The Best Baileys Cocktails Ranked

You've probably enjoyed a splash of Baileys in your coffee at some point. (If not, you don't know what you're missing!) But the great thing about the Irish cream liqueur is that the options don't stop there. There is a multitude of ways to enjoy this classic liqueur, but some are better than others. Although its position as the world's foremost coffee liqueur has cemented a place in all of our hearts, Baileys wasn't created until 1974, explains the company on its website. It is the world's most famous Irish liqueur, according to Ireland Before You Die, but it's also downright delicious. And the brand has expanded its initial offering of original Baileys — a blend of Irish cream, Irish whiskey, cocoa, vanilla and a few other ingredients — by adding flavors such as Apple Pie, Vanilla Cinnamon, Chocolate Cherry, and S'mores.

While a splash of the original Baileys in a cup of coffee is what the brand is known for, Baileys has put together some pretty creative cocktail ideas for the next time you're craving something creamy. So we've rounded up the best Baileys cocktails and ranked them from worst to best, so you'll know which to skip and which to sip.

Baileys Red Velvet Cupcake Martini

Some cocktails are a heavenly blend of flavors. Espresso martinis and old fashioneds are combinations that just flow. And then some flavors seem to come out of left field. A Red Velvet Cupcake Martini is a perfect example of that. Something about alcohol, chocolate, cream cheese, and bright red coloring in a glass just doesn't sit right with us. This Baileys cocktail is made with the Red Velvet variety that was created in collaboration with Georgetown Cupcake and has us scratching our heads.

Drink Hacker has reviewed the Red Velvet flavor of Baileys and given it surprisingly positive reviews. Indeed, it tastes like red velvet cake, which is either delicious or horrible, depending on your flavor preferences. But we have some resistance to the addition of vodka and a whipped cream topping, which is what Baileys suggests for its Baileys Red Velvet Cupcake Martini. On its own, the liqueur is milky, with some whiskey notes, which work well on their own. But the vodka makes a liqueur with 17% alcohol content even more potent and somehow less enjoyable. We're not opposed to sipping Red Velvet Baileys on its own, but as a martini, it's a mashup of flavors that vary too much. For those reasons, we've ranked it last.

Baileys Deliciously Light Iced Coffee

Baileys released its Deliciously Light variety as a version of its famous Irish cream liqueur with 40% fewer calories and sugar in 2021. Somehow, it still packs an alcoholic punch with 16% alcohol content, and according to Best Tasting Spirits, it contains the same creamy vanilla notes as the original. But because it has a thinner consistency, it just doesn't bring all of the Baileys kick that one might expect. Best Tasting Spirits likens it to watered-down Baileys, which doesn't sound nearly as appetizing as simply having a smaller portion of the real thing.

So when mixed with coffee as suggested in the Baileys recipe for a Deliciously Light Iced Coffee, we can't help but feel like the texture is totally thrown off. The recipe is simple — mix 2.5 ounces of Baileys Deliciously Light with 6 ounces of coffee plus some ice for a quick take on the real deal. But the texture is too thin to make it a suitable replacement. For those keeping a close eye on their sugar intake, this isn't a horrible option, but it's only enjoyable now and then.

Baileys Chocolatini

Baileys explains on its website that its flavors are a mix of Irish whiskey, Irish dairy cream, and hints of chocolate and vanilla flavors. These flavors are perfectly balanced and play well with one another, making it delicious straight out of the bottle. But when you tinker with the ratios and increase just one ingredient, it's not necessarily a good thing.

The brand's take on a chocolate martini dubbed the Baileys Chocolatini is a perfect example of why more is not always better. The recipe calls for 2 ounces of Baileys Original Irish Cream, 0.25 ounces of chocolate liqueur, and 0.25 ounces of vodka. Chocolate lovers may fall head over heels for this concoction, but those who don't have a sweet tooth may consider this going overboard! Death by chocolate, even. As Saveur mentions, chocolate doesn't always have to be the headliner in a cocktail. And this drink would be better suited with a nutty addition instead of more chocolate. The end result is one note and far too sweet to be enjoyable. For a more balanced spin, swap the chocolate liqueur for a hazelnut liqueur and prepare to be wowed.

