Clear Crème de Cacao – Cocktails

Clear Crème de Cacao is a type of liqueur that is colourless and has a distinct chocolate flavour. It is made from cacao beans, sugar and sometimes vanilla for extra aroma. There are a wide variety of brands who make Crème de Cacao – some who make a smooth liqueur that is delicious on its own. Other brands make their Crème de Cacao incredibly sweet, sticky and overpowering.

Crème de Cacao is often used as an ingredient in dessert cocktails, holiday cocktails, shooters, desserts, and other recipes that call for a hint of chocolate flavor. The clear variety of crème de cacao is made by using a distilled spirit as the base instead of a wine or brandy base, which gives it a higher alcohol content and a cleaner taste.

I am not a fan of Crème de Cacao in most cocktails as when the cocktail warms up, Crème de Cacao often starts to taste too sweet and artificial for my palate. With that said, the general drinking public love their chocolaty drinks during the Christmas season and I’m happy to make them all the Chocolate Martinis they desire.

Clear Crème de Cacao may also be referred to as White Crème de Cacao or Light Crème de Cacao. It gets this naming of ‘white’ or ‘light’ as there is a dark version of Crème de Cacao as well.

Light Crème de Cacao Cocktails

The most famous drinks made with White Crème De Cacao are the Grasshopper, the Chocolate Martini and the Polar Bear Shot. Below you’ll find many more cocktails you can make with Clear Crème de Cacao

Is there a difference between Light and Dark Crème de Cacao?

Light crème de cacao, also known as white crème de cacao, is a clear liqueur that has a light chocolate flavour with a hint of vanilla. It is made with cocoa beans that have been roasted for a shorter period of time, resulting in a lighter color and flavour. Light crème de cacao is often used in cocktails that require a subtle chocolate flavour, such as the Grasshopper or the Chocolate Martini.

On the other hand, dark crème de cacao has a deep brown colour and a more pronounced chocolate flavour. It is made with cocoa beans that have been roasted for a longer period of time than white crème de cacao, which gives it a richer, more complex flavour. Dark crème de cacao is often used in cocktails that require a more intense chocolate flavour, such as the Chocolate Manhattan or the Black Forest Martini. It can also be used as a dessert topping or ingredient in baked goods. Overall, the difference between light and dark crème de cacao lies in their colour and flavour intensity, making them suitable for different cocktails and shooters.

How Many Calories are in Clear Crème de Cacao

There are 73 calories in an ounce of Clear Crème de Cacao. Calories will vary by brand and region, however, for my calorie count for cocktails in the table above, I have set it at 73 calories. You’ll need to check your brand for the most accurate calorie count.

Is Bailey’s a substitute for Crème de Cacao?

Bailey’s is not a good substitute for Crème de Cacao as it does not taste like chocolate at all. Bailey’s is also not clear and Bailey’s will coagulate when mixed with liquor. If you were to make a Chocolate Martini with Bailey’s Irish Cream instead of Crème De Cacao, you would have a disguising blob of Bailey’s floating in clear vodka. Yuck!

For a clear drink, or a cocktail where you don’t want the colouring to change, the best substitute for Light Crème de Cacao is a clear chocolate extract that you can buy at a grocery store. Godiva Chocolate Liqueur is white, and also makes a good substitute for light drinks (but not clear drinks).

For cocktails where colour does not matter, Dark Crème de Cacao, Chocolate Syrup, or a Chocolate Liqueur (which is often brown or dark) will work just fine.