How many calories are in an ounce of Irish cream liqueur?

An ounce of Irish cream liqueur typically contains around 130 calories. The exact calorie count can vary slightly depending on the brand and ingredients used.

Calories in Popular Irish Cream Liqueurs

Here is the calorie count for some popular Irish cream liqueur brands:

Brand Calories per 1 oz
Bailey’s 128
Carolans 136
Kerrygold 130
St. Brendan’s 130

As you can see, most major brands of Irish cream liqueur contain around 130 calories per ounce. Bailey’s, the most popular brand, has 128 calories per ounce.

Factors Affecting Calorie Count

The number of calories in Irish cream liqueur depends on several factors:

  • Alcohol content – Alcohol provides around 100 calories per ounce, so the alcohol percentage greatly impacts the calories.
  • Sugar and flavorings – Most Irish creams contain sugar and flavorings like cocoa and vanilla, which add additional calories.
  • Dairy ingredients – The cream or milk used gives Irish cream liqueur a creamy texture and contributes calories and fat.
  • Serving size – The calorie count may be listed for less than a full ounce, so check the serving size for an accurate count.

Alcohol Content

The alcohol percentage of Irish cream liqueur can range from 10-20% ABV. The higher the alcohol content, the more calories per ounce. Pure alcohol contains about 100 calories per ounce. An Irish cream liqueur with 20% ABV would get 20% of its calories from the alcohol alone.

Sugar and Flavorings

Irish cream liqueurs are flavored with ingredients like cocoa, coffee, honey, vanilla, caramel, and chocolate. These flavorings add sweetness from sugar and additional calories. For example, the cocoa used to provide Bailey’s signature flavor provides added fat and calories beyond the alcohol.

Cream and Milk Ingredients

The dairy ingredients like milk, cream, or butter contribute significant calories and fat to Irish cream liqueur. They give it a rich, creamy, and smooth texture. Depending on the brand’s recipe, dairy can provide 30-40% of the total calories per ounce.

Serving Size

Make sure to check the listed serving size when looking at calorie information. The calories may be listed for 1/2 ounce instead of a full ounce. Scaling the serving size up or down will affect the calorie count. Nutrition labels are based on a standard 1 ounce serving size.

Low Calorie Irish Cream Options

If you’re looking to limit calories, there are some lower calorie Irish cream options:

  • Mix with coffee or hot cocoa – Adding a splash to a full mug dilutes the calories
  • Look for low-calorie Irish creams – Some brands make lighter versions with less than 100 calories per ounce
  • Make your own – Create a lower calorie version by blending coffee, cocoa, sugar-free flavorings, low fat dairy, and alcohol
  • Use zero-calorie sweeteners – Stevia or monk fruit extract can sweeten homemade Irish cream without added sugars

Water It Down

Using a small amount of Irish cream in coffee, hot chocolate, or desserts allows you to get the flavor while reducing the calorie impact. One ounce added to an 8-12 ounce drink only adds around 10-15 calories.

Low-Calorie Irish Creams

Some Irish cream brands now offer low-calorie or “lite” versions with around 70-100 calories per ounce. These use lower fat dairy and less added sugar while maintaining a creamy texture.

DIY Irish Cream

You can create your own lighter Irish cream at home using reduced fat milk, low calorie coffee syrups and flavorings, zero-calorie sweeteners, and the alcohol of your choice. Getting creative with ingredients allows you to control the calories.

Sugar-Free Sweeteners

Using zero-calorie sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit instead of sugar when making homemade Irish cream allows you to reduce the calories while keeping the sweetness. Just a tiny amount is needed to sweeten the cocktail.

Irish Cream Nutrition Facts

Here is the typical nutrition breakdown for an ounce of Irish cream liqueur:

  • Calories: 130
  • Fat: 5g
  • Carbs: 14g
  • Protein: 1g

As you can see, nearly all the calories come from the high fat and carb content. The fat comes from the dairy ingredients, while the carbs come from added sugars.

The protein is minimal at just 1 gram per ounce. There are no fiber, vitamins, or minerals in Irish cream liqueur beyond small amounts of calcium and potassium from the dairy.

High in Fat & Carbs

With 14 grams of carbs and 5 grams of fat per ounce, Irish cream liqueur is very high in both. This stacks up quickly if you consume multiple servings.

Low Protein & Nutrients

Irish cream liqueur has virtually no protein or other nutrients. While the dairy provides small amounts of calcium and potassium, there are no significant sources of vitamins, minerals, fiber, or other nutrients.

Health Impact of Irish Cream Liqueur

Like other alcoholic beverages, drinking Irish cream liqueur in moderation is unlikely to have major health consequences. However, high or frequent consumption may lead to the following health effects:

  • Weight gain – At 130+ calories an ounce, it’s easy to take in excess calories leading to weight gain over time.
  • Fatty liver disease – Excess fat consumption from heavy drinking can contribute to fatty liver.
  • Blood sugar issues – The high carb and sugar content may worsen blood sugar control.
  • Alcoholism – Heavy, frequent use can lead to physical and mental dependence and addiction.

Weight Gain

At over 100 calories per ounce, it’s easy to underestimate how quickly the calories from Irish cream liqueur can add up. Just a few servings can provide nearly half of your daily calorie needs, which over time leads to weight gain if consumed frequently.

Fatty Liver Disease

Heavy alcohol consumption combined with a high-fat diet is known to contribute to fatty liver disease. Irish cream’s high fat content may be worse for the liver compared to lower fat liquors when consumed heavily.

Blood Sugar Control

The large amounts of sugar and carbohydrates can cause blood sugar spikes. For those with diabetes or pre-diabetes, this may worsen blood sugar control. The fat may also make it harder to process the sugars.


As with other alcoholic beverages, frequent and excessive Irish cream intake over an extended period can lead to physical and mental dependence. This may result in alcoholism and withdrawal symptoms if use is stopped.


In summary, an ounce of Irish cream liqueur contains around 130 calories, with nearly all coming from fat and carbs. The exact calories can vary based on ingredients and alcohol percentage. Consumed in moderation, it’s unlikely to have major health effects. But heavy, frequent use can contribute to weight gain, liver disease, blood sugar issues, and alcoholism.

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