recipe MIU-IrishCream

Photos by Stuart Mullenberg

DIY Irish cream

We’ve all got guilty pleasures, and when cold weather blows in, our wintertime indulgences come wrapped in a blanket of Irish cream. Bottled versions abound, but mixing up your own batch is a cinch, thanks to this recipe we adapted from D.C.-based bartending brothers Ari and Micah Wilder. “We’re big fans of Irish whiskey,” says Ari, “especially when it comes to spiking our coffee.” So the duo went about developing an Irish cream that works equally well in coffee and cocktails, and is just as good sipped solo. Combining Irish whiskey with rich cream, maple syrup, vanilla beans and cacao nibs, this is a spirited sipper you’ll want to indulge in all winter long.


5 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 oz. water
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 oz. cacao nibs (about ¾ cup)
1 oz. grade B maple syrup
2 cups heavy cream
¼ tsp. almond extract
4 oz. Irish whiskey


Small saucepan
Wooden spoon
Large saucepan
Large lidded glass bottle or jar


recipe MIU-IrishCream-step1

Step 1
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water and vanilla beans. Bring to a simmer and stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

recipe MIU-IrishCream-step2

Step 2

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add cacao nibs and whisk for 1 minute.


recipe MIU-IrishCream-step3

Step 3

Whisk vanilla syrup (with vanilla beans) into butter mixture.


recipe MIU-IrishCream-step4

Step 4

Whisk in the maple syrup and cream and increase heat to medium-high. Whisk continuously, just until bubbles form. Reduce heat to low and let simmer, whisking frequently, until mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.


recipe MIU-IrishCream-step5

Step 5

Stir in the almond extract and Irish whiskey.


recipe MIU-IrishCream-step6

Step 6

Strain and funnel into a large glass jar and cover. Shake before using. Will keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.