The Irish dairy cream at the base of this liqueur is overshadowed by an artificial strawberry aroma and texture. It’s best sipped over ice or served with desserts like ice cream.
Classification cream liqueur
Proof 34 (17% ABV)
Alternative dessert liqueur for those who prefer less-spirit-forward options
Artificial aromatics and flavor
Difficult to have more than one
Very limited in mixing capacity
Color: Melted strawberry ice cream
Nose: Artificial strawberry aromatics
Palate: Like original Baileys, it has a lightly creamy and mouth-filling texture. The flavor of vanilla is prominent on the palate, with the strawberry playing a background role. A nice punch of alcohol balances the creaminess and sweetness.
Finish: The artificial strawberry flavor comes rushing back on the finish. The vanilla remains prominent, too, along with a lingering sweetness and tongue-coating creaminess.
Baileys has branched out plenty since the liquor executive Tom Jago had the genius idea to make whiskey more palatable to a wide audience with the addition of Irish dairy cream in 1971: Parent company Diageo has released more than 20 specialty flavors of the iconic cream liqueur, many of which contain no whiskey at all, from Red Velvet Cupcake to Pumpkin Spice.
In 2018, Diageo supposedly introduced Strawberries & Cream, a strawberry and vanilla flavor, as a limited-edition U.S. offering in advance of Valentine’s Day, but the candy-hued liqueur has remained in some markets—and it’s safe to say it has overstayed its welcome. Its texture is similar to original Bailey’s—it’s mouth-filling and lightly creamy, thanks to the use of real Irish dairy cream. Aside from that, this spin-off strays quite a bit from its origins in terms of quality.
Don’t expect fresh fruit flavors: This cloying expression has the color and flavor of strawberry Nesquik, and unfortunately the artificial aromas mostly mask the authentic Irish dairy cream at its base. As such, its versatility is limited: It can be served over ice, in a boozy milkshake, and, as Baileys suggests, with ice cream. However, its intense sweetness also means you can experiment with adding the liqueur to composed desserts: Bailey’s provides recipes on its website for strawberry pie mousse and strawberry shortcakes, and you can even find an adult poke cake that makes use of the stuff. Bailey’s Strawberries & Cream could make a sweet addition to a dessert, but for a quality after-dinner sipper, you’d do best to stick to the original.
Although this flavor was only released in the U.S., it employs the same real Irish dairy cream that gives the original its irresistible flavor and texture.