feeling!)... I wanted to have ACCESS, you know?
Before my body started up with the ear weirdness, Bailey’s was one of my all time favourite liqueurs.
While it had a bit of the whiskey flavour (I’m not a whiskey fan in general), it was the overall combination of flavours - and the texture - that made it so pleasant.
Sweet, smooth, creamy, no alcohol burn. Good stuff!
So, when it came to working on creating a keto liquor cabinet, Irish Cream was high on the to-do list!
Carbs in Bailey’s Irish Cream
There are about 7.5 grams of carbs per ounce of Bailey’s Irish Cream (original), with about 6 of those coming from sugar.
Who drinks 1 oz of Bailey’s at a time, though?
The nutritional information for my recipe is based on 2 oz pours, coming out to 9 grams total carbs per serving (4.5 per oz), with 8 grams of that coming from sugar alcohols.
So, you’re looking at 1 net gram of carbs per 2 oz serving, or 0.5 per oz.
Sugar-Free Irish Cream Ingredients
Heavy cream - You can use heavy cream, heavy whipping cream, or whipping cream. Basically look for a product in the 30-40% fat range.
Unsweetened Almond milk - The kind in the refrigerated tetra packs. I use unflavoured, but vanilla is fine for this... just be sure it’s unsweetened!
Monkfruit blend sweetener - I use a monkfruit / erythritol blend for this, I find it has the best results.
Cocoa powder - Just plain, unsweetened cocoa powder - NOT instant hot cocoa mix.
Jameson Irish whiskey - Jameson produces the most accurate taste, but any Irish whiskey will work. I wouldn’t personally recommend Scotch, etc.
Vanilla extract - Use pure vanilla extract rather than artificial, if at all possible.
Almond extract - This is optional, if you don’t have it or are allergic. It just adds the certain *something* to really make it taste legit. Barely any is used, so it’s a relatively subtle addition.
Tips for Making Keto Bailey’s
If you follow the recipe as stated, it’ll turn out for you. That said, there are some tips to keep in mind, to ensure success. (It’s good to know the hows and whys!)
- If you need this nut-free, use unsweetened coconut milk instead of almond, and just skip the almond extract entirely.
- When blending the finished liquid, blitz JUST long enough to combine. Heavy cream can go from drinkable to on-the-road-to whipped cream in no time, ending up with a too-thick beverage if blended too long.
- If separation and/or thickening occurs after chilling, gently tilt the bottle back and forth to re-combine the separated liquids. Sometimes agitating with a chopstick helps as well!
- When I say to make sure there are no sugar crystals left, that everything should be fully dissolved, I mean it!
Swirl the hot liquid to catch any crystals on the side of the pan, ensure everything is fully dissolved. This is your best way to prevent crystals forming.
Actually, let’s talk about that a bit more...
Erythritol Crystals in Keto Irish Cream
Erythritol has a habit of dropping out of solution, when cooked into a liquid - and this is especially true when it comes to liquids that will be *chilled*, vs those stored at room temperature.
Some people will tell you that you can avoid it by using powdered erythritol, but that’s not actually accurate.
Whether you start with powdered or granular erythritol, once it’s dissolved - that is, becomes a solution - it’s all the same thing. The size of the crystals it started out with no longer matters.
Starting out with a powder makes it such that the sweetener will dissolve more easily in the first place, but that’s about it.
The thing is, you can make the same recipe several times, using the exact same ingredients, and crystallization won’t necessarily happen every time.
So, there are a few ways you can deal with it:
Mitigate it as much as possible, to start
With this particular recipe, that means making sure everything is fully dissolved. Any stray granules - or bits of powder - that aren’t fully dissolved can act as a seed for crystal formation.
Get rid of the crystals after they form
If you end up with crystals and do NOT want them, you can gently heat the Irish cream, to re-dissolve the crystals.
Be gentle with it, don’t bring it to a full boil, and don’t allow it to simmer for long - this will affect the alcohol content. (Which you may not even care about, TBH, but figured I’d mention it!)
Just deal with it.
I’ll be honest, this is generally how I’ll deal with crystals.
When it comes to making accurate replicas of things I want to drink, I just accept that crystals can just be a fact of life when it comes to using sugar substitutes. I pour it off the crystals, and move on. It’s all good!
How to Make Keto Irish Cream
The full recipe follows, here is the pictorial overview:
Combine cream, almond milk, sweetener, cocoa powder, espresso powder and salt in a medium saucepan, whisking well to combine.
Heat JUST to a simmer, whisking constantly, until cocoa, coffee, and all sweetener crystals have fully dissolved.
Note: This is important, there should be no crystals in sight, even on the sides of the pan!
Remove from heat, allow to cool to room temperature.
Place cooled cream mixture into a blender, along with the whisky and extracts. Blitz for 5 seconds.
Transfer to an airtight bottle or jar, chill for at least 2 hours before drinking.
More Sugar Free Liqueur & Cocktail Recipes
Looking to stock a keto liquor cabinet? You don’t have to limit yourself to full-octane basic spirits - you CAN easily make liqueurs! Here are a few more recipes for you to try:
Share the Love!
Also, be sure to subscribe to my free email newsletter, so you never miss out on any of my nonsense.
Well, the published nonsense, anyway!
Keto Irish Cream
- 1 ½ cups Heavy cream
- ½ cup Unsweetened Almond milk
- ⅔ cup Monkfruit blend sweetener
- 2 teaspoon Cocoa powder
- ¾ teaspoon Instant espresso
- Pinch Salt
- 1 cup Jameson Irish whiskey
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon Almond extract
- Combine cream, almond milk, sweetener, cocoa powder, espresso powder and salt in a medium saucepan, whisking well to combine.
- Heat JUST to a simmer, whisking constantly, until all sweetener crystals have fully dissolved.
- This is important, there should be no crystals in sight, even on the sides of the pan!
- Remove from heat, allow to cool to room temperature.
- Place cooled cream mixture into a blender, along with the whisky and extracts. Blitz for 5-10 seconds.
- Transfer to an airtight bottle or jar, chill for at least 2 hours before drinking.