VinePair is ringing in the Holiday Cheers with a spotlight on the bottles we’re gifting (and hoping to receive) and a look inside some of our favorite holiday traditions and recipes — from elevated eggnog to all things bubbly. Plus, we’ll be reflecting on the past year in the beverage industry and shifting our focus to the drinks trends we expect to see in 2022. 

While summer is all about cold, refreshing sippers, for many, chillier weather means warmer, richer cocktails. Baileys often plays a starring role in such cocktails, imparting a chocolaty, creamy flavor with the enticing bite of Irish whiskey.

It’s no wonder, then, that Baileys is most often used in dessert-like beverages, best sipped alongside decadent cakes or holiday pies. It elevates coffee, hot cocoa, and other warm beverages, and can also be frozen, shaken, and even gelatinized into bite-sized boozy snacks.

Needless to say, Baileys is a versatile liqueur that should find its way onto every bar cart, especially in the winter. Ready to dust off that old bottle of Irish Cream? Read on for 10 of the very best cocktail recipes to make with Baileys.

The Mudslide Recipe

The Mudslide is one of the best Baileys cocktails

First crafted in the 1970s at Grand Cayman Island’s Wreck Bar, the Mudslide is a riff on the White Russian. The twist? This cocoa-filled recipe includes Baileys Irish Cream alongside the cocktail’s classic ingredients of vodka, Kahlúa, and cream. The result is a sweet after-dinner drink that’s richly delicious.

Baileys Chocolate Martini

The Baileys Chocolate Martini is one of the best Baileys cocktails

Drink your dessert with this sweet tooth-satisfying cocktail, served in a chocolate drizzle-covered coupe. Made with vodka, Baileys, and crème de cocoa, this drink is then topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Espresso Martini with Baileys

The Espresso Martini with Baileys is one of the best Baileys cocktails

The Espresso Martini may be a trendy drink, but this recipe elevates the modern classic with the addition of Baileys. Along with vodka, Kahlúa, and espresso, Baileys imparts a luscious texture to the drink — making it even more craveable.

Baileys Hot ChocolateThe Baileys Hot Chocolate is one of the best Baileys cocktails

This quick and easy cocktail is winter in a cup. To make a mug for yourself, simply heat milk, dark chocolate, and cocoa powder on the stovetop. Add Baileys and plenty of whipped cream or marshmallows (or both), and enjoy on the coziest of snow days.

Baileys Irish Coffee

Baileys Irish Coffee is one of the best Baileys cocktails

The original Irish Coffee recipe incorporates just four simple ingredients: freshly brewed coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and cream. This recipe subs Baileys for the sugar and cream and adds a sprinkling of brown sugar for a little extra zip. Top with a hefty portion of whipped cream (homemade or otherwise), and dash of cinnamon or nutmeg on top.

Baileys Jell-O Shots

Baileys Jello Shots are one of the best Baileys cocktails

Who says the Jell-O shot can’t make its dinner party appearance? This boozy layered dessert is made using Baileys, hot coffee, vanilla extract, and sugar — all mixed with gelatin to solidify the mixture. Refrigerate until firm, then cut into squares and serve at your next holiday event.

Frozen Irish Cream Cappuccinos

The frozen Irish Cream Cappucino is one of the best Baileys cocktails

If you’re seeking a wintry treat to match the weather outside, look no further. This frozen cappuccino combines fresh coffee, Baileys, milk, salt, and ice in a blender for a boozy milkshake-like drink that’s even more delicious when topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a coffee bean garnish.

Baileys Chai Float

The Baileys Chai Float is one of the best Baileys cocktails

Bursting with warming spices, chai lattes are a seasonal staple at coffee shops. But the drink can also provide the perfect base for delicious cocktails. Here, the tea is heated and combined with spiced black rum and Baileys, and is topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon on top, and enjoy this melty cup of winter joy.

Baileys Mint Martini

The Baileys Mint Martini is one of the best Baileys cocktails

Mint and chocolate are a match made in ice cream heaven. But the flavors are just as satisfying when mixed in a boozy drink. In this take on the Grasshopper, Baileys is combined with crème de menthe liqueur, vodka, and half and half in a cocktail shaker. Shake, strain into a Martini glass, and garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Jelly Donut Shot

The Jelly Doughnut Shot is one of the best Baileys cocktails

Some drinks are meant to be savored. Others are best enjoyed in one fell swoop. This two-ingredient concoction fits into the latter category. Made by layering Chambord (a raspberry liqueur) and Baileys in a tall shot glass, the resulting shooter is a dead ringer for the pastry it’s named after. To mimic the crunchy texture of a classic jelly donut, you can also rim your glasses with sugar before pouring in the liqueurs.

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