Liquor store owner says Baileys Irish Cream is a waste of money, shares what to get instead

@bigbearwine/TikTok Solarisys/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘I don’t know why you wouldn’t at least try this’: Liquor store owner says Baileys Irish Cream is a waste of money, shares what to get instead

'If you wanna save 18 bucks...'


Jack Alban


Posted on Mar 21, 2024   Updated on Mar 21, 2024, 9:41 am CDT

Big Bear (@bigbearwine) is a liquor store extraordinaire who regularly posts boozy-related content to TikTok to educate the masses on all things alcohol. Want to get the most bang for your buzzed buck when shopping for a canned cocktail? He’s got your back with that.

In a recent TikTok he posted to his account, Big Bear also shared a little tip for fans of Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur. He claims that you don’t need to shell out all of that money for a single bottle and that there is an alternative not many people consider when they’re shopping for the whisky-infused cream, chocolate, and vanilla beverage.

According to the liquor connoisseur—the next best thing (or an identical offering according to numerous viewers who watched his clip) is Ryan’s. He explains why this might be a better purchase than the product everyone knows by name.

“Girl don’t do it,” the stitched video begins with a woman’s hand reaching for a bottle of Bailey’s before it cuts to Big Bear walking through the aisle of a liquor store and speaking into the camera.

“Or do it, or don’t. Or if you wanna save 18 bucks—don’t do it,” he says. “When you’re at the liquor store shopping for Irish Cream you just pick up Bailey’s cause that’s what you do. It’s the name that everyone knows. It’s Bailey’s Irish Cream, the original.”

Big Bear then reveals his alternative and how much shoppers can save with it. “But if you’re on a budget I have an alternative to Bailey’s that’s gonna save you $18. That’s right, $18,” he says. “And that alternative is Ryan’s Irish Creme, and it sits on the shelf for about $12.”

The TikToker then says that despite the low price, it’s a comparable product to the classic Bailey’s.

“Now, before I get a bunch of hate in the comments, people saying it’s $12 for a reason… Yeah, I don’t know why it’s $12. ‘Cause they absolutely can sell this for more than $12,” he starts. “I mean all day long it should compete with Bailey’s. I just did a side-by-side taste comparison, and man, I…they’re both good products. Don’t get me wrong—Bailey’s, great product, I mean it’s the number one Irish Cream for a reason, but this? This is definitely up there. And then for the $18 savings, I guess I don’t know why you wouldn’t at least try this. And then I think you’re probably gonna be shocked like I was. Cheers.”

According to the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Bailey’s spent a considerable amount of resources (according to the outlet, a “billion dollars”) to try and figure out how to safely package and distribute Irish cream and whiskey into a single bottle for mass consumption. And while that doesn’t seem to be a verifiable number, the actual story of the drink’s conception is pretty fascinating—especially considering that when it debuted in 1973, its inventor wrote in a piece published to the Irish Times, that it was considered a “girly drink.”

Per the Saskatoon Phoenix, when it comes to Irish Cream, there is a proper alternative to the pioneering, name-brand liqueur everyone knows and loves: Ryan’s. “In any event, Ryan’s Cream is a product of Ireland, with that caramel creamy taste that Bailey lovers go nuts for. It will save you $10 over Bailey’s, which is a not an insignificant amount,” they penned in 2018.

The Spruce Eats also seems to agree with Big Bear’s assessment of Ryan’s Liqueur as a “budget” replacement for Bailey’s, but also lists Carolans as being the “best for cocktails” and the best “splurge” as Five Farms. The outlet maintains that Bailey’s still is the “best overall” if you’re looking for a cream liqueur.

Commenters who replied to Big Bear’s post began sharing their favorite Bailey’s alternatives. Unsurprisingly, a Costco offering was recommended by another user who wrote that they found a much more affordable dead ringer for the drink: “I buy Kirkland’s Irish Cream from Costco. Taste exactly like Bailey’s. 1.75 liter for $25.”

@bigbearwine Taste better and cheaper #irishcream #whiskey #liquor #liquorstore ♬ original sound – Asia Lin

Someone else penned, “I love Caroline’s. Cheap and delish.”

Another TikToker echoed the Costco recommendation, too: “Nope….goto Costco and snag a huge bottle for 13.99.”

One TikTok user thought that Bailey’s was significantly overpriced for what folks were getting: “Saint Brendan’s is really good too. There’s no reason Bailey’s needs to be that expensive though.”

And then there were those, like this person, who thought that the “dupe” was actually better than the OG version: “Caroline’s is better than baileys.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Bailey’s and Big Bear.

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*First Published: Mar 21, 2024, 2:00 pm CDT