As I commit these words to paper at 7:00 in the morning, I can’t help but think of the fact that I am vicariously consuming alcohol at 7:00 in the morning.
But you know what, it is the Holiday season, the season to be jolly. So, even if I tried to, I couldn’t avoid this favorite Haitian Holiday drink. It symbolizes the most wonderful time of the year.
A rich and creamy coconut beverage enhanced with sweet spices, cremas is the drink they let you sip on as a kid. The drink you could actually sample in your own glass. It was probably a fourth of a shot glass but still, it was a glass you could hold in your hands for a change.
There is no Christmas in Haiti, or at least at my house, without a bottle of cremas, even when we may not drink it all.
Growing up, my parents would always bring a bottle home around this time of the year. It was almost always homemade, and from a colleague or an acquaintance. We thus never really prepared our own bottle until a couple of years ago when we came to realize that fewer and fewer people were preparing it with coconut.
Unfortunately, today, this Holiday favorite has become just a creamy flavored drink for many. Various cremas flavors are now available on the market these days, to such a point that some don’t even know it should taste like coconut. It surprises me each time people give me a puzzled look as I tell them that cremas should have so much coconut that it thickens overtime and can even clog the bottle. That is the cremas I grew up with, the coconut milk-flavored beverage my parents used to bring home. And the one, which recipe I share below.
At the risk of repeating myself, I will say it again. The authentic cremas I know of is made with coconut.
So next time you receive a bottle of cremas, check its thickness. If it nearly clogs the bottle, then you got your hands on some authentic Haitian cremas.
Cremas, Haiti's Holiday coconut drink
- 1 cup of coconut milk
- 1 cup of evaporated milk
- 2 cups of sweet condensed milk
- 1 cup of white rum
- Nutmeg to taste
- Mix all the ingredients and add some nutmeg to taste
- Keep in a glass bottle for a couple of days to allow the flavors to develop making sure to shake the bottle from time to time to avoid the coconut deposit which might clog the bottle
- Serve as is at room temperature.