Delicious Kremas: Haiti’s Holiday Drink with Rum – aka Cremas or Cremasse

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Last Updated on April 13, 2021 by Chef Mireille

Kremas: Haiti’s Creamy & Delicious Egg-Free Eggnog – Also called Cremas… This egg-free holiday drink is well known in Haiti… it’s heavily spiced, decadently creamy and spiked with rum! Once you try this, you’ll never go back to typical eggnog! Vegan variation also included.

Also spelled Cremas or Cremasse, this is one of the most popular Haitian drinks. Although especially popular during the holiday season, it can be enjoyed at any time.

If you’d like to explore more into Haitian cuisine, check out these Haitian Recipes.

Kremas (Cremas) - Haitian Eggless Eggnog

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Table Of Contents

Many cultures throughout the world commonly enjoy milky holiday beverages that are often enhanced with the addition of alcohol.

Here in the U.S. we have Eggnog, Puerto Rico has Coquito, Turkey has Sahlep, and Chile has Cola de Mono.

In my mother’s country of Aruba, we have Ponche Crema or Ponche Creme… a drink most typically served during the holidays in most of the Caribbean islands (except for Puerto Rico). You can find flavored varieties like Pistachio in most liquor stores, even here in America.

However, in my father’s country of Haiti, we celebrate with Kremas – sometimes spelled as Cremas or Cremasse. Haitian Kremas is our version of a spiked egg-free eggnog, deliciously creamy but not your typical nog.

Unless you are Caribbean or make lots of Pina Colada, cream of coconut may be an unfamiliar product to you. It is basically coconut cream (the thick coconut milk which rises to the top) mixed with lots of sugar until it has an almost syrup like consistency.

Here’s an instant home made version you can make yourself if cream of coconut is not available where you live. I haven’t tried it myself so I can’t vouch for the results, but give it a whirl!

Which Rum Should I Use?

Rum is the most popular alcoholic beverage in the Caribbean, as I’m sure you know. Since we grow a lot of sugarcane, it is the least expensive alcohol to produce so just about every island has a local rum production industry. Each island will swear that theirs is the best.; try telling a Trini that there is any rum better than Angostura and get ready for a fight! In Jamaica, it is Appleton or Myer’s Dark.

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Rum is a big part of Caribbean culture – Rum Punch, Rum-based cocktails and many desserts like Black Cake often have rum as the star.

Haiti is no different. If you tell a Haitian person, you made Kremas with anything but Rhum Barbancourt, I’d be surprised if they are even willing to taste it. The flavor in their oak aged rum is something to be proud of, so I can see why they are so particular.

All it takes is just a few ingredients and spices whipped up together in a blender with your favorite rum… Kremas is so quick and easy to put together!

ingredients for Haitian Kremas Drinks recipe

Now I don’t want to cast any shade against Eggnog or Coquito, but I do want to mention a few reasons I think you might want to replace your eggnog with Kremas (Cremas) – Haitian Eggless Eggnog from this year forward!

Haitian Creams Drink Recipe

5 Reasons to Replace your Eggnog with Kremas

  • It’s DELICIOUS!!!
  • Some people are allergic to eggs.
  • Some people don’t like to consume raw eggs (Ew… Salmonella).
  • Some Vegetarians/Vegans don’t eat eggs.
  • Did I mention how DELICIOUS it is!?

If you prefer not to drink alcohol, feel free to make it alcohol-free since it’s still delicious without the rum. It won’t be authentic Haitian Kremas but that’s ok!

Star Anise

Star Anise is a spice that permeates Haitian cuisine. It is used in everything from drinks and desserts to meat stews and sometimes even in Sauce Pois. While the other spices can be customized by preference, star anise is required for Kremas. In fact, I like the star anise to shine which is why I usually don’t add vanilla extract or almond extract. I have listed them as optional ingredients below as many people include it in Kremas. But I think sometimes less is more so that the flavor of the individual spices can be better appreciated.

Variations

  • For an instant version, omit steps 1-5 and instead use ground spices.
  • Add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground star anise and 1/4 teaspoon ground clove.
  • Make it Vegan by replacing the evaporated milk with coconut milk or evaporated coconut milk and replacing sweetened condensed milk with sweetened condensed coconut milk.
READ  Aruban Pan Bati (Smash Bread) - Antillean Cornmeal Pancakes

Although I present food from around the world on this blog, I am half Haitian so I do have a little bias towards Haitian cuisine. Would you like to try some other Haitian foods? Here are some other Haitian recipes to compliment your Kremas.

