Since 1974 Baileys Irish Cream has been spicing up coffee, hot chocolate, tea, and even ice cream. But, of course, there are many other ways to use Baileys as well.
You can drink it straight or make deserts and a variety of different cocktails with it.
We have the Irish to thank for this tasty and dynamic liqueur. The story goes that a distillery was looking for something they could introduce to the international market and the end result was Baileys Irish Cream. While it took three years from the initial conception in 1971 to be released to the market, the initial formulation process took only 45 minutes!
The first formula they used as the groundwork before further refinement was extremely simple. It was made of only three ingredients: whiskey, semi-skimmed milk, and Nesquik – a chocolate milk-based drink produced by Nestlé.
If you like to occasionally enjoy Baileys and aren’t able to finish the bottle, you may be wondering if you can freeze Baileys. Unfortunately, the answer is no. Unlike other alcohols and liqueurs, you should avoid freezing Baileys.
Read on to learn why, and how you should freeze it instead.
Does Baileys Freeze?
Some of it will… some of it won’t. This is why you shouldn’t try to freeze Baileys. Since it’s a combination of alcohol and other ingredients, some parts will freeze more than others.
So if you try to freeze Baileys you’ll end up with a strange slushy mixture that may also be completely frozen due to the cream part completely freezing. This affects the drink in multiple ways.
First, unlike other alcohols that are still pourable when they are frozen (vodka, whiskey, gin, etc.) Baileys will be too thick or even frozen to pour. Even if you’re able to pour some out, the ice crystals that have formed in the drink will change the consistency and even the overall flavor of the drink as well.
You may think that defrosting it could be the answer. Whilst that will make it pourable, the taste and consistency won’t be like it was before it was frozen.
How to Store Baileys
So you can’t freeze Baileys. How should you store it instead?
The best way to store Baileys depends really on personal preference. You can store both opened and unopened bottles of Baileys in either the pantry or the fridge. But there are a couple of things that you should avoid to prevent it from spoiling earlier than it should.
The main things to keep in mind when storing Baileys are:
- Store the bottle in a place that’s dark and dry.
- The temperature shouldn’t be too cold, or too warm. Aim to keep it between 32 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Keep it away from direct sunlight or other heat sources.
- Make sure the temperature is stable. It shouldn’t be subject to drastically changing temperatures frequently.
- Keep the bottle tightly sealed.
These rules are for both opened and unopened bottles of Baileys Irish Cream and it can last a similar amount of time whether it’s kept chilled in the fridge or left in the pantry or liquor cabinet. This makes it among few foods and drinks that have a similar shelf life whether refrigerated or not. This may be surprising due to the drink having dairy. But the unique combination of alcohol and cream makes this possible.
While some like to store their Baileys in the pantry or liquor cabinet, I personally like to store an opened bottle of Baileys in the fridge. I think the crisp taste from it being chilled is much better than when it’s stored at room temperature. Lastly, even though storing an opened bottle in the fridge may not make it last any longer, it may keep the flavor at its best for a longer period of time.
However, to each their own!
How Long Does Baileys Last Once Opened?
While you may be thinking that since there is cream in it you need to finish it soon after it’s been opened, that’s not the case.
You actually have plenty of time and most likely won’t even have to worry about going bad.
Once opened, a bottle of Baileys Irish Cream will last about two years from the day it was bottled. This is usually signified by the “best by” date on the bottle. But it may in fact last even longer than that, even much longer!
However I recommend that if it’s near the date, or past it, then you should check to see if it’s gone bad before you drink it. Because while it does last quite a long time since it does have dairy in it, it still will go bad, unlike other spirits that are pretty much good indefinitely.
How to Tell if Baileys Has Gone Bad
If you’ve reached the “best by” date then it’s pretty simple to see if it’s gone bad. You can check for signs of spoilage by the smell or sight of it. If it smells sour, similar to spoiled milk, then it’s definitely gone bad. On the other hand, if it smells fine then you can check how it looks by pouring it into a glass.
If it has a normal consistency and color it should be fine to drink. However, if the color looks off or there are clumps in it, then it should be discarded.
Whilst I hate wasting food and drinks, if you’re unsure about whether it’s good or not, it’s best to err on the side of caution when it comes to food and drinks safety.
How Long Does Unopened Baileys Last?
As previously mentioned, Baileys is a unique drink. According to the manufacturer, it will last for two years from the day it’s bottled, whether it’s been opened or not. So, it will last the same amount of time as an opened bottle of Baileys. It also doesn’t matter how it’s stored. Whether it’s kept chilled or at room temperature it will still last for roughly two years.
However, for both opened and unopened bottles to last two years, they should be stored according to the aforementioned proper methods of storage. Otherwise, it can likely spoil sooner if kept in unfavorable conditions like fluctuating temperatures and exposure to the sun.
Can You Freeze Baileys Ice Cream?
If you want to claim ignorance so you can allow yourself to eat all your homemade Baileys ice cream in one sitting, you should skip to the next section!
But, yes! You can definitely freeze Baileys ice cream. While you may be tempted to eat all of the ice cream in one sitting, if you’re feeling a bit too guilty or perhaps you just can’t stomach eating any more of it, or perhaps you’re saving it for a special occasion, then you can put it in the freezer for a later date. Since there is alcohol in the ice cream, it stays creamy and easy to scoop even if it’s been in the freezer for a while.
The downside to such creamy ice cream is that it melts quicker than normal ice cream. So once you serve it, it needs to be eaten quickly. But, since it’s so tasty, I doubt that’ll be a problem…!
Can You Make Baileys Ice Cubes?
One way that you can freeze Baileys is when you’re making ice cubes out of it. While most of the recipes you’ll find say to freeze coffee into ice cubes and then add the coffee ice cubes to Baileys, you can also do the opposite as well.
This is better than when it’s frozen inside the bottle because you won’t have to worry about pouring it and you’ll be adding the ice cubes to another drink (like making a tasty spiked iced coffee for example) so the difference in texture won’t be noticeable.
How to Make Baileys Ice Cubes
There are two ways that you can make Baileys ice cubes. The first way (and classic version) is simply pouring Baileys into an ice tray and then placing the ice tray into the freezer. Cover the ice tray if you can to prevent freezer smells from affecting the ice cubes. Otherwise, use them as soon as possible.
The next way is to combine the Baileys with a bit of soda water (here is a tasty drink to use them in too). You simply combine 1 cup Baileys with ½ cup soda water. Mix it well and then pour it into an ice cube tray and then freeze it overnight.