Two of my favourite flavours in liqueurs are Irish Cream and Kahlua. So some of the first experiments I tried was a way to replicate the flavour of these in a syrup without the use of alcohol.
Finding recipes for DIY Irish Cream was fairly easy, finding one that kept true to the flavour of my favourite Baileys was a little harder. In order to be true to science, I needed to test the recipe as it should be, as well as without the alcohol to make sure that the flavours remained consistent. So I now have a bottle of Irish Whiskey in my cupboard awaiting further use down the road, after using about two oz for testing. But it was worth the expense.
Here are a few of the sites I found if you wish to do your own comparison.
BBC Foods Recipes, Cupcake Project and All Recipes.com added almond extract or essence into the mix. Each of these recipes is almost identical, calling for the same proportions of almond, coffee, chocolate and vanilla along with condensed milk and cream. The difference was in the cream, some call for light cream (18-30%% milk fat), or for heavy cream (36% milk fat) or for single cream (18% milk fat).
What I found was that these recipes all tasted pretty similar when followed with the whiskey. The difference was when the whiskey was withheld. See, the whiskey masks some of the more subtle flavours and dilutes the drink adding it’s own flavour and strength. When removing this strong element from the mix, the first list of recipes tasted strongly of mocha but not irish cream. The almond extract was the key.
Of the recipes online, the one that I fell in love with was from All Recipes.com which called for heavy cream or whipping cream. You can find the recipe here.
One of the most common drinks using both Irish Cream and a coffee liqueur is the Mudslide. This has been made into deserts, into shakes with the addition of ice-cream , and into slushes (called a frozen mudslide) with the addition of crushed ice. My goal was to create something that had the same taste as the original, or as close as I could get.
Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour into a glass and serve.
This is a sweeter recipe than the original, due to the concentration of both the syrups. The original recipe I worked with called for 1 part both liqueurs and vodka to 2 parts milk. Because the vodka was omitted and the syrups were more concentrated and thick, I needed to up my milk quantity in order to get a drink that wasn’t overpoweringly sweet. The coffee liqueur is also stronger that Kahlua is when it comes to the coffee flavour. In order to compensate I had to cut the coffee down from equal proportions of both syrups.
The final drink is very nice. Lacks the kick of the original which is more than half alcohol. But retains the essence of the drinks flavours. To dress it up I garnished the glass with shaved chocolate.
What did my kids think? “Mum, can you make this again?”
I tried this warmed up and served with whipped cream as a treat for my kids after a cold day in our snow filled world.