Answer: No. RumChata is not vegan. RumChata is a creamy drink blended with rum, cinnamon, and vanilla. The cream in it comes from milk.
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Is RumChata Vegan?
I was on my way home after grabbing a quick dinner and wanted to relax with a nice light cocktail drink. My friends spoke about RumChata on the rocks being the perfect after-dinner drink. Since its inspiration came from the Central American beverage Horchata, maybe it has the same plant-based ingredients?
Sorry but no, RumChata is not vegan. RumChata is a creamy liqueur drink blended with rum, cinnamon, and vanilla. The cream comes from milk fat taken from the pasture-raised cows of Wisconsin. RumChata disqualifies as a vegan drink because it has an animal by-product ingredient.
RumChata is a popular drink like Bailey’s Irish Cream for its sweet and creamy texture. Like the Horchata drink, you can substitute the cream with plant-based ingredients. All it takes is a little research and effort, and voila! You can now enjoy your Vegan RumChata.
How is RumChata Made?
RumChata is a cream liqueur with cinnamon, vanilla, and the perfect balance of Caribbean Rum. The first step is dissecting the ingredients and understanding how to produce this unique cinnamon-vanilla liqueur. The bottled RumChata is 13.75% alcohol by volume (27.5 proof). Out of the four ingredients, only one is non-vegan.
In Caribbean history, rum was produced from molasses and skimmings from sugar production. It is a sweet toasted sugar liqueur distilled from different sugars of pure sugar cane, syrup, or molasses. Sugar cane is boiled and mixed with molasses, and the leftover sediment is called dunder. This molasses-cane juice is fermented and distilled in wood casks for aging and gives a dark-hued color.
This spice is part of our staple supply in our pantries. We use it for french toast, pancakes, cereals, snack foods, cakes, and cookies. We add cinnamon to drinks and top them off with ice cream or yogurt. The spice comes from the Cinnamomum’s bark and serves as an aromatic condiment and flavoring additive.
Who doesn’t love vanilla ice cream? It is a fragrant spice that is used in many recipes and desserts. It’s also an added twist to beverages such as coffee, tea, shakes, and smoothies. Vanilla is a spice from the vanilla orchid of Mexican species. The Spanish word vaina means sheath or pod.
Wisconsin is known as the Dairy State. It started its cheese and dairy products as early as 1837. The New York settlers brought their expertise for commercial dairying with scientific research from the University of Wisconsin professors.
The cream is the fat from the milk of cows that recently gave birth. It has 18% milk fat and is a 3.25% homogenized cream. It can be stored at room temperature for half a year without direct exposure to the sun.
How to Make Vegan Cream for Rumchata
You’ll enjoy your vegan RumChata. Replace the dairy cream with plant-based milk cream, and you’re good to go. You can create your vegan RumChata following its inspiration, Horchata. The trick is to substitute the dairy cream with different plant-based milk substitutes and blend in the creaminess and thickness factor.
Start with the plant-based milk of your choice. You can choose from rice milk, soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, and coconut milk. Next, you need to decide on a thickener that you want to mix with the milk. You can choose from the choices of olive oil, cornstarch, silken tofu, coconut cream, and the available vegan creamer in the grocery.
Soak 1 ⅓ cups of uncooked white rice in 2 cups of hot water to soften the grain. Drain and blend 5 cups of water with a pinch of salt. Strain the bits and solids to get the rice liquid.
Blend 1 ⅓ cups of raw almonds and blend with 5 cups of water. Strain the almonds in a mixture in a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer.
Soak 1 ⅓ cup of rolled oats in 5 cups of water for 30 minutes. Blend for 30 seconds until the water is creamy. Strain the oats in cheesecloth to take the grits out but remember to avoid pressing the oats to squeeze out the liquid.
Soak 1 ⅓ cup of yellow soybeans in 2 cups of water overnight. Drain and peel out the outer skins before blending in 4 cups of water. Strain the soybeans in cheesecloth to remove the grits or solids in the soy liquid. Pour the mixture into a pan and add 1 cup of water to boil, stirring and skimming the foam. Cook at medium heat, occasionally stirring the mixture for 20 minutes, then cool down.
