Even if you haven’t heard about their return, you have probably seen approximately a hundred foam-topped drinks on every social media platform, hailing from bars around the world. What if you could harness the light, airy, cloudlike power of cocktail foam at home, without any extra tools? Enter boozy whipped creams, which have topped hot cocktails for decades. The magic of these showstopping garnishes is that you don’t need an iSi or even a whisk to make them—simply add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker (or Mason jar) and shake. Here are five to make this season.
Génepy Cream: An Après-Ski Accent to Coffee Cocktails
With its wintry profile, the herbal liqueur and après-ski staple génépy is a clear choice to accent warming cocktails. For bartender Troy Sidle, whipping génépy with cold heavy cream and a pinch of salt yields a decadent garnish that’s one of his favorite uses for the liqueur. The whipped cream tops the Strong Start, essentially a rum-spiked coffee, and offers it a hit of herbaceousness.
Grand Marnier Cream: A Citrusy Topping to an Iconic Drink
The Spanish Coffee served at Portland, Oregon’s oldest restaurant, Huber’s, is part of an iconic tableside ritual where bartenders like John Pierce light the drink on fire to caramelize its sugary rim. Grand Marnier and rum form the base that gets set aflame, and the orange-flavored liqueur makes a second appearance via a light, frothy whipped cream.
Drambuie Cream: A Spiced Finish for Caffeinated Classics
The whisky-based liqueur Drambuie has gotten a bad rap thanks to its association with the midcentury disco drink, the Rusty Nail. But in small doses, its honeyed, spiced, saffron-infused flavor brings roundness and balance to cocktails, and a sweetness that means you can skip the sugar in favor of its more complex profile. New York bartender Jelani Johnson pairs it with the vanilla-forward Licor 43 in a whipped cream mix for his take on Irish Coffee. The subtly fruity garnish puts an almost tropical tinge on the rich drink.
Angostura Cream: A Festive Finish for Irish Coffee (and More)
To cut through a decadent cream, the Hot Daiquiri from bartender Kathleen Hawkins accents the topping with dashes of Angostura. For an extra festive twist, add bartender Mary Palac’s chai syrup to the mix for Chai-Rish Coffee, her spicy, tea-based take on the caffeinated classic.
Amaretto Cream: A Nutty Float for the White Russian
The original White Russian combines vodka, Kahlúa and cream in a heavy, saccharine drink. New York bartender Toby Cecchini’s riff offers the option to swap the vodka for rum, introduces a molasses-y coffee liqueur and adds a whipped cream float that’s spiked with nutty amaretto. Though the garnish is used for a cold cocktail in this recipe, it could easily top any of the hot coffee classics, too.