Dublin to Kentucky

With St. Patrick's Day right around the corner, it's time to let you in on one of my favorite cocktail discoveries - dairy-free Irish Cream. Have you ever tried an Irish Car Bomb? The concept is to drop a shot of Irish Cream into a pint of Guinness and chug it down before the dairy in the Irish Cream curdles. The roasty flavors of Guinness blend beautifully with the creaminess of Irish Cream, but you can't pause to savor the taste without your drink turning into sour milk.

Also, you get drunk really quickly (which may or may not be your end goal).

My husband, being of Irish descent and particularly fond of the Guinness/Irish Cream blend, asked me to see if I could find a way to turn the flavor combination into a cocktail that can be slowly enjoyed rather than consumed at lightning speed. The search began with a focus on homemade, dairy-free Irish Cream that wouldn't react to the acidity of the Guinness. After much research and multiple tests, I'm happy to say I've found the perfect recipe! It’s absolutely delicious, natural and decadent (yet healthier than bottled Irish Cream).

I chose to do half coconut cream and half almond milk for the base to lighten it up and make the coconut flavor less dominant (you’ll just get a hint of coconut with this recipe). The Grade B maple syrup adds delectable caramel sweetness while espresso establishes the roasted depth with the added benefit of caffeine. Bourbon mixes in smoothly, leaving less bite than other types of whiskey.  

Dublin to Kentucky

  • 14 oz can coconut cream
  • 14 oz almond milk (use the empty coconut cream can to measure)
  • ½ cup espresso or strong brewed coffee (4 tbsp ground coffee to ½ cup water)
  • ¾ cup Kentucky Bourbon
  • ¼ cup Grade B maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 can of chilled Guinness

Allow espresso/coffee to cool, then mix with other ingredients (not including the Guinness) in a blender until texture is consistent and frothy. Transfer Irish Cream mixture to a glass container that is easy to pour from. Whatever you don't use that day can be refrigerated for a few weeks (though you'll most likely consume it before then). Pour Guinness into your glass of choice and top with 2 oz of Irish Cream (stir if you like - the texture will appear slightly "grainy" due to the different physical properties of coconut cream and Guinness). Enjoy with friends while sharing tales of yore from the Emerald Isle. Sláinte!