Cream Liqueur Drink Lab

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We’ve collected a number of different cream liqueurs in our travels and decided to taste five of them back to back in drink lab. Our samples include Original Bailey’s Irish Cream, Caruva Horchata Cream, RumChata, Crisma, and 1921 Crema de Tequila.

Caruva and RumChata are both examples of horchata. Originating in Spain, variations of horchata have become popular throughout Latin America. The recipes for Caruva and RumChata are Mexican-inspired, using a milk base, Caribbean rum, and flavored with cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar. RumChata touts the use of the finest dairy cream from Wisconsin and it is indeed, very creamy in taste and texture. While the flavor of RumChata is boldly flavored with cinnamon and spice, Caruva accentuates its rum component and lets the cinnamon take a back seat. The alcohol content of most horchatas runs about 12%.

We first tried Crisma in the Caribbean when it was substituted for Bailey’s. Crisma is made with aged Barbados rum which is reflected in the dark, rich color of this rum cream. Flavors of creamy caramel end with a cocoa finish. Bailey’s is made with premium Irish dairy cream and whiskey, flavored with natural cocoa extracts. Although Crisma and Bailey’s both come in at 17% alcohol, the whiskey in Bailey’s provides an edgy, alcohol burn. Crisma goes down quietly while Bailey’s bites back.

I must admit that it was the attractive bottle that inspired us to buy 1921. In this cream tequila, agave spice and white chocolate flavors are added to blanco tequila and cream. Our first impression of 1921 was far from love at first taste; it was pretty awful. Once chilled, it became a little more palatable, revealing a hint of coffee flavor. 1921 is noticeably less sweet than the rest of the creams in the lab.

What’s your favorite cream liqueur?

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