Baileys Red Velvet Hot Chocolate

Baileys Red Velvet rears its head yet again and makes an appearance, this time, in Baileys' recipe for a Red Velvet Hot Chocolate. This drink automatically gets bonus points for combining a liqueur with hot chocolate because they are, in fact, a dream team. Baileys suggests you add Baileys (of course), milk, and dark chocolate to make this beverage, but we can't get past the addition of a half cup of dark chocolate. A splash of chocolate liqueur would keep this from becoming cloyingly sweet. But instead, it ends up being too mouth-coating to enjoy.

Any excuse to sip on a boozy hot chocolate is a win in our book, so we'll give this drink some bonus points. Still, this tastes more like a sugar overload that will have you bouncing off the walls instead of the balanced and nuanced hot chocolate we truly want.

Baileys S'mores Shot

Baileys might top the list of versatile liqueurs. Although it doesn't work as well in savory cocktails, it can go rich and chocolatey or smooth and milky. Or it can go heavy on the sweet characteristics to induce a sugar rush. Take the brand's S'mores Shot, for example. First, you scoop out the inside of a marshmallow and then dip the marshmallow in melted chocolate. Next comes a shot of Baileys in the marshmallow hole, followed by a sprinkling of graham crackers. It works better than expected. But the flavor doesn't scream "shot." It would be better suited as a mixed drink with cream, vodka, and Baileys.

If you're going on a camping trip and want a fun way to drink your s'mores instead of eating them, then this is a nice compromise. But if we're being brutally honest, remove the alcoholic content and give this to one of the children in your life because they'll probably fall head over heels for the sugary nature of this drink.

Baileys Latte

You might consider us cruel for putting the Baileys latte toward the bottom of our list. We are indeed huge fans of Baileys and coffee. But when you add so much milk, the Baileys gets drowned out. And it's the Baileys we really want to taste.

Baileys' latte recipe is pretty straightforward and calls for a shot of espresso, hot milk, and, of course, Baileys. Top it off with some chocolate sprinkles. As far as coffee drinks go, there are a handful of ways that we prefer to drink Baileys, but a latte is simply not it. You could add a shot of whiskey to give this drink a little oomph. You could also sprinkle on some cinnamon, but then it becomes an entirely new cocktail. This Baileys latte is acceptable for the coffee lovers in your life who don't care too much about the vessel as long as it contains caffeine. But Baileys purists may not be too impressed with this one!

Baileys Almande Berry Coconut Smoothie

When Baileys announced a dairy-free version of its signature cream liqueur, corners of the internet rejoiced. As Go Dairy Free put it, there was tons of immediate joy for many, but disappointment quickly followed. This dairy-free Baileys is nothing like Baileys, so those expecting a dairy-free match are in for quite the surprise. Baileys has notes of cocoa and vanilla and a rich creaminess that the brand has developed over the years. The almond milk version ... well, not so much.

The good news is that because Baileys Almande is still somewhat creamy, it does pull off a fruit-and-cream type drink with some success. So Baileys Almande Berry Coconut Smoothie does seem promising. But the recipe calls for Greek yogurt, frozen blueberries, a banana, Baileys Almande, and coconut milk. We prefer to enjoy traditional Baileys in coffee, so we're thrown off by how light, fruity, and not rich this smoothie is. Tasty? Sure, but compared to Baileys' other cocktails, it ranks low for us.

Baileys Almande Peach Smoothie

If you happen to have powdered sugar, coconut shavings, vanilla extract, peaches, plant-based milk, ice, and Baileys Almande on hand, then you can whip up a Baileys Almande Peach Smoothie. First things first, this recipe is far too complicated to be worth it. If we're already starting with a bottle of liqueur, chances are we want to pour and mix. For classic cocktails like piña colada, we'd break out the blender, but this is far too much effort for a run-of-the-mill smoothie.

