You didn’t think we would only focus on whiskies and forget about the hugely important and successful Irish export of Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur? Bailey’s has been a household name for decades and it might even feel like it’s been around forever but in truth, this story starts in 1974 – just 46 years ago.
If you search for the story of Bailey’s online, there are numerous accounts from a variety of people who were involved in the process of creating the brand and the drink. From Tom Jago who was instrumental in bringing this brand to life to David Dand, dubbed the ‘Godfather of Bailey’s’ who although did not come up with the idea, nor the drink itself, did lead the division of International Distillers & Vintners (IDV) at the time. IDV is now part of one of the world’s biggest spirit businesses, Diageo so it is far to say these guys were the big players.
The truth is, the first-ever version of Bailey’s was made in Dean Street, Soho, London. David Gluckman and his business partner, Hugh Reade Seymour-Davies went to the local corner shop, picked up some cream, a small bottle of Jamesons, some sugar and Cadbury’s Powdered Drinking Chocolate mixed it together in their office kitchen and decided it was that concoction they were going to pitch to Tom Jago and the IDV team.
The drink mixed the best of Ireland, kept the ABV down and was palatable at the time for not just men but women too. They were on to a winner, but they perhaps did not quite know it yet.
They took this formula to David Dand in Ireland who alongside Mac McPherson and Steve Wilson decide to create the brand and drink which took three years of trials to get right. One of the biggest issues in the production of the drink was to make sure the cream and whiskey did not separate in the bottle (nobody wants a Bailey’s with bits right?)
Once the drink was ready to market it was taken up with huge excitement, the first-ever cream liqueur on the market and to this day, Bailey’s is still the most popular choice, especially during Christmas time.
To this day, every single bottle of Bailey’s is produced in Ireland from the brand’s Bailey’s ladies (the cows we get the cream from) and world-class aged whiskey from master distillers all around the isle.
The brand have gone on to create a variety of iterations from its original recipe including Salted Caramel, Espresso, Vanilla, Almande and most recently Red Velvet. You can explore our full range of Bailey’s flavours onsite now and get yours in time for St Patrick’s Day!