Why cream liqueurs aren’t just for Christmas
CrEaM liqueurs in the autumn? To those of us who usually keep the likes of Baileys for that peculiar time between Christmas and new Year, it just sounds so wrong.
and yet, somehow, they taste so right. Whether it’s down to nostalgia for 1970s fashions or the creation of fabulous new flavours — including the likes of mango and avocado — cream liqueurs are enjoying a surge in popularity. Drinks website The Whisky Exchange reported a 150 per cent increase in sales in recent years.
They’re best served chilled on the rocks (pop glasses in the freezer for a few hours before serving for extra glamour) and are wonderful as a mid-afternoon cheeky tipple, perhaps alongside afternoon tea.
Or if you’d rather not drink them neat, they can be made into cocktails (particularly good for creative twists on Martini or White russians), added liberally to coffee or drizzled over ice cream.
Here, SUDI PIGOTT tries some of the latest creamy creations . . .
CHEERS TO A FRUITY BRITISH FAVOURITE
Rhubarb & Gin Cream (£12, 50cl, ocado.co.uk) a FRESH and very British approach to cream liqueurs created by Mike Carthy and Marcus Black by pairing cream with Harrogate’s award-winning Slingsby gin.
The sweet caramelised rhubarb notes on the aroma and palate develop well, though i expected more tartness and the finish feels slightly gloopy. However, it makes a great Shakin’ Stevens cocktail blended with vanilla ice cream, strawberry syrup and finished with blackberries. 3/5
A TASTE OF SICILY WITH A SERIOUS KICK
Bottega Pistachio (£17.99, 50cl, masterofmalt.com)
MADE from pistachios grown on the foothills of Mount Etna, this lactose-free liqueur is made by family- owned Distilleria Bottega and is a traditional Sicilian drink. Pistachios are crushed into a paste then mixed with grappa (a grape-based spirit made after wine production), water and sugar to create this innovative liqueur. Serve on the rocks or over ice-cream.
it’s velvety to drink, with a pistachio intensity on the nose and palate, combined with a definite grappa kick. it tastes balanced and has a divine depth of flavour. 5/5
SPICED TIPPLE THAT’S VEGAN FRIENDLY
Abacaty Avocado Cream Liqueur (£13.79, 50cl, thegeneralwine.co.uk) a DELICIOUS taste of the amazon based on a 17th- century recipe made by Brazilian natives of the rainforest. This modern, naturally vegan recipe uses avocados from Spain with rum and raw sugar.
Creamy with more texture than most liqueurs, i enjoyed the delicate vanilla and spice on the palate, plus the touch of pineapple and lime and rum notes. Even better, this drink is full of good fats and lower in calories than many cream liqueurs. 4/5
TROPICAL PARADISE IN A GLASS
Dead Man’s Finger Tequila Mango (£15, 70cl, thedropstore.com) a MORE ‘disruptive’ addition to the new crop of creams, Dead Man’s Finger liqueurs are made at The Crab & rum Shack in St ives, Cornwall, and named after the slang term for a crab’s lungs. Barrel-aged tequila reposado is mixed with tropical mango.
The tequila adds a sharpness and acidity most other cream liqueurs lack. Together with the tangy ripeness of the mango, it is concentrated, well-balanced and has a pleasing kick. 5/5
LACTOSE-FREE CITRUS TREAT
Amarula Vegan (£15, 70cl, waitrose.com) a NEW dairy-free twist on the South african liqueur made with marula fruit. These have a succulent citrus tang and a creamy, nutty taste.
There are gentle hints of caramel, vanilla and creamy coconut finished with distinctive notes of marula fruit and well-balanced alcohol. it is fairly sweet, but not cloying. This is the best of the cream liqueurs for those who are dairy-free. 5/5