Last Updated on October 6, 2021 by Chef Mireille
Haitian Cremas Recipe is an eggless holiday drink required at Christmas time and all special occasions in Haiti It’s heavily spiced, decadently creamy and spiked with rum! This unique blend of spices, milk, and coconut create an eggnog with different flavors I can almost guarantee you haven’t had before. Once you try this, you’ll never go back to typical eggnog! Vegan variation also included.
If you are looking for festive drinks for the Christmas season, you’ve come to the right place.
Also spelled Kremas or Cremasse, this is one of the most popular Haitian drinks. Although especially popular during the holiday season, this eggless eggnog can be enjoyed at any time.
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 recipe. If you’d like to explore more into Haitian cuisine, don’t forget to check out these Haitian Recipes.
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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 Kuba… 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.
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.
Rum is a big part of Caribbean culture and finds its way into many Caribbean Recipes – 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 your Cremas Recipe with anything but Rhum Barbancourt, I’d be surprised if they are even willing to taste it. The flavor in our oak aged dark rum is something to be proud of, so I can see why we 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!
Now I don’t want to cast any shade against Eggnog or Puerto Rican Coquito, but I do want to mention a few reasons I think you might want to replace your eggnog with Haitian Cremas from this year forward!
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 (that pesky 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 it will still be full of flavor with all those spices.
Let’s go over some of the ingredients that may be new to you.
It still surprises me when I talk to people and I discover how many people have never tried anything made with star anise. For Haitians, this is a standard part of our spice closet, right next to the cinnamon sticks and nutmeg.
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 Haitian Cremas. In fact, I like the star anise to shine which is why I usually add both ground star anise and star anise extract.
Cream of Coconut
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!
Ingredients for Haitian Cremas Recipe
REMEMBER: Use ground spices for the instant method and whole spices for the traditional method.
- evaporated milk
- sweetened condensed milk
- cream of coconut
- star anise
- vanilla extract
- star anise extract
- lime juice
- Rhum Barbancourt (or available dark rum)
Now there are two ways to make Haitian Cremas. Although most people prefer the modern instant version, I am still going to show you the traditional version of Cremas as sometimes when I have the time, I prefer this method. The long time of the spices infusing really does result in awesome flavor that I’m not sure the ground spices do justice.
Step by Step Instructions to make Traditional Haitian Cremas Recipe
- The first step is to infuse the milk with the spices.
- In a saucepan, combine evaporated milk with 2 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick and 3 whole cloves.
- Heat milk until it is very warm just untill little bubbles start appearing at the perimeter, but DO NOT BOIL.
- Turn off heat and leave to cool. Keep in the refrigerator overnight for the spices to infuse the milk.
- The next day, strain evaporated milk and discard the spices.
- Continue with the recipe below as usual, omitting the ground spices.
How to make Instant Haitian Cremas Recipe
- Combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, cream of coconut with all of the spices and flavorings in a blender.
- Next we add our lime zest, lime juice and rum.
- Blend it all up until nice and creamy.
- Chill in glass bottles, .
- Serve garnished with freshly grated nutmeg.
Make it Vegan
- 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.
Haitian Food & Cuisine is one of the most explosive cuisines with every bite or sip creating explosive flavors. This holiday staple we call Cremas is no different. It is going to be so hard not to finish the whole bottle in one sitting.
From Christmas to New Year celebrations, Haitians would not even consider it a holiday without our traditional Eggless Egg Nog at this time of year. So are you ready to try the celebration drink of Haiti?
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
- 1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
- 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 15 oz. can cream of coconut
- 1 teaspoon ground star anise
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon star anise extract
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 cup Barbancourt rhum
- freshly grated nutmeg for garnish
- In a blender, combined evaporated milk with condensed milk, cream of coconut, star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves vanilla extract, star anise extract and lime juice.
- Blend until well mixed.
- Add rum and blend until mixed.
- Transfer to a glass bottle and chill for several hours.
- To serve, garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
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