A New Year’s Treat

Taking a break from my esoteric pondering, I thought I would offer my personal recipe for Irish Cream liqueur. My ancestry is in large part Irish, and I take the title of this complex blend from my ancient family surname (that’s my grandfather on the label). It takes about half an hour to throw together (it’s mainly “dump-and-stir”), not including the bottling, and makes just over three liters. If you can find the ingredients and take the time to make it, you won’t be disappointed if you like sweet but potent, creamy drinks.

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Hare’s Irish Cream (2015 Version)

(5) 12 oz. cans evaporated whole milk

(1) 750 ml. bottle Jameson’s Irish Whiskey

(1) 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand or other)

(1) can Coco Lopez or Goya Cream of Coconut

(2) cups average-quality vodka (more or less to taste)

(1/3) cup Frangelica hazelnut liqueur (or to taste)

(4) Tbsp. Honey (or to taste)

(2) tsp. pure vanilla extract

(1/4) tsp. almond extract

(1/4) tsp. cinnamon

(2) oz. Kahlua (or to taste)

(4) tbs. Hershey’s dark chocolate syrup (or to taste)

whole eggs (make sure they’re fresh!)

(2) Tbsp. light brown sugar (or to taste)

In a heavy saucepan, slowly warm chocolate syrup with honey over low heat, then add brown sugar and one can of evaporated milk; stir well to dissolve mixture.

Transfer to a large bowl or pot and add remaining milk, sweetened condensed milk and cream of coconut.

Next add all liquors and flavorings.

Finally, beat eggs until frothy (this improves the final texture and eliminates egg-white “floaters”) and add to the mixture. Blend with an electric mixer until ingredients are thoroughly combined. There will be heavy coconut sludge in the mix, so strain it through a sieve before or during bottling if you want it smoother. This recipe is rather chocolaty and boozy; it can be easily adjusted-to-taste for more or less chocolate, Frangelica, Kahlua, vodka and sweeteners.

Using a ladle and funnel, bottle tightly and refrigerate. Best if permitted to sit for a few days to allow flavors to blend (that is, if you can stay away from it that long; I have an annual ritual glass when it’s done, my quality control check, of course!)

Makes approximately 3 quarts (just over 3.5 liters). Be sure to have a few capped 750 ml bottles for this; the ones with the wire-and-ceramic (or plastic) flip-tops work best but any liquor bottle with a tight screw-cap will work. (Aldi’s sells a French lemonade in glass bottles that are perfect, and reusable.)

Will keep for months if refrigerated, but best if used within about a month.

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