Baileys is a favorite for many, whether in hot chocolate or served in a glass over ice.
It has become a staple in our house during the winter months and can be the perfect drink to relax in front of the TV and escape the gloomy weather outside.
Baileys generated volume sales of 7.1 million nine-litre cases worldwide in 2020 and, in the same year, its maker sold its two billionth bottle – so it’s no wonder that supermarkets have started offering their own version of Irish Cream liqueur.
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So I went to Tesco and Asda to see how their own Irish cream drinks compared to Baileys. Could they live up to the real deal?
Baileys – £15
The original, of course, tops the list in terms of price, at £15 for 70cl. However, if you have a Tesco Clubcard, you will be able to get it for the discounted price of £12.
It has a pleasant sweet smell, with only the slightest trace of alcohol, and has a nice thick texture with a good kick of alcohol cutting through the sweetness.
The only thing that distinguishes it from others, in terms of taste, is the sweet and warm note it leaves behind. But, for £15 and the most expensive on the list, how will it fare compared to the cheaper alternatives?
Asda – £4.50
This 70cl bottle of Causeway Coast Irish Country Cream, Asda’s Baileys version, is an absolute bargain. For just £4.50 – saving you £10.50 off the price of the original – you get the same amount as a 70cl bottle of Baileys. Certainly not something to turn your nose up at.
The liqueur is slightly darker in color than the original Baileys when you pour it. The taste is also a bit less creamy, however, you still get a nice boozy kick – although I would say the creamy flavor of the drink hits you first.
It is, however, only 12% ABV compared to Baileys 17% ABV, so although you get the same amount as you would from a bottle of Baileys, it is less alcoholic.
Still, for just £4.50 you get what you pay for, and it could be a good option for those looking for a slightly less alcoholic taste.
Tesco – £7.75
Tesco Irish Cream Liqueur gives you exactly the same amount as a Baileys bottle – and pretty much tastes the same too.
At £7.75 it’s almost half the price of a Baileys bottle of the same size. It also has the same ABV as Baileys, at 17% ABV, so you get the same percentage for a cheaper price. In terms of appearance, it is only slightly darker than the original.
There’s not much of a difference in taste or texture either – in fact, I’d be hard pressed to tell them apart, especially if added to hot chocolate or coffee.
The only difference I noticed was that the Tesco liqueur didn’t leave quite the same creamy aftertaste as Baileys. But, for what appears to be about identical taste, texture, size, and ABV, that’s a lot.
If this experiment discovered one thing, it’s that you don’t have to shell out big bucks to find a decent Irish cream liqueur.
All the options on the list were palatable, but in terms of value for money, I’d say Tesco’s Irish Cream Liqueur came out on top for me.
At almost half the price of the Baileys, with exactly the same amount and percentage of alcohol, it was also quite difficult to distinguish between its taste and that of the original.
So if you’re looking for something warming to drink while you curl up in front of the TV this winter, I wouldn’t hesitate to try one of these cheaper options.
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