Haitian Recipes

  • Pate – Haitian Salted Cod Pastries
  • Soup Jou Mou – Haitian Pumpkin Soup with Meat – made every New Years Day to celebrate our Independence Day, which falls on the same day
  • Djon Djon – Haitian Black Rice
  • Banane Peze – Haitian Tostones (Green Plantain Fritters)
  • Pain Mais – Haitian Cornbread

Oh and by the way, this is a little off topic but some trivia you might be interested in… Did you know that it was a regiment from Haiti, the world’s first independent black nation, that helped America hold onto Savannah during the American Revolution against the British? There is a statue in dedication to Haiti, located in Savannah – You might want to check out my Savannah travel post here to find out more about it!

Haiti gets a lot of bad press, but it is a beautiful vacation island with gorgeous beaches and a vibrant culture. Check out more of what you can eat and experience when you visit Haiti in What to Eat in Haiti.

Haitian Cremas Recipe
Kremas (Cremas) - Haitian Eggless Eggnog
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Kremas (Cremas) – Haitian Eggless Eggnog

Kremas is the Haitian version of eggnog without eggs – heavily spiced with star anise, cloves and cinnamon.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: beverages
Cuisine: Caribbean
Servings: 12
Calories: 369kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 12 oz. can evaporated milk use coconut milk to make it Vegan
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk use sweetened condensed coconut milk to make it Vegan
  • 1 15 oz. can cream of coconut
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract optional
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract optional
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 cup Barbancourt rum
  • freshly grated nutmeg for garnish

Instructions

  • In a saucepan, combine evaporated milk with star anise, cinnamon and cloves.
  • Heat milk until it is very warm, just till little bubbles start appearing at the perimeter, but DO NOT BOIL.
  • Turn off heat and leave for at least one hour. SEE NOTE
  • Strain evaporated milk and discard the spices.
  • In a blender, combined spiced evaporated milk with condensed milk, cream of coconut, vanilla extract, almond extract, lime zest and lime juice.
  • Blend until well mixed.
  • Add rum and blend until mixed.
  • Transfer to a bottle and chill for several hours.
  • To serve, garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Notes

It is preferable to put the evaporated milk with the spices in the refrigerator overnight, after you simmer it. By letting the spices infuse overnight, your kremas will be much more flavorful.
If you do this overnight methodology, it is so flavorful that the vanilla and almond extract is not necessary. However if you are doing the quick method, then I would add it.
  • For an instant version, omit steps 1-5 and instead use ground spices.
  • Add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground star anise and 1/4 teaspoon ground clove.
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Nutrition

Calories: 369kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 97mg | Potassium: 225mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 168IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 185mg | Iron: 1mg
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About Chef Mireille

CHEF MIREILLE - AUTHOR, RECIPE DEVELOPER AND PHOTOGRAPHER FOR Global Kitchen Travels
***
Chef Mireille is a NYC based freelance chef instructor and food photographer. Due to her very diverse family background, she was able to travel and learn about global cultures and flavors from a young age. Her passion for culture, cooking, history and education had made her an expert on developing traditional globally inspired recipes & delicious fusion cuisine.
Her extensive travel history provides a plethora of background information and Travel Tips!

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Gloria

    Well we do love EGGNOG, but I love a great Pina Colada….and coconut milk. The condensed milk will get the attention of my hubby. He LOVES that stuff. Sounds like a fun drink to try for the holidays.

  2. Bev

    OMG! This sounds fantastic. Thank you for being so detailed in your post – I learned so much and am now way more curious about what other delicious foods I’ve been mission out on.

    • Chef Mireille

      thank you – I am so glad you are open to trying new foods – I love learning about other cultures and foods and love people who share my passion 🙂 – thanks for appreciating a little bit of my culture!

  3. Karyl Henry

    I’ve never been a big eggnog person, because of the egg. So I’m loving this version! And anything with condensed milk, I’m all over that…my favorite part of my mom baking when I was a kid, was her letting me eat the last of the condensed milk from the can 🙂

  4. Amanda

    I love all the warm spices you have going on in this drink. Couple that with the sweet, creamy base and I know I’d love this drink. Can’t wait to try it over the holidays!

  5. Stine Mari

    I don’t think of star anise as something Caribbean, I learn something new everyday! This eggless eggnog sounds fabulous and with just the right amount of spice.

  6. Krista Price

    Eggnog isn’t for everyone, so this sounds like it would be the perfect variation of a holiday classic that more people can enjoy. I’m looking forward to sharing this with my family on Christmas. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Aline Shaw

    OMG!! I have to try this, and go find out if Brazil has a version of this too – sounds like a lot of Caribbean countries have their own “eggnog-type” of holiday drink… I gotta call my mom and find out!! aahaha Can’t wait to try this xx

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