When you start to explore the best cream liqueurs, you need to look beyond Baileys. What was essentially a one-product category has been invigorated by a host of producers using innovative ingredients to attract newcomers (particularly those with a sweet tooth) to this decadent, indulgent world.
Like other liqueurs, cream liqueurs use a spirit as their base, but with dairy cream the key note, they all share a richness that lends themselves to being paired with desserts – or, as is more commonly the case in recent times, replacing them.
One ideal candidate is Bimmerle’s United Cakes Of America Chocolate Brownie Sahnelikör, winner of an IWSC Silver, and impressing with its ‘big and bold notes of chocolate wafer biscuit, dark chocolate, toffee, and caramel’.
Cream liqueurs have made their mark in the cocktail world, too. The Brandy Alexander is rightly regarded as a post-dinner staple, while newcomers such as the Flat White Martini – a Noughties take on the Espresso Martini – are quickly becoming modern classics.
Salted caramel is another taste that’s captured the zeitgeist, so it’s no surprise that it makes the list of IWSC award-winners, with Carolans’s bottling winning praise from judges for its ‘aromatic liquorice tone, toffee notes and salinity’.Cream liqueurs are never going to be the most fashionable drink on the planet, but it’s good to see a category that’s flourishing and bringing new tastes and flavours to the table. Here’s the pick of the five best cream liqueurs from the IWSC’s recent spirits tasting.