Someone mentioned Baileys in the chatterbox - so off I went to rescue its nodeshell!.....

Baileys Irish Cream is owned by United Distillers & Vitners - the dominant drinks company in the UK. UDV also owns a huge number of other brands, including

Bell's Whisky
Archers Peach Schnapps
Croft Original Sherry
Drambuie
Disaronno Amaretto
Gordons Gin
Jack Daniels
Malibu
Southern Comfort
Jose Cuervo Tequila
Pimm's No. 1
Smirnoff Vodka
Tanqueray Gin
Sheridan's Liqueur
Johnnie Walker
Le Piat D'or Wine.

UDV spends over £35m per year advertising these brands.

Baileys was launched in 1974, and currently 1,600 glasses of Baileys are consumed every minute of every day in over 130 countries worldwide.
Made with 50% fresh Irish dairy cream, 4.3% of the total milk production of Ireland goes into the making of Bailey's. One serving of Baileys contains 117 calories.

In pubs and bars Baileys is served as a spirit, but to compensate for its relatively low alcohol content it is always served in double measures, over ice. Traditionally a very high percentage of the product is sold for home consumption. Recently however the advertising agency responsible for Baileys (Carat) devised a strategy to promote Baileys as a more sociable drink and encourage increased consumption in pubs and bars.

A TV campaign gave it a younger and sexier image - targeting mainly young ABC1 women - and the brand sponsored Sex and The City in order to remain in the consciousness of its target audience. This initiative has worked and there has been an increase in on-trade consumption of Baileys.

Just a couple of notes to add to the gazelle's excellent writeup:

The Wine and Spirits merchant, Gilbey's of Ireland, came up with Bailey's Irish Cream in 1974, as a way of shifting more Irish Whiskey. Mixing whiskey with cream and various other ingredients proved a successful wheeze, and the drink is now one of the world's best-selling liqueurs. It has been combined with Häagen-Dazs ice cream to form a popular ice cream flavour, and a cheesecake flavoured with the liqueur is a common sight on dessert menus in restaurants worldwide.

Rampant consolidation in the drinks industry means that the Baileys (sic) brand is now owned by Diageo, whose brand portfolio also includes Guinness, Red Stripe, Blossom Hill, Glen Ellen and Burger King, as well as those brands mentioned above by the gazelle. A measure of the drink's success is that Baileys is one of only eight brands from Diageo's mind-bogglingly large portfolio which have been chosen as global priority brands by the company. In other words, these are brands which Diageo will attempt to flog to every man, woman and, if they could get away with it, child in the world. Their other brands will of course be promoted, but on a more localised basis.

The story of how Baileys came to be part of the same group as Guinness also has the potential to cause boggling of the mind. When Baileys was first created, Gilbey's was already part of the GrandMet group, which acquired International Distillers & Vintners in 1972. IDV was the group formed from Gilbey's 1962 merger with United Wine Traders. When GrandMet merged with Guinness in 1997, United Distillers & Vintners (UDV) was created, a business unit which combined the businesses of IDV with Guinness's United Distillers (UD). UD itself had been created through the 1987 merger of the Distillers Company (DCL) and Arthur Bell & Sons. Did you catch all that? Did I mention LVMH?

One of Baileys' recent marketing initiatives was to create a Baileys visitor centre, called ICON, at Leopardstown racecourse in Dublin. No doubt the idea was to emulate the success of the Guinness Hop Store, the visitor centre attached to Guinness's St James's Gate brewery. However, its out of town location and, it must be said, general aura of crapness, put paid to this enterprise, and the centre closed down within a couple of years. Moreover, while Guinness has over two centuries of history with which to fill its tourist attraction, "The Baileys Experience" had less than three decades, and tourists found it wasn't worth the trip to suburban Dublin to learn that their favourite tipple was dreamed up as a simple marketing gimmick to shift more uisce beatha.

Recipe for a Bailey's type irish cream liquor

    1 1/2 cup whiskey(brand really doesn't matter)
    2 tbs. chocolate syrup
    14oz can Eagle sweetened condensed milk
    2 cups light cream
    4 eggs
    2 tsp. instant coffee
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    1/2 tsp. almond extract

Blend thoroughly. Divide into several sealable bottles, preferably glass. Refrigerate 24 hrs before drinking.

As oddball as sone of the ingredients sound, This is better than most of the off-brand "Bailey's" imitators out there. For those of you worried about the raw eggs in the recipe, the alcohol in the whiskey does in any bacteria, as well as preserves the mixture. Keep refrigerated.

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