When the holiday season arrives, there’s a Haitian tradition that steals the spotlight – Haitian Cremas, a celebration drink of Haiti. It’s more than just a creamy drink – it’s a delicious journey, combining sweetened condensed milk, coconut milk, and the warmth of Barbancourt rum.
WHAT IS HAITIAN CREMAS
Haitian Cremas, a classic alcoholic beverage in Haitian cuisine, is a creamy, sweet drink that combines the sweetened condensed milk, coconut milk, and the warmth of dark rum, the famous Barbancourt rum. Infused with hints of lime zest, ground cinnamon, and nutmeg, this classic holiday drink is a celebration in a glass, that captures the essence of the Caribbean islands. It’s a must-have during the Christmas time and special occasions, offering a taste of tradition and a sip of joy.
INGREDIENTS FOR HAITIAN CREMAS
- Sweetened condensed milk: The creamy sweetness forms the base of Haitian Cremas, providing a creamy texture and delicious taste.
- Coconut milk: Coconut milk adds a tropical touch to this Haitian festive drink.
- Dark rum (Rhum Barbancourt): The soul of Haitian Cremas, dark rum called Rhum Barbancourt, a renowned Haitian rum, lends an authentic touch to the drink.
- Evaporated milk: Enhancing the creaminess, evaporated milk balances the sweetness, creating a well-rounded flavor profile.
- Lime zest and juice: The zest of lime adds a fresh, citrusy note that beautifully complements other ingredients, while lime juice helps to thicken the cremas.
- Cinnamon and nutmeg: These warm spices introduce a comforting aroma perfect for cosy winter nights.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE HAITIAN CREMAS
Please note: This is just an overview – the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: Combining the creamy base. In a large bowl, blend sweetened condensed milk, coconut milk, and evaporated milk until fully incorporated.
Step 2: Adding flavor. Add vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg to the mixture. Add fresh lime juice, which not only adds flavor but also aids in thickening the cremas.
Step 3: Adding rum. Slowly pour in the Haitian rum, stirring continuously. The amount of rum can be adjusted based on your preference, allowing you to tailor the alcohol content to your liking.
Step 4: Bottling and chilling. Transfer the mixture into a 1-litre glass bottle using a funnel (it may not fill the whole bottle as this recipe makes around 750ml). Refrigerate the cremas for a few hours or, ideally, overnight. Before serving, mix the Haitian Cremas in a circular motion or give it a good shake to ensure a consistent blend of flavors.
Step 5: Serve and enjoy. Serve Haitian Cremas in small glasses or over ice. Top with lemon zest and cinnamon.
STORING AND FREEZING TIPS
If you want to enjoy Haitian Cremas for a longer period, it is best to store it in the refrigerator. To maintain its freshness and flavor, keep it tightly sealed in a glass bottle. Haitian Cremas is not suitable for freezing.
- Choice of rum: Invest in high-quality ingredients, especially rum. Choose Rhum Barbacourt if you want to achieve a taste of an authentic cremas recipe.
- Consistent stirring: Stir the mixture thoroughly at each step to ensure an even blending of flavors and prevent separation.
- Personalization: Adjust the amount of rum and citrus zest according to your taste preferences. Some enjoy a stronger rum flavor, while others prefer a subtle hint.
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Are there regional differences in Haitian Cremas?
Yes, there are several haitian kremas recipes, as regional variations exist, with some families adding unique ingredients like star anise or almond extract. These variations add a personal touch to the traditional recipe.
Can I use a different type of rum?
While Barbancourt is the classic choice, you can experiment with other dark rums. However, the distinct flavor of Barbancourt enhances the authenticity of the drink.
Is Haitian Cremas only for the holiday season?
While it’s a holiday staple, Haitian Cremas can be enjoyed year-round, especially during special occasions and celebrations.
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