What Is A Baby Guinness (And Does It Even Involve Beer)?

three baby Guinness shots
three baby Guinness shots - Marketlan/Getty Images

Even the most casual beer enthusiast is fully aware of Guinness, the iconic stout hailing from Ireland and known for its robust flavor. Based on this understanding, one would naturally assume that a drink dubbed Baby Guinness would include its namesake beer. However, that's not the case. A Baby Guinness consists of coffee liqueur and Irish cream. The shot gets its name from its appearance alone, which looks similar to a pint of Guinness.

When it comes to cocktails that any amateur bartender can create, the Baby Guinness sets a low bar in terms of difficulty. All you need is a shot glass mostly full of coffee liqueur and topped with Irish cream. If you want to get fancy, you can place a spoon over the coffee liqueur and pour the Irish cream over it, which will help the two liqueurs remain separate in the glass. At this point, you can kick back and enjoy a shot that most likely originated in the birthplace of the world's best-known stout.

Read more: 26 Popular Vodka Brands, Ranked By Their Versatility

The Somewhat Murky Origins Of The Baby Guinness

mixing a baby Guinness
mixing a baby Guinness - Amazing iPhotography/Shutterstock

Like many cocktails, the origins of the Baby Guinness aren't entirely clear. The shot's birthplace is often cited as Dublin, which makes sense when you consider that Dublin is also the site of the first Guinness brewery. It's claimed that the drink was created at a place called The Waxies' Dargle at some point in the '80s or '90s and was used to celebrate the birth of a baby. It appears that The Waxies' Dargle has been shuttered for some time, and very little information exists about the establishment or its lasting contribution to the world of shooters.

There are also claims that the Baby Guinness is inspired by another drink called the Baby Finnish, which also contains coffee and cream liqueurs. The shot gets its name from the fact that the preferred cream liqueur used in the recipe hailed from Finland, although the drink was dreamed up at a London establishment called Bethnal Green Tavern. When compared to the fascinating origins of many beloved cocktails, the story behind the Baby Guinness is admittedly tame. Rest assured that what this drink lacks in intrigue, it more than makes up for in versatility.

How Different Liqueurs Impact The Flavor Of This Shooter

bottles of Kahlúa
bottles of Kahlúa - MDV Edwards/Shutterstock

With just two ingredients -- coffee liqueur and Irish cream -- the Baby Guinness is about as streamlined as you can get with an alcoholic beverage. However, there are numerous brands of coffee and cream liqueurs out there, which means you can experiment with different concoctions until you find the perfect combination. Kahlúa is a standard component of this shooter and offers a rich coffee flavor punctuated by roasted notes and buttery smoothness. Keep in mind it's common practice to use Sambuca instead in U.K. establishments, and this liqueur has herbal notes and a remarkable anise profile to make for a more complex flavor combination.

As for the cream liqueur, Baileys Irish Cream is a go-to choice to keep within the shot's Dublin origins. Baileys also comes in other flavors, including chocolate, strawberry, and salted caramel, to make the beverage taste more like an indulgent dessert (you can also dip your French toast in Baileys Irish Cream for a decadent spin on breakfast). Coole Swan is another option, and this cream liqueur is known for its inclusion of authentic Belgian chocolate. While simple, a well-crafted Baby Guinness can feature a variety of flavors with very little effort required.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.