A Missouri distillery has given Irish cream a long-overdue makeover. So pass on the green beer this St. Patrick’s Day, and spike a milkshake instead.

By Stephanie Simmons
February 22, 2021
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Spiked milkshakes
Credit: Blaine Moats

With its dapper ceramic top, milk-bottle silhouette and quaint etched-style label, Five Farms Irish Cream is a looker. But the real story is the stuff inside—a blend of fresh Irish cream (never more than 48 hours old) and triple-distilled Irish whiskey. Compared to more familiar brands, Five Farms has a velvety mouthfeel, clean dairy richness, and more subtle hints of butterscotch and cocoa. Though it ships from the Emerald Isle and wears its brogue loudly, Five Farms is the brainchild of Holladay Distillery, a 155-year-old company outside Kansas City. Find it at retailers nationwide.

Sláinte!

Sure, it's got a whiff of kitsch about it, but Irish cream is good stuff. Here's all you need to know.

LEARN

Born in the 1970s, commercially bottled Irish cream is a relative newcomer. But visit County Cork (where fresh milk and strong whiskey practically flow from the earth), and you can hear stories of grandmothers who made cream liqueurs in their farm kitchens. The lightly chocolatey or caramelly spirit is largely consumed at Christmas, but global love of the stuff has made it one of Ireland's largest year-round exports.

SERVE

Irish cream is best consumed cold— chilled and neat or on the rocks. (A premium version like Five Farms is especially good this way.) You can also add a splash to coffee or hot cocoa, or use a tablespoon or two to flavor frosting, whipped cream, chocolate pudding, mousse or cheesecake.

STORE

An unopened bottle of Irish cream is shelf-stable for two years because the tight seal and high alcohol content prevent the dairy from spoiling. Though it won't sour at room temperature like fresh milk would, an opened bottle will retain better flavor in the fridge. Plan to finish it up within six months.

Mocha Irish Milkshake
Credit: Brie Passano

Mocha Irish Milkshake This milkshake actually has no milk. Why? Because the alcohol in the Irish cream speeds the melting of the ice cream. No milk means a perfect thick texture. Get the recipe here.

Berries and (Irish) Cream Milkshake
Credit: Brie Passano

Berries and (Irish) Cream Milkshake The alcohol in the Irish cream makes the ice cream melt faster, so it's added at the end and just blended in. All to ensure a thick, rich milkshake! Get the recipe here.