Also, because Baileys is loaded with sweet notes, we prefer mixing it with something that will bring some balance. Ingredients like coffee, brown liquors, and spice help to counteract the full-on sweetness and temper it a bit. This combination might be a refreshing way to enjoy Baileys, but is that what you're going for? We say mix it with coffee to keep it true to its original flavors.

Baileys Apple Chai Pie

If we could pick one way to warm up after a cold day, we might always opt for chai tea. Chai was created in India as a mix of spices more than 5,000 years ago, but it wasn't until British colonization in the early 1900s that tea was added. It's a popular latte base, and Baileys paired it with the brand's Apple Pie liqueur to create an Apple Chai Pie drink.

Now Apple Pie liqueur may sound over the top, and with all of its flavors and richness, it definitely is indulgent. Intoxicology calls this liqueur a "winner" for its notes of cinnamon and apple that really taste like apple pie. On its own, it's sweet and rich, but when mixed with bourbon and chai tea, as is the recipe for Baileys Apple Chai Pie, it's far too much. Baileys and chai work well together, but skip the apple pie and just use regular Baileys for a lovely touch on a classic. Not everything needs to be reimagined.

Baileys Nutterlicious

The Baileys Nutterlicious cocktail is overindulgence at its finest. It's more like a milkshake with its thick texture and rich, sweet profile. The recipe calls for a blend of Baileys, banana, almond milk, and ice topped with melted chocolate, hazelnuts, and crushed peanuts. The brand suggests sipping it with a straw, but it's so thick you might be better off scooping it up with a spoon.

If this sounds too wild for you, consider that the first milkshakes were, in fact, alcoholic. They were an eggnog and whiskey concoction served in the late 19th century, explains Gunther Toodys. So we love that the Nutterlicious stays true to the drink's roots. We don't love that there isn't enough of an alcoholic kick. A rum splash might help keep this drink balanced and prevent it from being a sugary mess. And unfortunately, because you need more than a handful of ingredients, this quickly becomes a more laborious drink. It's tasty, but because it lacks complex flavors, requires a lot of ingredients, and is so rich, it's only practical and worthwhile drinking once a year.

Baileys Almande Spiced Cold Brew

Baileys' first dairy-free beverage made with Almande almond milk is better than bad. But it's also not quite hitting the notes we expect from a sip of Baileys. So to make an iced coffee with it is leaning toward underwhelming. Baileys packs richness, a smooth texture, and gentle cocoa notes that work wonders in many different recipes. And Baileys Almande doesn't get quite there. Vie de la Vegan notes that it is "light and flavorful," which is a favorable review but far from the "rich and flavorful" notes you might expect.

We'll give the spiced cold brew with Baileys Almande bonus points for effort. The recipe for Baileys Almande Spiced Cold Brew calls for a bit of cinnamon syrup, providing the drink with some of the richness it desperately needs. But it comes off as an iced coffee with a spiked creamer more than an iced coffee drink. It's a decent option for those who don't consume dairy products, but if you're okay with dairy and just want a lighter option, we'd suggest an iced coffee with a smaller amount of regular Baileys.

Baileys Iced Coffee

We get what Baileys is trying to do here. If the Irish cream liqueur works in a hot coffee, why wouldn't it work as an iced version? But we have to draw the line. Baileys is many things, but refreshing is not one of those things. It's not the liqueur you use to create a thirst-quenching cocktail on a hot day. So adding it to iced coffee is delicious but not practical.

Another gripe is that the Baileys recipe calls for ice cream and whole milk. This twist is essentially a Baileys coffee milkshake. But we'd struggle to call it an iced coffee. The flavor works, but between the practicality issues and the all-around confusion we have over the name versus the ingredients, we'll just keep this right in the middle of the list and hope that maybe one day we can arrive at a level of acceptance for this drink!

