In 1973, I invented a “girly drink” called Baileys

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Mac Macpherson, second-in-command at Gilbeys research laboratory in Harlow, Essex, and an unidentified colleague. He would develop the Baileys formula from the original prototype

My dinner-party party piece for many years was to say, “Well, actually, I invented Baileys. You know, Baileys Irish Cream. I did that back in 1973.”

If one of the unfortunate listening group is a woman – and this is based on actual past experience – she is likely to respond something like this: “Oh-my-God. Baileys. My mother absolutely adores it. Did you hear that, Jocasta? This man invented Baileys. It’s unreal. I don’t believe it. He must be terribly rich. Baileys Cream. Wow!”

And it’s not as if these rather posh people really adore Baileys. Or even hold it in the same esteem as, say, an obscure Islay single malt or a fine white burgundy from Meursault. Not a bit of it. They might have respected it years ago but most people of legal drinking age regard Baileys as a bit naff. To my mind, they’d be very wrong…

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