The ABCs of Making Creamy Vegan Cocktails
January 20, 2023 by Anna-Bet Stemmet
Craving creamy cocktails but following a plant-based diet? Vegan cocktails have had a bad rep for too long, so let’s debunk that myth with this collection of our favourite easy and tasty alternatives. It’s time to switch up the most popular creamy drinks to shake up vegan cocktails for everyone to enjoy!
Easy vegan switches to make creamy vegan cocktails
Fulfil all your creamy vegan desires by following our easy guide to making vegan cocktails. Find all the vegan-friendly alternatives you need (and pitfalls to watch out for) right here.
Just a note for strict vegans – pretty snow-white sugar is achieved by processing raw sugar with bone char (they call it natural carbon). To avoid this, choose organic sugar with a vegan stamp.
If a drink calls for egg whites, aquafaba is a game changer. This liquid is what’s left over from a can of chickpeas so don’t ditch it after making hummus! You’ll need 40g of aquafaba to equal one egg white. Chill it well and whip it up with a dash of simple syrup. We guarantee no chickpea flavour will reach your cocktails!
Milk & creams
Use your favourite nut- or plant-based milk when a recipe calls for milk or cream. There are so many alternatives out there! Coconut cream makes a perfect cream substitute but remember, as delicious as creamy coconut is, it does alter the taste profile of a drink. As a substitute for whipped cream, separate the fatty cream part of a tin of coconut cream and chill it before whipping.
Texture & sweetness
Give your drinks the all-important texture and sweetness your creamy vegan cocktails deserve. Look out for the best vegan ice cream or gelato to join the mix.
Always use larger ice cubes in your vegan cocktails – these melt more slowly. Plant-based milk can thin easily so we want to keep the ice around as long as possible.
Pour like a pro
Pour nut milks over the back of a spoon to create the ripple effect dairy milk would give.
For super quick nut milk, whizz a tablespoon or two of nut butter in a blender with a splash of water. This way you can pick the perfect thickness and consistency for your drink. Sweeten with maple syrup or vanilla extract if you fancy. Store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator and use it within three days (it’s also lovely in coffee or hot chocolate).
Our favourite 7 creamy vegan cocktails
1. White Russian cocktail
This easy three-ingredient White Russian cocktail is arguably one of the best coffee cocktails you can serve. It’s made so quickly with just vodka, coffee liqueur, and heavy cream. For a vegan option, swap out the heavy cream for creamy oat milk so all of your guests can enjoy this indulgent after-dinner drink.
2. Grasshopper cocktail
This minty dessert cocktail is as retro as they come and was super popular in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. So famed it made a special place on the IBA’s list of official cocktails, the Grasshopper is simple to pull off at a moment’s notice. All you need are three ingredients: crème de menthe, crème de cacao, and heavy cream. Ditch the cream and use coconut milk or blitz the mixture in a blender with a scoop of your favourite vegan gelato for a dairy-free alternative.
3. Dirty Banana cocktail
The Dirty Banana cocktail is a true island-style 90s cocktail that hails from Jamaica, made with creamy rum, banana, and a coffee kick! To make one, bung ½ cup of crushed ice in a blender with 45ml Caribbean Trois Rivières White Rum, 20ml coffee liqueur, and 0ml banana liqueur. Blitz it up with a chopped banana (the riper the better) and 2 oz of creamy plant-based milk. Pour into a hurricane- or highball glass and garnish with a slice of banana and a maraschino cherry.
4. Coconut Gin Sour cocktail
The origins of sour cocktails are hazy, but they were a very sophisticated drink to enjoy in the 1800s. Just imagine socialites sipping a sour in flapper dresses and dapper pin-striped suits! For more island vibes, try this version, a holiday-ready cocktail with the cheeky addition of coconut.
To make a vegan Coconut Gin Sour, add 60ml of O’ndina Gin to your blender with 15ml coconut cream (the thick fatty top), 15ml of coconut water (found underneath the cream), and 20ml of fresh lime juice. Add a good handful of ice and whizz until smooth. Whip 40g of aquafaba with a tablespoon of simple syrup and some vanilla extract (optional). Pour your drink into a rocks glass and top with a spoon of whipped aquafaba for an extra creamy finish.
5. Clover Club cocktail
Try this prettily pink berry cocktail – it’s a perfect serve whatever the occasion! A Clover Club cocktail is a dreamy gin sip, swirled with raspberry syrup, and tastes as fantastic as it looks! Typically, this wouldn’t be considered a creamy vegan cocktail as it’s shaken with egg white. But try our nifty swap of 40g of aquafaba instead of the egg white. Shake it on its own first to create the ideal froth, and adjust the sweetness with a little more syrup if needed. This classic may yet become your favourite vegan-friendly serve.
6. Eggnog Martini cocktail
Just because you follow a plant-based diet, doesn’t mean you need to miss out on a delicious Eggnog Martini this winter! Make an easy vegan eggnog recipe with coconut cream and cashew- or almond milk, or pick one up from your local vegan-friendly grocer. This Martini will fill you with all the festive cheer you need!
7. Golden Dream cocktail
The fantastic Golden Dream cocktail has a firm seat on the IBA Top 50 cocktails list. You’ll happily skip dessert if this creamy vanilla and citrusy drink are on offer; it holds all the nostalgia of those childhood popsicles you enjoyed in the summertime. This 60s drink was whipped up by Miami bartender Raimundo Alvarez as an ode to his favourite golden girl of the moment, Joan Crawford. Alvarez’s recipe calls for heavy cream but for a creamy vegan cocktail use either coconut cream or vegan ice cream it its stead. Delicioso!