Cremas, Haiti’s coconut Holiday drink

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.

A creamy coconut based drink, cremas is Haiti's official Holiday drink. Prepare it yourself with our easy recipe. |

Cremas, Haiti's Holiday coconut drink

Our cremas is kindered to Puerto-Rico's coquito. Though there are many flavors available nowadays, the traditional one is prepared with coconut milk. That is the recipe I share below.
Though I love mine at room temperature, some people like to serve it with an ice cube. Try both versions, and let me know what you think.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings 1 bottle


  • 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.
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  • Merci pour la recette. Je vais l’essayer.

  • Yannique

    Thank you Annick the crémas without coconut milk is not crémas nutmeg and zeste lemon green one. Le liqueur rouge I remember my grandmother used to do it every year to serve to some guesses. It’s easy extrait de grenadine at the local pharmacy, sirop de sucre and clairin ou alcohol

  • Missmo


  • Missmo

    Hello Annick. Vous n’avez toujours pas pu mettre la main sur la recette de la liqueur ?

    • annick

      Ah c’est vrai que je l’ai oubliée. Je vais poser la question à mes tantes. merci du rappel!

  • J’étais surprise aussi de constater l’an dernier que certains crémas ne contenaient pas de lait de coco. Pour moi c’est inconcevable. D’ailleurs, je suis d’avis de dire s’il n’y a pas de lait de coco c’est un vulgaire punch à base de lait et non notre crémas. J’aime bien aussi avec un peu de cannelle et surtout des zestes de citron. Une autre boisson de fête qui tend également à disparaître c’est la liqueur. J’en ai trouvé de toutes sortes de tout parfum sauf celle que j’ai connu, avec l’essence rouge. Ça fait tellement longtemps et les gens comme pour le crémas je pense font tellement différemment qu’ils ne comprenaient pas vraiment ce que je voulais. Merci d’essayer de conserver notre patrimoine, il ne doit pas disparaître.

    • annick

      Missmo tout à fait d’accord, sans coco pas de crémas.

      Merci de m’avoir rappelé la liqueur rouge, ma grand-mère en avait toujours une bouteille dans sa salle à manger. Je vais tenter de retracer la formule, si je la trouve je la partagerai bien sûr avec vous.

  • paul

    Certains remplacent le rhum blanc par du vodka .

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