Put them in your coffee for a pick-me-up perk, or enjoy on the rocks after dinner, Irish cream liqueurs are having a revival.
Global sales of Baileys and similar products are on target to break the 100 million bottle mark this year, for the first time in decades.
William Lavelle, head of the Irish Spirits Association, told the Irish Times Business section that sales of Baileys alone are up 3.4 percent this year.
He noted the introduction of new flavors such as salted caramel, espresso cream, pumpkin spice, chocolate cherry, and a vegan/gluten-free variation named Almanade, have contributed to the rise in popularity.
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The Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) has also launched a “Love Irish Cream Liqueur” initiative to amplify the resurgence. The campaign aims to highlight the authenticity and provenance of homegrown brands.
Other signature Irish cream liqueurs on the market include Coole Swan, named after a William Butler Yeats' poem, Molly's, Brogans, Saint Brendan's, and even Kerrygold's own offering.
Baileys, introduced in 1973, became a category leader thanks in part to its innovative branding as a homegrown Irish spirit.
In fact, the beverage was invented during a 45-minute experiment by advertising gurus David Gluckman and Hugh Reade Seymour-Davies. Tasked by the International Distillers and Vintners (IDV) with creating a new Irish-centric alcoholic product with no brief, the two played on the idea of marrying Ireland’s association with whiskey and high quality dairy.
The duo mixed together a bottle of Jamesons Irish Whiskey with a tub of single cream and a helping of Cadbury’s Powdered Drinking Chocolate for good measure. Baileys was born, and immediately greenlighted by the IDV to be officially formulated and conceptualised as Baileys Irish Cream. The irony? The world-renowned liqueur was invented in London, by Gluckman, a Jewish South-African immigrant and Seymour-Davies, an Eton-educated Brit.
Every year, 220 million liters of fresh Irish milk are required to produce the cream used in the manufacture of Baileys. That equates some 38,000 cows on the East Coast of Ireland, working for your drinking pleasure.
The smooth-tasting liqueur dominated the markets up until the 1990s, but experienced a growth plateau in recent years as sales declined by 11 percent - dropping from 108,000 cases sold per annum to 95,900 cases.
In the U.S, parent company Diageo has introduced 15 new TV spots for Baileys to run throughout the Holidays helping to promote increased brand awareness. So look out for a Baileys on a screen, on a dinner table, or even in a coeliac and vegan-friendly dessert near you.