Plant-Based Milk and Thickener Combination
Making your plant-based milk will give you a thinner texture than dairy milk. If you want to achieve a thickness and body of dairy, you can experiment with different thickeners until you are satisfied with the creaminess.
The suggested combinations of plant-based milk and thickener should add body and creaminess to the milk. As always, it is your choice what plant-based milk you will use. You can also mix and match the items below to your liking.
- Soy milk with olive oil
- Almond milk with cornstarch
- Soy milk with silken tofu
- Oat milk with vegan yogurt
- Coconut milk with coconut cream
- Rice milk with vegan creamer
DIY Vegan RumChata
Before you embark on making your RumChata, decide if you will make plant-based milk or buy it in the grocery. Choose the thickener for the milk of the RumChata.
- Measure 5 cups of vegan milk.
- Blend milk and a cinnamon stick for 30 seconds.
- Fold in ½ cup thickener, ⅔ cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- Add 1 ¼ cups of Caribbean rum or any brand of your choice.
The thickeners can follow the ½ cup measurement except for the cornstarch. You must mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with ½ cup of water. You will achieve the creamy thickness of the plant-based milk and enjoy your full-proof vegan drink.
How to Use Rumchata
RumChata is a substitute for cream liqueurs or any Irish cream drink. Instead of using dairy cream in a White Russian or Mudslide, the RumChata is a good substitute.
The same goes for drinking coffee, tea, cocoa, or even a soda float. By adding half a shot, your drink is lightly spiked. It gives a distinct flavor to your everyday beverage and spices it up.
You can also use RumChata for dessert recipes if you want that sophisticated twist on your sweet creations. The distinct cinnamon-vanilla flavor is enhanced when you bite into your dessert.
Vegan Alternatives to Rumchata
There are other dairy-free alternatives that you can use with your drinks and desserts. If you cannot make your vegan RumChata, you can run to the grocery to grab a bottle or make your version of a vegan cream liqueur alternative.
This dairy-free beverage has a liqueur cream Nilli Vanilli using a blend of cookie dough flavor with a taint of vanilla, almond milk, and Caribbean rum. The other flavor is Fully Baked, which tastes like cookies and brownies cream liqueur with a milk hemp base.
Baileys Almande was launched in 2017 for vegans. It has the original recipe of Baileys Irish Cream but substitutes almond milk instead of dairy cream.
Besos De Oro
This Spanish brand, Golden Kisses, uses a dairy-free liqueur of tiger nuts and brandy. It has two flavors, classic and chocolate, and takes its inspiration from Horchata.
Marks & Spencer Chocolate and Coconut Cream Liqueur
This Northern Ireland vegan liqueur has a blend of chocolate and coconut cream that tastes very close to Baileys Irish Cream.
Homemade Irish Cream Whiskey
Blend coconut cream, maple syrup, vanilla extract, instant coffee, cocoa powder, and Irish whiskey. Blender has to be on high speed to create the frothiness of the drink that imitates whipped cream.
Homemade Vegan Irish Cream Liqueur
Blend cashew milk with coconut cream, granulated sugar, vanilla, cocoa, instant coffee, and Irish whiskey. The combination of cashew and coconut cream is subtle and will not overpower the taste.
Homemade Nutella Liqueur Cream
Melt the vegan spread made of hazelnut, vegan cocoa, and sugar. Remove from the stove to cool down, then mix the rice cream, oat cream, and vodka. This liqueur will last a month of refrigeration.
Homemade Horchata Cream Liqueur
Blend the rice, cinnamon sticks, and water. Set aside for eight hours with a lid cover. Strain in a cheesecloth or fine mesh to get the rice liquid. Add rice cream or oat cream, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar, and rum.
Enjoying Vegan RumChata
There are many alternatives to enjoying a drink with the many kinds of plant-based milk available in the grocery and recipes you can follow. Just because it’s not the actual RumChata bottle, it doesn’t mean you will miss out on the pleasure of sweet cinnamon-vanilla liqueur.
Exploring how you make it homemade or looking for a vegan alternative is half the fun of actually drinking it. So when you take your vegan RumChata, know that you haven’t turned your back on your commitment to yourself and the vegan cause.