Bailey’s Almande is back, and totally vegan!!!
I, Carlo, have personally never drank Bailey’s Original Irish Cream in the pre-vegan days. What I drank was a homemade version by our family friend, Mrs. Safar. Being Irish, Mrs. Safar prided herself on this recipe and keeping with traditions. What joy for us every Christmas, when she’d share her Irish Cream with us…if we returned last year’s bottle for the annual gift of a refill.
Carm and I aren’t big drinkers, but we do like to imbibe now and again. Carm was a fan of Bailey’s. When we started dating, she got to try Mrs. Safar’s recipe and loved it! When we went vegan, it was one gift we had to pass. So, in 2016, when Bailey’s announced their Almande being a vegan version of their Original Irish Cream, we were eager to try it. Then, the bad news…it contained beeswax!
There was internet outrage, frustration and disappointment. How could something made for vegans with almond milk include an ingredient like beeswax?!?! Well, Bailey’s hear us vegans (and we are a loud bunch)! They noted that they would reformulate with a truly all-vegan version in 2017!
Fast-forward to March 2017, when we learned that Bailey’s Almande was back and CERTIFIED VEGAN (and gluten-free). Bailey’s listed a set of states, including NY and NJ. Our search began! It didn’t take long for us to find it…on the way home from Carm’s office! YES!!
The tasting began: We first tried it straight up, to make sure that the flavor could stand on its own, and it did! It was refreshing, smooth very light. Drinking it straight up over ice was almost perfection (hold on that)! It yields a warm cream color with a nice layering of flavors of semi-whisky and notes of toasted almonds. The only thing lacking was the texture. We expected it to be…creamy, as it is supposed to be vegan Irish cream. However, giving that Bailey’s Almande is an almond milk based product, it would explain why it was lacking.
Next, we tried it in a “grown up” milkshake of Ben & Jerry’s Caramel Almond Brittle Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert, Bailey’s Almande and unsweetened almond milk. WHOA! So on point. The Almande went perfectly with the ice cream (also almond milk base). That blended caramel brittle added a richness to the drink.
Bailey’s Almande is rolling out to even more stores across the country now. If you’re into cream or sweet alcohol cocktails, we recommend giving this a try. If that’s not your thing, we get it! Maybe we can work on an non-alcoholic version of this!
How do you think this would taste in some French Toast? Let us know!
Side note: We’re stoked that Bailey’s is following a growing trend of established companies venturing into the vegan world. Companies such as Ben and Jerry’s, Breyer’s and even Hellman’s are opening their eyes to what is a quickly growing demand. Our advice to other companies that are considering making vegan products would be to listen carefully to our concerns, especially from an ethical standpoint. We’re clearly an identified consumer group. So, the more we “vote” with our wallets, the louder our voices become and changes can happen!