Baileys Mudslide

There are only so many ways to mix chocolate and cream. But we are so thankful that a Mudslide is one of those ways. This classic cocktail is heavy on the booze and heavy on the cream. Just blend Baileys, vodka, and ice in a blender. Add chocolate syrup swirls into your glass, and then pour in the blended mixture. We love that this is simple and doesn't require many kitchen gadgets like other fancy drinks. And you can jazz up the decorations as you wish, making it look even snazzier.

While delicious, a Baileys Mudslide is not one of the brand's most successful cocktails. It's missing something. Maybe a shot of espresso would perk this drink up. We'd also opt for a little chocolate liqueur added to the drink's base. It's a work in progress and might even be the blank canvas for you to create your customized cocktail, but it's simply not interesting enough.

Baileys Pumpkin Spice Latte

When the leaves begin to fall and the days become crisp, you can guarantee to see an influx of pumpkin spice-flavored treats lining the shelves of your local grocery stores. To be clear, we are very much in favor of this and especially love it when that classic flavor is given an adult twist. So we view Baileys Pumpkin Spice as a welcome treat.

Baileys Pumpkin Spice Latte is flavored Baileys mixed with coffee and milk, and it is as soul-warming as it sounds. But what this latte packs in sugar and festiveness, it lacks in nuance and spice. Baileys suggests adding nutmeg and cinnamon as a garnish, but this drink would be elevated by adding those spices directly to the coffee, Baileys, and milk mixture. Compared to how interesting some of Baileys' other cocktails are, this one sits firmly in the middle. We like it, but we don't love it.

Baileys Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

If you thought this list bashed decadent, sugary cocktails, let us introduce you to the Baileys Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate. It is indulgence at its finest, and while this is probably not something you can drink every day, it's so delicious you might want to keep the ingredients handy when you want to drink your dessert.

In 2008, The New York Times declared that the flavor salted caramel had taken over U.S. grocery stores. In the nearly 15 years since then, salted caramel has become a mainstay flavor for its perfect mashup of sweet and salty. The first thing Baileys did right was to create a Salted Caramel liqueur, a blend of Irish cream, caramel, and salt. The second thing the brand did right was share the recipe for the hot chocolate that uses that flavored liqueur.

Just mix Baileys Salted Caramel with hot chocolate powder and milk and add whatever toppings bring you the most delight. Pretzels, popcorn, M&M's ... nothing is off limits. We ranked this toward the middle of our list because it can quickly go from luscious to over the top, but this is the hot chocolate we dreamed about as children with a subtle kick of alcohol, and it's just as delicious as it is right and indulgent.

Baileys Tiramisu Cocktail

Leave it to Baileys to up its creativity game and create a successful cocktail version of a beloved dessert. Tiramisu doesn't conjure up images of cocktails, but when you consider that the dessert's recipe calls for rum, it's not so far-fetched that it can be pulled off in liquid form.

To make this drink, you should be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get a little down and dirty in the kitchen. It involves mixing hot coffee with sugar and chocolate and then blending Baileys, lady finger biscuits, and ice. The Baileys mixture gets folded into a bowl of mascarpone and will be spooned over your coffee/sugar/chocolate mixture. And, of course, don't forget to add some flair by using sprinkles or chocolate curls as decoration.

The result is tasty. And if it was simpler to make, it might have come in higher on the list. But this is one drink that's worth the process, and we wouldn't change a thing about it.

Baileys Flat White Martini Cocktail

A flat white make our ears perk up. The espresso drink, with its signature flat layer of microfoam, is more delicate than a latte and has been popular since Starbucks introduced its version in the United States in 2015. The Washington Post explains there seems to be some debate about whether the drink was created in Australia or New Zealand. But what's not up for dispute is that it's a perfect vessel for caffeine.

So when you combine the silky texture of a flat white and transform it into a martini, it will probably be a successful cocktail. That's precisely what Baileys has pulled off with its Flat White Martini Cocktail. You just add Baileys, vodka, espresso, and ice to a shaker and keep shaking until it has a smooth, silky texture. While it's not unique enough of a cocktail to rank any higher, the result is just as delicious as it sounds. It's a fabulous way to chill out or wake up.

