Is Baileys Gluten-free?

Is Baileys gluten-free? Read on to find out more about this popular brand of Irish cream and to find out if there are any alternatives!

Baileys is the best-selling cream liqueur in the world, with an alcohol concentration of 17% by volume. It’s a creamy, smooth drink that’s great on the rocks, mixed in cocktails and even in coffee.

It’s a flexible beverage with notes of cocoa, cream, and vanilla that comes in a variety of flavors, including a vegan one.

What is Baileys made of?

I did find this list, which is supposedly the ingredients in Baileys, but this list isn’t official.

  • Fresh Dairy Cream
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Maltodextrin
  • Milk Products
  • Cocoa extracts and flavours
  • Irish Whiskey
  • Colouring: 150b
  • Emulsifier: E471
  • Acidity regulator: E331

So, if this list can be trusted, there aren’t any glaringly obvious gluten-containing products.

So is Baileys gluten-free?

This is what is stated on the FAQs on their website: “Baileys is produced with ingredients that do not contain gluten however we cannot guarantee that the product is gluten free. Please seek advice from a healthcare professional before consuming Baileys if you suffer from a gluten allergy and you are concerned. As we are not qualified to give medical advice persons requiring a gluten free diet must consult their medical adviser before consuming Baileys”

Baileys claims that all of its ingredients are gluten-free and because the Baileys recipe is a trade secret, we must accept their word for it. But like with all things, it’s not as black and white as you’d think.

Problematic ingredients?

While many of the components in Baileys Irish Cream liqueur are obviously gluten-free, it still contains Irish whiskey, which is made from barley. And that’s a gluten grain.

Generally, whiskey does not contain gluten. You can read more about that here → Is Whiskey Gluten-free?

But basically, although distillation of whiskey removes gluten in the final product, celiacs may still react to it. Furthermore, there may be a risk for gluten cross-contact post-distillation in facilities that process products containing barley, wheat, or rye.

There may also be gluten in flavors or ingredients added after distillation. I’ve read some sites say that all flavors of Baileys are gluten-free.

That’s a bit of a crazy statement because Baileys seem to constantly create new flavors, and those flavors and their ingredients vary from country to country.

Is Baileys gluten-free in the UK and Australia?

When you have products that are sold worldwide, sometimes you have issues with them being gluten-free in one country and not gluten-free in another (an example would be Starbursts, which are gluten-free in the US and not in the UK and Australia! You can read more here → Are Starbursts Gluten-free?)

I did look into this and couldn’t find anything about Baileys in other countries containing gluten. So it’s like the US – they don’t use gluten ingredients but can’t state that they’re gluten-free.

Irish cream brands labeled as gluten-free?

There aren’t any that I can find! This is because all products containing rye, barley, or wheat ingredients cannot be labeled as gluten-free according to US law.

Because alcohol isn’t regulated by the FDA in the US, alcohol companies don’t have to disclose the ingredients on the label, as you always see on food packages.

Other Irish cream brands

As a result, it’s hard to tell for sure whether any of the following products are 100% safe. We, therefore, recommend that you proceed with caution while purchasing any of these products.

1. Carolans Irish Cream

I always used to recommend Carolans in my gluten-free recipes, as they previously stated that they’re gluten-free right on their website. They said,”Carolans is gluten and wheat-free, making it suitable for Celiacs.”

But they no longer do. So I’m not exactly sure what that means.

They seem to only use gluten-free ingredients, just like Baileys. My guess is that they don’t feel confident declaring it as gluten-free – just like Baileys.

It is less expensive than Baileys, and some even argue that it tastes better. I haven’t had it in a few years, but I do remember I loved it!

Its distinct flavor has helped it become the second most popular Irish Cream brand in the world.

However, it’s worth noting that Carolan’s whiskey is still created from distilled gluten grains. If you don’t react to distilled gluten-grain-based alcohol, though, you should try it.

2. St. Brendan’s Irish Cream

They currently don’t have any FAQs or nutritional info on their website, but back in 2006, they considered themselves to be gluten-free.

3. Ryan’s Irish Cream

The Sazerac Company, based in New Orleans, owns the company, which produces several well-known alcoholic beverage brands.

They say that unless a product is actually labeled as gluten-free, they “make no claims to the gluten-free nature of the product.”

They also say on their website: “A recent ruling allows producers of certain alcoholic beverages made entirely from ingredients that do not contain gluten to make “gluten-free” claims provided that they take appropriate measures to prevent cross-contact with gluten-containing grains during production, processing, storage, and handling. In the coming months and years, we will be working to qualify as many of our U.S. products as possible to be labeled “gluten-free.“

You’ll also be glad to know that they have a general policy of using non-GMO ingredients whenever possible, but nothing specific to this Irish cream.

In conclusion

Is Baileys gluten-free? Yes, it’s free of gluten-containing products, but the answer is a bit more complex because of its gluten-containing derivatives. Nevertheless, most people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity can safely consume alcoholic beverages made from gluten grains.

However, some people get severe allergic reactions to these beverages. Unfortunately, without experimenting, there’s no way to identify which group you belong to.

Lastly, Irish cream is often served with hot chocolate, Kahlua, coffee, and other flavorings. As such, it is crucial to double-check that all ingredients in the finished drink are gluten-free.

If you have gluten sensitivity, we recommend that you read ingredient and nutrition labels or opt for a certified gluten-free beverage.

I’d recommend speaking to your doctor if you’re unsure about drinking Irish cream.

If you decide to try Baileys Original Irish Cream, start with a small amount and observe how you react.