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From cocktails to desserts, here’s why cream liqueur needs to be given greater attention

Cream liqueur is experiencing renewed growth in South Africa. Picture: Supplied

Cream liqueur is experiencing renewed growth in South Africa. Picture: Supplied

Published Jan 20, 2022


Cream liqueur is experiencing renewed growth in South Africa, driven by increased interest by consumers, particularly millennials.

This has been evident through social media over the holiday season when consumers did not shy away from showing off their cream liqueur concoctions. Just like how champagne popped during the festive season – cream liqueur also had its moment.

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Cream liqueurs can be described as fruit- or other flavoured alcoholic beverages that have been blended with fresh dairy cream to produce a liquid that is creamy and velvety in texture. Also, the drink does not require a mixer to consume.

It can be consumed straight out of the bottle or chilled. According to research, a cream liqueur involves dairy cream as an ingredient and has enough alcohol in it to inhibit any microbial growth in the dairy.

Research reveals these liqueurs can last for years, even when they have been opened, as long as they are stored correctly.

The category of cream liqueurs has become populated with a variety of interesting brands since the world was introduced to Baileys Irish Cream.

Made by Diageo, Baileys invested heavily in recent years to change the perception of the beverage being only a seasonal product with marketing focused on new recipes, cocktail or coffee mix options creating daily consumption opportunities for after lunch or dinner and on after work occasions.

Other brands that are currently making waves in the market include Wild Africa Cream Liqueur, Amarula Cream and Magnum Cream Liqueur.

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Why do we need to give these cream liqueurs greater attention?

Cream liqueurs are a great way for people to enjoy alcohol responsibly.

They are sweet and they make amazing cocktails and they can even be used to prepare food.

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They generally have cream and spirits as part of their ingredients.

As the variety of cream liqueur brands and styles has grown, so have cocktails that feature them.

For a long time, cream liqueurs were downgraded to cheap shots but now consumers are discovering ways in which these liqueurs can complement thoughtfully made products.

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Adult hot chocolate. Picture: Supplied

A cocktail you can try: Adult hot chocolate

What’s not to love about hot chocolate, no matter the weather? It’s the one warm drink one can easily add a touch of zing to with your favourite alcohol.

It’s pretty basic. Make a cup of rich hot chocolate, whichever way you like it.

Then add a shot (or two) of the following alcoholic options for a change from your usual brandy or rum.

Peppermint liqueur

Kahlúa liqueur

Frangelico liqueur

Cream liqueurs: Amarula, Cape Velvet or Baileys

Note: If you don’t have heat-proof glasses, you can prevent normal glasses from cracking by placing them in warm water for a few moments before filling them with the hot liquid.

Cream liqueurs are also fun because you can easily explore dessert flavours like ice cream and crème brûlée – no pastry chef skills are required.

White chocolate and Amarula mousse. Picture: Antoine De Ras

A dessert you can try: White chocolate and Amarula mousse


Serves: 6-8

6 egg yolks

80ml castor sugar

375ml milk

200g slab of white chocolate

80ml Amarula liqueur

15ml gelatine

30ml water

250ml cream, whipped


2 egg whites

75g flour

50g castor sugar


Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and beat with an electric beater until thick and pale.

Heat milk in a saucepan until just below boiling point.

Pour the hot milk into the egg mixture and beat to combine.

Return the mixture to the saucepan and stir over medium heat until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.

Strain the mixture into a bowl and add the chocolate. Stir until smooth. Add the Amarula.

Sprinkle the gelatine over the water and stand until it is absorbed. Dissolve in the microwave for 10 seconds on full power.

Add this to the chocolate mixture. Allow cooling completely.

Fold in the whipped cream and spoon the mixture into smaller serving glasses or one large bowl. Refrigerate until set.

Decorate with chocolate curls and a biscuit tuile.

Tuile biscuit: Mix all the ingredients to make a smooth paste.

Spread spoonfuls of mixture onto a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper.

Bake at 180°C for about 8 minutes until pale golden brown.

Remove from the oven and carefully lift the biscuit with a palette knife and lay it on a rolling pin to cool.

Another drink that is perhaps the most common ingredient to mix with cream liqueur is coffee.

White Russian. Picture: Supplied

A coffee drink you can try: White Russian


60ml cold brew coffee

30ml vodka

30ml cream liqueur

15ml coffee liqueur

2-3 ice cubes

Garnish (optional)


Mix all the ingredients, shake vigorously and strain over fresh ice. Garnish.

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