One might find it hard to believe, but most cream-based cocktails can trace their origin back to a need to cover the taste of low quality black market liquor.
It was during the 1920s — during the prohibition — that cream-based blends first came into practice. The world, however, has come a long way from there. What was once a dubious measure is now a much sought after option.
Cream-based cocktails have become a mark of sophistication, which require some deft techniques to ensure that perfect taste and texture. A little mistake here and there might result in a blend that is cloyingly sweet or a little too rich for your liking.
Commonly, these are not the kind of cocktails that’d be your first choice to order at a bar. In fact, many still look at them as a dessert supplement. Think a rich milkshake, spiked with alcohol for that added kick. One can always experiment with ingredients that blend well with milk such as coffee, caramel, chocolates — the list is long and sinful.
Holiday drinks such as eggnog, the traditional Tom and Jerry, and of course, everyone’s favourite the spiked hot chocolate, with whipped cream or whole milk are some of the best-known examples in cream-based cocktails.
The Bourbon Milkshake is a more modern variant, which is a far cry from the classic Brandy Alexander, which used to be a favourite in the US in the ’60s. Combine some rich dollops of vanilla ice cream, with milk, bourbon and ice-cubes; blend them all to make a rich smooth shake.
One cannot talk creamy cocktails and not talk about the famous Ramos Gin Fizz. Invented in the 1880s by Henry C. Ramos, original instructions required the drink to be shaken for 12 minutes.
It was said that he had over 20 bartenders only to shake the drink and even then they struggled to keep up with the demand. Legend has it that during the carnival of 1915, 32 staff members were on it at once, just to shake that drink.
Even today mixologists and connoisseurs swear by the Ramon Gin Fizz, notwithstanding the huge hassle it is to make. It contains gin, lemon juice, limejuice, egg white, sugar, orange flower water, soda water and of course copious amounts of cream. After shaking it to the optimum level, the drink is served in a large non-tapered 12 to 14 ounce Collins glass.
While they remain unconventional choices, when it comes to indulgence, one cannot do much better than these velvety cream based cocktails. With the exception of the Ramon Gin Fizz that requires a considerable amount of arm strength, most of these options can be whipped up easily, for you to sink in that ultimate, cosy, decadent comfort.
The author is a mixologist...