Light cream is a milk product which has lower fat content than other milk products. The fat content ranges from 18% to 30% whereas the fat content can be as high as 40% in heavy creams and butter. It is also known as table cream for its use in many different drinks. The low fat content makes it a suitable ingredient for table drinks and hence adds an entire new dimension to the world of drinks.
Light cream is extracted from milk. One of the ways to get the desired product is to allow the milk to stand for a long time so that the fat comes to the top. The butterfat or cream will be denser than milk and can be skimmed. The skimmed cream will be heavy cream and contains a high fat content. This cream can be mixed with different amounts of milk to make creams of different varieties. Light cream contains an equal amount of heavy cream and milk and hence has lower fat. Many dairies use modern equipments to extract cream from milk. They need to produce quality products for their customers and hence letting the milk stand is not a viable option as it may attract bacteria and also consumes a lot of time. Hence Centrifuges are used to pull the milk out and extract cream.
Though the fat content in light cream is still very high compared to other ingredients used in drinks, it provides a delicious ingredient for many drinks and using heavy cream is not at all advisable. The heavy cream can be harmful for digestion when mixed with alcohol and therefore might not suit many. Many cocktails have light cream as one of the major ingredients. In some drinks, flavored light cream is used to give the drink a better taste. It can also be given different tastes. Some of the common flavors are vanilla, hazelnut and coffee. Apart from cocktails, tea and coffee also employs light cream as one of its ingredients but half and half cream is better suited for them as it has even lower fat.
With light cream gaining popularity as a drink ingredient, there are some very popular drinks using it. The White Russian, made from 2 parts vodka and 1 part coffee liqueur, is served with light cream. The Grasshopper contains equal amounts of green crème de menthe, white crème de cacao and light cream mixed together. Alexander contains equal amounts of gin, white crème de cacao and light cream mixed together. Pink Lady is a mix of gin, light cream and egg white. The contents are shaken with ice and poured into a cocktail glass to serve. Amaretto and Cream contains one half Amaretto almond liqueurs and one half of light cream mixed with crushed ice and served after straining in a glass. Other popular drinks include: