I like to make as much in-house at my bars as possible, out-sourcing only when it makes sense to with regards to time and quality. For example, I am still often asked if I make my own bitters. When I first started and the only bitters I could get my hands on were Angostura, Pey
hcaud’s and Regan’s Orange, so it made sense to invest the time and energy to extract flavors over weeks or months to get a desired, but not always consistent, bitter. However, with so many quality bitters readily available on the market these days, it doesn’t always make sense to produce my own.
One thing I do enjoy making, as I can really make it my own “house-style” and impress guests, is a rum cream. This would be served in place of Bailey’s, for example. Adding fresh dairy to base spirits dates back over a hundred years and is most common with Irish and Scotch whiskies. The field is fairly large and is surprisingly still growing and, if done correctly, can satisfy the kid in all of us adult drinkers.
But with the basic outline below, you can develop your own house style of cream liqueur using any base spirit such as a whiskey, tequila, brandy, rum or a combination of spirits. I prefer a rum cream as I can layer different flavors of sugar cane distillate in the cream liqueur.
Just a few words of caution; The cream liqueur should have a bit of a kick to it, but it is very easy to make it too boozy, so hold back a bit on the base spirit. The fresher the creams and eggs, the better, but this does have a fairly short shelf life, less than a month, so make just as much as you need. An emulsifier or binder is needed to prevent separation, just a small amount. I use xanthan gum, but feel free to use your preference.
Rum Cream Liqueur
On hands Time: 20 Minutes
Total Prep Time 1 Day
Yield: 1.5 quarts
4 cup Measuring cup
Cambro or Deli Containers
4 oz Flor de Cana Amber
4 oz El Dorado 5 Year
2 oz Blackwell or other 80proof Jamaican rum
4 oz heavy cream
4 oz half and half
4 oz cold, filtered water
16 oz sweetened condensed milk
¼ teaspoon coffee, espresso or coconut extract
1/2 vanilla bean scraped (seeds only)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon Xanthan Gum
4 whole eggs
As the sweetened condensed milk is fairly thick, I just like to add it directly to the blender container rather than pour into a measuring cup first. I use the graduated markings on the blender to measure the non-alcohol liquid ingredients, just pouring them on top of each other, but make sure the measurement lines on the blender are accurate first.
In a blender add 16 oz Sweetened condensed milk
Measure out 4 oz each heavy cream and half & half and add to blender
Scrape out the beans from half of a vanilla bean and add to the blender
Add the extracts. The vanilla is standard but experiment with a second type of extract such as a coffee, espresso, coconut or almond extract.
Crack 4 eggs into a separate container, such as a deli or measuring cup, then add to the blender.
Measure out the rums in a measuring cup and hold aside.
Turn blender on at a low speed and then gradually increase to a medium-high speed. Allow to blend for about 30 seconds.
Very slowly add the rum to the blender and allow to blend for 2 minutes.
Very gradually add the xanthum gum to the blender and again allow to blend for an additional 2 minutes.
As the time in the blender can heat up the ingredients, I will pour the liquid into a cambro and then place in an ice bath for 15 minutes or so. I honestly prefer the flavor after it has had a day to sit in the refrigerator to chill and mingle.
** Bottle and Label
** Will last one month