Haitian Cremas

October 27, 2020


The holidays call for drinks you can sip slowly with your family. This Haitian cremas is just that.

This sweet and creamy drink flavored with spices is just what you need to entertain your guests while spending some holiday time.

Two glasses filled with ice and cremas poured out

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Christmas time in the Caribbean is a very festive time.

All the islands are filled with a lot of traditions that also includes the food we make that are associated with that time of the year.

Cremas is the traditional Haitian drink they enjoy at the holiday time.

It is a sweet drink that is creamy and smooth. It is a blend of condensed milk, coconut cream, simple syrup, and spices.

There is nothing like a good drink with family.

A lot of the islands have their own drink that is enjoyed around Christmas time.

And a lot of the drinks, are a bit common across the islands.

It may have a different name and various different processes of making.

Haitian cremas or kremas or cremasse, is the Christmas drink that belongs to Haiti. And it packs its weight in delicious creamy liquor drinks categories.






What is cremas? Or kremas or cremasse


As I mentioned initially, cremas is a creamy drink. It is also sweet and thick. Kind of like a thick milkshake.

The base of this sweet drink is cream of coconut, evaporated milk, condensed milk, and some rum. It is also spiced up with additional flavorings of extract, nutmeg, cinnamon.

The color can vary depending on what color rum is used. So don’t be alarmed if you may see some with an off-white color or even down to beige.

Traditionally the rum used for this is Rhum barbancourt, but any dark rum can be used. I even know some people use white rum instead.

Popularly served at Christmas time and at other important social events, cremas is very similar to ponche de creme from Trinidad and Tobago. I think it is thinner in consistency than ponche de creme though.

It is also a cousin to Puerto Rican coquito.

People usually say that it’s such a sweet drink that it should be consumed in small amounts. Ha. Just throw some ice in there.
  
2 filled glasses of ice and cremas and rum bottle in the background

How to make cremas


Methods of making this drink can vary from person to person. The ingredients are usually very close. But the process is basically mixing all your ingredients together to make a combined, flavor-filled drink.

The ingredients you will need are:

  • Rum. I used dark rum. Actually used rhum barbancourt
  • Granulated sugar
  • Water
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Condensed milk
  • Evaporated milk
  • Cream of coconut
  • Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla extract
  • Lime zest
  
   
All the ingredients needed for making cremas


For mine, I made a simple syrup. The sugar blends in better this way. You don’t have lumps of sugar since it’s already dissolved in the process of making the syrup.

Once that syrup is made and cooled it is just mixing in the rum, the milks, and coconut cream. But make sure you are adding them in with a steady flow since we want it to be smooth.

After that, it’s time to add in the additional spices.

Once combined, I like to leave it to sit for a few hours before that first taste so that all the flavors can really mesh together.

Storage Options


How long does kremas (cremas) last?

My mom would tell you the safest place to store anything when in doubt, is in the fridge.

Cremas can be stored in a cool place once not opened and serving. And can be there for up to two years.

There is enough alcohol in it to save the milk, don’t worry.

It can also be stored in the refrigerator. It can go there from initial making or it can go there after you’ve started using it continuously.

Storing it in the fridge obviously gives it a longer shelf life.

In the fridge though, make sure you are not opening and closing the bottle too often. Or letting it experience too many temperature changes. It can solidify with constant temperature adjustments.

So the safest process is to serve and immediately return any leftovers to the fridge.

I have never had mine get solid so I am not sure if there is any way to salvage it. I think I would personally discard if I had this experience. If anyone knows what can be done let me know.

Regardless of where you store it, I suggest giving the bottle a good shake before pouring. Sometimes it gets clumpy from sitting. This is because of the coconut cream.
   
A glass of ice being filled with a stream of cremas while another glass with ice in background

What to accompany this drink

Though it’s quite easy to have some cremas on its own. Either on ice or at room temperature.

It is also commonly paired with some type of dessert or sweet pastry of some sort.

Like Pain Patate or plantain bread. But you can also indulge in some coconut bread pudding or pone along with a glass.

I love cremas over ice. And I really don’t need to pair it with any dessert. It’s the perfect nightcap. Strong and sweet.

    
Close up of a frosted glass of ice filled with cremas


If you are looking for some other Caribbean Christmas drinks, here are a few of my favorites:

Ginger beer
Pumpkin ponche de creme
Mauby








Haitian cremas, kremas, cremasse, Caribbean christmas drinks
Beverages, drinks
Caribbean
Yield: 13
Author: Renz
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Haitian Kremas

Haitian Kremas

A sweet and creamy alcoholic drink popular in Haiti. Made with creamed coconut, condensed milk, rum, and spices.
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 10 MinTotal time: 15 Min

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle of dark rum (I used rhum barbancourt)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 can condensed milk, 14 ounce
  • 1 can evaporated milk, 12 ounce
  • 1 can cream of coconut, 15 oz
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • Zest of 2 limes

Instructions

  1. Add granulated sugar to a saucepan. Add water and place it on med heat.
  2. Add cinnamon sticks and allow sugar to dissolve stirring occasionally. 
  3. Keep your eye on it and do not let the sugar get brown.
  4. When simple syrup forms, remove from heat and carefully pour into a large glass bowl, and set to cool.
  5. With syrup cooled, carefully whisk in alcohol. 
  6. Once both are combined, whisk in the kinds of milk (condensed, evaporation, and coconut cream). Make sure to pour them in a steady stream while mixing.
  7. Add nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla extract and set aside.
  8. After a couple of hours so that flavors combined, strain the mixture.
  9. Serve over ice or at room temperature.
  10. Store in airtight containers (you can use the rum bottle or mason jars)
  11. Store in the fridge for the longest 
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One glass filled with ice and cremas and another glass filled with ice only. And title of image on top to be pinned

Renz HomeMadeZagat
Renz HomeMadeZagat

Hi guys, I’m Renz. I am the chief cook and bottle washer here at HomeMadeZagat. I am here sharing Caribbean recipes that I grew up eating and new ones I’ve fallen in love with over the years. I just want to showcase the amazing diversity of Caribbean food and that everyone can recreate these dishes.

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