Baileys Irish Cream is an Irish whiskey- and cream-based liqueur, made by Gilbeys of Ireland. The trademark is currently owned by Diageo. It has a declared alcohol content of 17% by volume.
Baileys Irish Cream was created by Gilbeys of Ireland, a division of International Distillers & Vintners, as it searched for something to introduce to the international market. The process of finding a product began in 1971 and it was introduced in 1974 as the first Irish cream on the market. The Baileys name was granted permission by John Chesterman after Gilbeys asked to use the name from a restaurant that John Chesterman owned. The fictional R.A. Bailey signature was inspired by the Bailey's Hotel in London, though the registered trademark omits the apostrophe. Baileys is produced in Dublin and Mallusk (Northern Ireland).
Cream and Irish whiskey from various distilleries are homogenized to form an emulsion with the aid of an emulsifier containing refined vegetable oil. The process prevents separation of the alcohol and cream during storage. The quantity of other ingredients is not known but they include herbs and sugar.
According to the manufacturer, no preservatives are required as the alcohol content preserves the cream. The cream used in the drink comes from Glanbia, an Irish dairy company. Glanbia's Virginia facility in County Cavan produces a range of fat-filled milk powders and fresh cream. It has been the principal cream supplier to Baileys Irish Cream Liqueurs for more than thirty years. At busier times of the year, Glanbia will also supply cream from its Ballyragget facility in Kilkenny.
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