Pocket Flask: Baileys nails the "natural-flavour" part of the equation with its authentic-tasting Apple Pie

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      As a valuable public service, we crack open spirits from B.C. to Bahrain and beyond, and then give you a highly opinionated, pocket-flask-sized review.

      Today’s free pour

      Baileys Apple Pie

      Their words

      “Apple Pie is a timeless dessert, loved broadly across America for its heartwarming, nostalgic taste. This fall, Baileys invites you to gather round friends and enjoy the taste of freshly baked Apple Pie a la mode blended with Irish dairy cream. Baileys Apple Pie is the perfect autumn treat to enjoy as a drink over ice, in chai tea, and over ice cream—a classic flavor for a modern Adult treat.”

      Tasting notes

      There’s a proverb dating back to ancient times—the 1970s, in case you’re curious—that goes “If ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”. (For the curious, variations on that proverb include “Leave well enough alone” and “Never change a running system,”, both of which are shorthand for, according to ye olde Wiktionary, “Leave something alone; avoid attempting to correct, fix, or improve what is already sufficient (often with an implication that the attempted improvement is risky and might backfire).”

      That proverb is obviously not pasted on a wall at the Baileys Irish Cream distilleries in Ireland. When first unleashed on the world back in 1971, Baileys came in one flavour—cream, Irish whiskey, and cocoa. Sometime in the early 2000s the experimenting began, starting with mint chocolate and crème caramel varietals in 2005, followed by offerings that have riffed on everything from coffee, hazelnut, and biscotti, to vanilla-cinnamon, red-velvet cupcake, caffe latte, pumpkin spice, and salted caramel.

      The great thing about Baileys Apple Pie is that it actually smells like fresh cut apples. Or maybe that’s freshly baked apple pie just like Mom because that’s used to make—assuming, that is, that your mother actually baked, as opposed to loading up once a week at Costco. Drink it straight and the apples are front and centre, to the point where you’ll start thinking of summers in the orchards of the Okanagan rather than fall monsoons in waterlogged Greater Vancouver. Whether real or imagined, the very mention of apple pie brings up vivid associations—cinnamon sticks and fresh ginger also make a fleeting appearance.

      Making one think that there’s some truth to the “Natural flavor” listing in the ingredients, Baileys Apple Pie legitimately tastes like something created in a cozy kitchen in rural Ireland—as opposed to something whipped up by a team of white-coated flavourists in a Riverside, California lab. Added bonus: in re-creating the taste of all-American apple pie, they wisely decided that the last thing anyone wanted was a slice of melted cheddar cheese on top.

      Cocktail Time

      Just because you can drink Baileys Apple Pie straight or in a coffee, or drizzle it on a slice of pie, that doesn’t mean you have to. Instead get adventurous with this recipe from celebrated Instagram food-content creator Abhishek Dekate.

      Cardamom-Spiced Baileys Apple Pie Martini

      1 oz. Baileys Apple Pie
      1 oz. vodka
      3/4 oz. cardamom simple syrup
      Cinnamon sugar rim
      Whipped cream
      Cinnamon sticks

      Combine Baileys Apple Pie, vodka and cardamom simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Shake, strain, garnish, and enjoy.