Lovers of Irish cream always keep their home bar well stocked with Bailey's. But there's a boozy Irish cream on the market, and it's just as easy to guzzle.
You might already be acquainted with Kerrygold from your visits to the cheese and butter aisle at Publix. The Irish brand has been around for half a century and is carried in more than 90 countries, but now it's expanding its dairy portfolio to include alcohol. And Florida is one of the only two markets to carry the Irish cream liqueur.
For the unfamiliar, Irish cream liqueur is a blend of Irish cream, aged Irish whiskey, and chocolate.
The evolution from dairy to liqueur might seem weird, but in this case it makes perfect sense. "Where else could we go with a brand that's synonymous with anything from a dairy farm?" says Ronan Gillespie of the Irish Dairy Board. "It doesn't take that long to arrive at liquor." Specifically Irish cream that the predominant ingredient is milk. "Once we realized it made sense we began to investigate and starting asking consumers what flavors they liked." The consensus seemed to be chocolate, whiskey and cream liqueur, so that's what they did.
"The market is dominated by a very successful brand (Bailey's) but we thought there was room for a second player." So what sets Kerrygold apart from that big player and why should you try it? Well, the company uses grass-fed cows to produce their all natural milk and cream. As for the price, at $19.99 it matches its competitor.
The liqueur, which describes itself as "the new gold standard" for the category having a "superior taste and luxurious texture" isn't just being cocky: it's frank. Kerrygold's Irish Cream Liqueur is velvety, robust, and sweet at the same time. I could very easily have this on ice as a routine nightcap and even for breakfast with a shot of espresso on the weekends, which it pairs delightfully well with.
"As a dairy company, it was very important to us that it be not just about one ingredient or the cream, but about three ingredients working together in harmony." Once they had that down, the next step was distribution. "Florida and Publix is one of our biggest customers, so we really wants to start there." But Kerrygold needed an import partner, which they found in Imperial Brands (known for Sobieski Vodka and a subsidiary of Belvedere). "As soon as we met Imperial brand we knew we found the right company."
The duo launched Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur in Florida in September The only other state to currently carry it is Illinois. "We went with these two states because they are strong markets for Kerrygold butter and cheese, so there's an existing consumer awareness for product and a great place to start." Next up: Michigan, Conneticut, and New Jersey for this month with national distribution planned for 2016.
"It really is creamier and tastier than any other cream liqueur on the market," says Gillespie. "As a dairy company we're the experts in cream so it would make sense that we could make this the tastiest and creamiest it could be."
Want to taste it for yourself? You can get a bottle of Kerrygold's Irish Cream Liqueur at Publix, Winn-Dixie, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, Big Daddy Liquors, Norman's Liquors & Fine Wines, and many more independent retailers.
To enjoy Kerrygold from home in more ways than one, we got two recipes so you can drink and eat the Irish cream liqueur.
Kerry Berry Martini
- Kerrygold Irish Cream
- Sobieski vodka
- Simple syrup
- Cool mint leaves
Kerry's Irish Truffles
- 12 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate chips
- 4 Tbsp. Kerrygold Irish Cream
- 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
- 1 Tsp. instant coffee powder
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
Directions: Stir together the cream, Kerrygold, and vanilla in a heat-proof bowl, and set the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Cook until nearly boiling. Using a wire whisk, slowly stir the chocolate chips into the warm cream until completely melted. Remove bowl from heat, cover and chill for 1 hour or until the mixture is pliable but firm enough to scoop. Use a spoon to scoop out the chocolate, and roll into truffles of your desired size. Dust with cocoa powder, then set aside. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha
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