Baileys Irish Coffee

It would be silly to put together a roundup of Baileys drinks and not include an Irish coffee. The now-classic drink was created at a restaurant in the Irish airport Foynes in the 1940s, explains the Irish Whiskey Museum. A chef named Joe Sheridan wanted to make a drink to keep airport patrons warm on chilly days during their travels. Once travel writer Stanton Delaplane got a hold of the drink, he fell head over heels and shared the recipe, helping to bring it to the masses.

There's a trick to adding cream and sugar to traditional Irish coffee, but what we love about the Baileys version is that you need to mix coffee, a bit of Irish whiskey, and some Baileys in a glass to enjoy. You can't forget a dollop of whipped cream, but it comes together in minutes and is just as warm and delicious as you might imagine.

Baileys White Russian

Something about a White Russian screams sophisticated; vodka is the perfect neutral base, the coffee liqueur gives it a caffeine kick, and the heavy cream melds all the flavors and textures together. But because Baileys is a creamy liqueur, it gives luscious Irish cream notes to a White Russian.

The Baileys recipe calls for Baileys, vodka, milk, and an optional splash of coffee liqueur. Instead of being mouth-coating and rich, it's pretty balanced, with just the right amount of sweet and creamy notes. This version is almost as if a White Russian and an espresso martini had a baby; we are big fans. It ranks high on our list for many reasons, but texture, flavor, and ease are some of the main ones! Add a cocoa powder stencil to gain brownie points from your aesthetic-focused friends, and sip away. A fireplace and cozy cardigan are optional but highly recommended!

Baileys Hot Chocolate

Baileys has given its fans quite a few hot chocolate recipes. And even though we don't mind a jolt of sugar, the Red Velvet and Salted Caramel hot chocolates almost go overboard. But when you stick to the basics and deliver a nice balance, you end up with Baileys Hot Chocolate. It's no frills, but we mean that in the best possible way. Now, the Baileys recipe calls for an abundance of toppings like brownies, whipped cream, sprinkles, chocolate sauce, and any other chocolate toppings that tickle your fancy. But the set of ingredients for the hot chocolate base is pretty straightforward: hot chocolate powder, milk, and Baileys.

We love that this recipe is one you can whip up for a group, and let people run wild with the toppings of their choice. Those who prefer the basics can opt for hot chocolate and whipped cream. And while we're not saying it's better, we will say it's one of the best ways to drink hot chocolate! For its versatility and classic appeal, we've ranked Baileys Hot Chocolate near the top of our list.

Baileys Colada

Nothing can transport you to vacation mode quite like sipping on a fresh piña colada. Even if you can't venture to a secluded island, you can always whip up a batch of the classic drink at home.

Baileys wants to make this even more accessible with its Colada, a pre-made drink in a glass that you can sip over ice. But the brand's Piña Colada recipe suggests blending the drink with frozen pineapple, fresh coconut, and ice for a refreshing take. It is everything you could want in a piña colada; it's sweet, rich, tart, and downright delicious. This cocktail secured the No. 2 spot because it's a nice take on a classic drink that's rooted in the original flavors. It doesn't venture too far from what you expect, but because the Colada is based on a whiskey-based Irish cream, it provides just the right amount of uniqueness.

Baileys Espresso Martini Cocktail

In June 2021, The New York Times declared that the espresso martini was trending. It was the drink's second ascent into popularity. The first was in the late '90s, and now it's back with a vengeance. An espresso martini will be your pick-me-up after a large meal that extends well into the night. It can also be a go-to brunch option for those days when you need caffeine ... stat! But what we like about an espresso martini is that it packs the perfect dose of caffeine to combat the alcohol's sleep-inducing effects.

Baileys' take on an espresso martini is undoubtedly a noteworthy one. Instead of the coffee liqueur that many recipes require, the Baileys recipe calls for Baileys, espresso, and vodka. It's a creamier take on the beloved drink and one that works well when you want something a bit richer in colder months. We can't get enough espresso martinis, and the Baileys version has won a place in our hearts for all eternity.