Happy St. Patrick’s Day! In my pre-vegan days I loved Irish cream and while you can’t buy a vegan version at the store, it’s easy enough to make yourself. You can make a gluten-free version by using a gluten-free Irish whiskey like Jameson.
First you make a cashew cream and then add in some light coconut milk and brown sugar. Cooking it dissolves the sugar and gives us a chance to infuse the base with some spices and vanilla that really make this version stand out.
After it’s simmered and the spices are strained out, add the whiskey and almond extract. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Right now I’m freezing some in ice cube trays to make some frozen dessert cocktails later. I’ll keep you updated.
It does make about 4 cups so it’s a lot if you aren’t having a party. It’s great by its self, in coffee, or to use in dessert recipes that call for regular Irish cream.
I’ll be adding a few recipes using this homemade Irish cream liquor so expect a new pancake recipe to show up on the blog soon. I made them yesterday for brunch and they were tasty.
Serves: 4 cups
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight then drained
- 3 cups water
- 1 (13.5 ounce) can lite coconut milk
- 4 whole green cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 whole vanilla bean
- 1 cup brown sugar (or white or coconut sugar)
- ¾ cup Irish whiskey like Jameson
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- Add the soaked and drained cashews to a blender with the 3 cups of water and blend for 3 to 5 minutes until smooth.
- Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl with a spout. (You can use the leftover cashew pulp in baked goods if you want to save it.)
- Strain the mixture through the fine mesh strainer one more time into a large saucepan and mix in the coconut milk, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick in the pot together.
- Scrape out the seeds from the vanilla bean and mix in the saucepan with the brown sugar.
- Heat the mixture over medium heat until it just starts to boil, then turn to low. Whisk as it cooks so it does not burn on the bottom and simmer for 15 minutes. This will thicken up the mixture.
- Strain the hot mixture through the strainer a final time into a bowl to remove the whole spices. Then stir in the whiskey and almond extract. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Serve cold, over ice or in a hot or iced coffee. It’s also wonderful topping vegan vanilla ice cream.