Crémasse

Cremas
…And #11: He was recently burned and isn’t ready to jump back into the fire. I will miss him.

Although slated for Thanksgiving, I made this a few days early – an efficacious mood adjuster and ideal remedy for a dating disappointment. It’s not nicknamed “The Happymaker” for nothing.


Crémasse

Similar to eggnog, but flavored with coconut, lime and almond,  this Haitian holiday beverage is traditionally served on New Year’s day.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 liter dark or spiced rum*
  • 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 15 oz. cream of coconut (not coconut milk)
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of two limes

Directions

  1. Combine sugar, cinnamon sticks and water in a saucepan and place on low heat. Allow sugar to fully dissolve and make a simple syrup. Remove from heat and cool.
  2. Whisk rum into cooled syrup. Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk and coconut cream. Vigorously whisk milk mixture into rum in a steady stream to avoid curdling. Add extracts, spices, and zest. Set aside of two hours to allow flavors to meld.
  3. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Pour into glasses, garnish with additional nutmeg and serve. Cremasse can be served cold or room temperature – I prefer it cold.

*Dark rum allows the almond extract flavor to come through while spiced rum compliments the cinnamon and nutmeg.

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The Happy Maker

Cremasse - Let the festivities begin

Cremasse – Let the festivities begin

In the early 1990’s, my recipe for mulled wine, quickly dubbed ‘moldy wine’ by my brother, became a Christmas Eve tradition. This was soon followed by a recipe in 1992 for hot butter rum, nicknamed hot bubba, made with a vanilla ice cream base. For the next 20 years, tradition necessitated a mug of moldy wine before appetizers followed by hot bubba after dinner with the cookie tray.

Last year, the firm where I work produced a “Holiday Cheer Guide” of employee family recipes. After hastily skimming the guide, it was headed for the trash – no need for for Aunt Edna’s fudge recipe or Mom’s secret ambrosia salad – when I happened upon a coworker’s recipe for Cremasse, a traditional celebratory beverage from Haiti. This was something I wanted to taste!

Within one evening, Cremasse (a.k.a. The Happy Maker) has usurped both hot bubba and moldy wine as our festive holiday cocktail of choice. At first sip, I knew this was no sissy’s drink and must be consumed slowly and judiciously, but surprisingly (or maybe not so surprising), the carafe was entirely drained within a few hours.

Cremasse – The Happy Maker

1 L.         dark or spiced rum**
2 c.         sugar
¼ c.        water
3              cinnamon sticks
14 oz.    sweetened condensed milk
12 oz.    evaporated milk
15 oz.    cream of coconut
2 T.         vanilla extract
1 T.         almond extract
1 t.          ground nutmeg
1 t.          ground cinnamon
1 t.          salt
Zest of two limes

Combine sugar, cinnamon sticks and water in a saucepan and place on low heat. Allow sugar to fully dissolve and make a simple syrup. Remove from heat and cool.

Whisk rum into cooled syrup. Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk and coconut cream. Vigorously whisk milk mixture into rum in a steady stream to avoid curdling. Add extracts, spices, and zest. Set aside of two hours to allow flavors to meld. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Pour into glasses, garnish with nutmeg and serve. Cremasse can be served cold or room temperature – I prefer it cold.

**dark rum allowed the almond to come through while spiced complimented the cinnamon and nutmeg

Time for sleep

Time for sleep