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Baileys Irish Cream is an Irish cream liqueur – an alcoholic beverage flavoured with cream, cocoa, and Irish whiskey – made by Diageo at Nangor Road, in Dublin, Ireland and in Mallusk, Northern Ireland. Owned by Gilbeys of Ireland, the trademark is currently owned by Diageo. It has a declared alcohol content of 17% by volume.
It is the original Irish cream, invented by a team headed by Tom Jago in 1971 for Gilbeys of Ireland.
Baileys Irish Cream was created by Tom Jago of Gilbeys of Ireland, a division of International Distillers & Vintners, as it searched for something to introduce to the international market. The process of finding a product began in 1971, and production research began in earnest after consultants David Gluckman and Hugh Seymour-Davies (also Mac Macpherson has claimed to be part of the consultant team) came up with an alcoholic drink made of Irish whiskey and cream that, they remarked, "didn't taste punishing".
The formulation of Baileys was motivated partly by the availability of alcohol from a money-losing distillery (part of International Distillers & Vintners, and likely W&A Gilbey) and a desire to use surplus cream from another business, Express Dairies, owned by Grand Metropolitan, resulting from the increased popularity of semi-skimmed milk. It included alcohol, cream, and the chocolate milk based drink powder Nesquik produced by Nestle; the initial formulation process took approximately 45 minutes.
Baileys was introduced in 1974 as the first Irish cream on the market. The name is that of a restaurant owned by John Chesterman, who granted W&A Gilbey permission to use it. The fictional R.A. Bailey signature was inspired by the Bailey's Hotel in London, though the registered trademark omits the apostrophe.
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