In last week's post, I mentioned that I don't know my wine, and to be fair, I'm not much a connoisseur of alcohol in general. However, there is one special Haitian beverage that I think deserves a post.
It's called Kremas in Haitian Creole, and it's a decadent, rich, sweet adult beverage similar to eggnog. When I was younger, it was very rare to see a bottle of Kremas, and maybe because of this, it was doled out in extremely small quantities. At best, you were going to get half a shot glass, and there would be no seconds. It would come out of someone’s fridge (or cupboard) in an unlabeled bottle.
I'd say that Kremas was even rarer than the elusive Haitian cake. The first time I tried it, however, I definitely wanted to be able to go back for more. Why would we be so stingy with such greatness?
I couldn't find anyone who knew how to make it, personally, but I once again took to the internet to see if I could find a recipe.
The first time I made this, I remember the shock on people's faces: "Wait, where did you get a bottle???" they cried. When I proudly pronounced that I had made it, the reactions were priceless. Yes, friends, somewhere out there, people are writing these things down, and I have joined their ranks.
It’s a pretty simple recipe, and there are also many variations out there. When I found a recipe that looked promising, my biggest challenge was finding a container large enough to mix it in. As with most Haitian cuisine, the recipe was apparently designed to share. Even for me, this was a little too much, so I’ve scaled it down (and made other slight modifications). If you’re planning on sharing a bottle, this recipe can also be scaled up so that you have more to share. I also highly suggest either purchasing a glass bottle to store it in or using an old wine bottle (those wasted bottles of White Zinfandel did finally come in handy!).
The beauty of learning how to make this is that I no longer have to wait for someone else's special occasion to bring this out, and it no longer has to be served in thimbles. Granted, I wouldn’t suggest drinking a whole cup (it is a little rich), but you should at least give your guests an opportunity to really taste and enjoy it.
I usually serve this along with dessert as I think it goes best with Haitian cake, but sometimes I’ll serve it alone if the mood is right.
Kremas (Haitian Eggnog)
Ingredients: 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk 2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk ½ 15-ounce can cream of coconut 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ½ teaspoon almond extract 3 anise stars ½ teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg ½ lime (for zest and juice) 1/3 bottle dark rum (or to taste)
Directions: 1. Mix all ingredients in a large pitcher. 2. Strain and pour into bottles using a funnel.