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Dairy Cocktails

Cocktails with Milk, Cream, and Other Dairy Products


Brandy Alexander
Christian Kargl/Getty Images
Dirty White Mother Cocktail

Dirty White Mother

Photo Courtesy: © Shannon Graham
Dark 'n Fluffy Cocktail

Dark 'n Fluffy

Alexandra Grablewski / Photolibrary / Getty Images

Mixed drinks that have dairy products are not for everyone. Obviously, there are those with allergies and those who have an intolerance to lactose and those people should avoid the drinks on this list. There are also those people who simply do not like milk or are opposed to alcohol touching any dairy product. However, there are many of us who love a luscious milk or cream cocktail every now and then. They are comforting and relaxing and the ingredients that are mixed with them simply add a twist to the dairy flavor - chocolate milk being a prime example.

Not all of these dairy cocktails rely heavily on milk, cream, or half & half. In fact, many use a small proportion that simply add a rich texture to the drink. There is a set of drinks such as the White Russian that are dominated by the dairy element and many of these are served over ice in an old-fashioned glass, a style of drink often referred to as lowballs. In these drinks you can decide whether you want to use milk, cream, or half and half: cream will produce the richest, heaviest drink and milk the lightest with half & half being in between the two.

Milk Cocktails:

These drinks use milk to add just a touch of creaminess to the drink. Some call for specialty milk products such as soy or evaporated milk, though for the most part the milk that is sitting in your refrigerator will do. Also, if you prefer, feel free to use an alternative such as rice, almond, or even cashew milk. Read more about dairy and alternatives...

If a drink calls for warm milk you will want to heat it gently and just enough so that it is steaming, stir it constantly and avoid boiling. If your milk ends up too hot and begins to scald throw it away and start again. Warming milk takes patience and constant attention. Find more hot milk drinks at Coffee/Tea on About.com...

Cream Cocktails:

These drinks can be some of the thickest, richest, and most luscious of this entire list. For the most part the recipes will say 'cream' and you have a few options (cream options explained here), though a few do suggest a specific style of cream and those are noted in the list. For that generic cream reference, I tend to go with light cream (or coffee cream) or half and half because the heavy creams are often, well, too heavy for most drinks.

A fun twist to cream is found in at least two of these recipes: British Invasion and Cafe Brasileiro. The creams in these recipes are infused with flavor and in both cases are used as a float to top off the drink. The flavored creams are easy to make and can be used in other drinks, especially as an alternative to whipped cream topping in hot chocolate and coffee drinks.

Half and Half Cocktails:

The drinks below specifically call for half and half, which is half cream and half milk (though modern standards do not adhere to this exact ratio). Half and half adds a richness to drinks that milk cannot, but it is lighter than even the lightest creams. It is actually a great alternative to use in those cocktails listed under cream above.

Yogurt Cocktails:

Yogurt makes a very rare appearance in drinks, especially with those containing alcohol. Due to the density of yogurt, it is often blended into smoothies, though in drinks like the Korean cocktail below, a more liquified yogurt is used.

Cream Liqueurs:

While we are on the subject of cream, let's take a brief look at cream liqueurs. There are a number of options available here, with those listed being just a sampling. The majority of the time a cocktail recipe will specify a brand (or style in the case of Irish cream) to use.

With this list below I have linked to either a profile of the liqueur where you can find recipes or to recipes that use that particular liqueur (profiles for those individual liqueurs will be published soon). On yet another note, some recipes will call for 'rum cream' - a cream liqueur with a rum base - for these there are a number of options including Cruzan Rum Cream, Rumchata, Sangster's Original Jamaica Rum Crema, and El Dorador Rum Cream. As of publication date, the only recipe in my database is the Voodoo shooter.

This collection of cocktail recipes is an ongoing project and is updated regularly.

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