Tis the season for an after-dinner Baileys on the rocks or a little crème de menthe in your cocktail. We decided to bring you some advice on cream and crème liqueurs this holiday season from our favorite professional bartenders.


Although you may not spend your time debating the differences between cream and crème liqueurs, we do (nerd alert). Here’s the deal: Cream liqueurs (like Baileys) include dairy cream in their recipe ingredients giving them a creamy texture. Crème liqueurs on the other hand, have no diary component but are heavy in sugar, which results in a syrup consistency.


Cream Liqueurs

Maybe they’re your go to after-dinner drink, what you pour over your ice cream, or the last ingredient in your Irish car bomb. Any way you drink them, cream liqueurs are the sweet, creamy booze that starts appearing everywhere this time of year.  Here’s the inside scoop on cream liqueurs:

  • Baileys may dominate the cream liqueur world but if you’re looking to experiment try Carolans, Amarula or Bols Yoghurt.
  •  Our bartender friends Arianne Fielder and Eduardo Guzman like cream liqueurs because you can add almost any flavor to them.  Branch out with your choices; they don’t all have to be Irish cream and whiskey combos.
  • Brands are starting to get more creative with flavors and spirit bases. Guzman tells us to look for more innovation in the future.
  • Bartenders like John Trockel and Samantha Withall prefer to go the fresh ingredient route when it comes to cream. Apparently they give cocktails a brighter flavor. Excuse us while we stock up on the fresh stuff.


Crème Liqueurs

When it comes to crème liqueurs, we’ll admit, even we don’t know what to do with them sometimes. Sure, you add them to a cocktail but when is it appropriate to use crème de mure (blackberry), crème de menthe (mint) and what the heck is crème de cassis (blackcurrant flavored)? Here’s what we found out about crème liqueurs:

  • Bartender favorites include Merlet, Combier and Tempus Fugit.
  • Crème liqueurs taste best when you add them to a cocktail or add a splash to sparkling wine, experiment away.
  • According to Guzman, crème liqueurs are perfect for flavoring basic cocktails..What martini couldn’t use an upgrade?
  • We’re about to see a lot more crème liqueurs. John Trockel thinks they have endless possibilities and we should keep our minds open for crème liqueurs to become a big statement in cocktail future.


We’ve given you all the advice you need to experiment with cream and crème liqueur cocktails on your own. If you’re not looking to do the work at home, head out to your favorite cocktail bar and ask your bartender for their favorite cream/crème liqueur cocktail. Here are a few we recommend seeking out: