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Shaken Baileys Is the Best St. Patrick’s Day Cocktail

Don’t read too much into the orange coaster. It holds no meaning.Photo: Claire Lower

Even when I was a serious drinker, I never drank all that much on St. Patrick’s Day—or at least I never drank any more than I would on any other day. Still, I love a theme, and Baileys Irish Cream is delicious. Rather than mess with the unfortunately named “car bombs,” I prefer my Baileys shaken and up. In fact, I think it’s one of the best on-theme beverages you can enjoy on March 17.

Though I prefer my martinis stirred, even I am routinely amazed at what shaking can do to a glug of ethanol. It chills, yes, but it also aerates, making the beverage feel lighter on the tongue and opens up some flavors you may not have been able to taste in its pre-shaken state. Syrupy becomes pleasantly sweet, the harsh sting of ethanol is tamed, and you get a one-ingredient beverage that drinks like a whole-ass cocktail.

This is true of shaken Campari, and it’s true of shaken Baileys. When you shake Baileys, the flavor of alcohol is all but eliminated, and you’re left with a fluffy, creamy, milkshake kind of drink that goes down (too) quickly and (too) easily. It’s almost too easy to make.

To make a shaken Baileys, just add 3 ounces of Baileys to a shaker filled with cracked ice, and shake hard for at least 30 seconds. Strain into a coupe and enjoy. If you wan’t to up the Irish factor, you can rinse the coupe with a smokey, peaty Scotch beforehand. You can also sprinkle a little cocoa powder on top of the foam, if you want it to look and feel a little more special. It is a holiday, after all.



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