I’ve often shared how my family, instead of baking Christmas cookies for gifts, makes a super delicious please-don’t-call-it-egg-nog Cuban “egg nog.”
We call it Crema de Vie and it has been a Cuban family tradition for as long as I can remember.
I remember as a child getting to have a sip on Christmas eve. (Shut up. The rum was only used as a preservative.)
Every year we make several batches of this delicious stuff and give them away as gifts to friends and neighbors. We’re always looking to find new and fun ways to package our Crema de Vie gifts. Here are the labels I made last year.
This year, my very own in-house graphic designer, Lucy, created these ready-to-print-and-use labels.
She called and asked, “So how long has the Cuban Crema de Vie been a family tradition?” My response was something to the effect of “forever,” but we decided that was a lame answer and so we agreed that the year, 1939 would be perfect, in honor of when my parents got married on December 31st, 1939. Classic Cuban Crema de Vie was served at their wedding. And so a family tradition was born.
We served it last year for Lucy and Marc’s December 30th wedding, too. The Circle of Life remains.
You’re wondering: “Nice story, Marta, but how does this help me today?
My gift to you this Christmas is this: printable labels for your own Classic Cuban Crema de Vie.
Well, first you have to make a few batches of the delicious stuff. Maybe turn on My Big Fat Cuban Christmas Playlist to get you in the mood.
Here’s the recipe:
Crèma de Vie (Cuban Egg Nog) Recipe
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 6 egg yolks
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- ½ cup white rum
1) Mix the sugar and water together over very low heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves – about 3 minutes. It has to be just low enough so that the sugar doesn’t caramelize, but makes a thick sugary water.
2) Put the egg yolks in a blender and mix with the condensed milk.
3) Slowly add the evaporated milk and mix completely.
4) Flavor with the vanilla.
5) Pour the mixture into the sugar-water and mix together.
6) Finally stir in the rum (as a preservative).
Makes about 5 cups, or fills two and a half bottles.
And here’s the link to these pretty labels that you can print at home or at your local Kinko’s on some nice cardstock. Just print and trim and tie it all up with a pretty ribbon. (You’re welcome.)
HERE’S THE LINK: CubanCremaDeVie_Labels_2018
Feliz Navidad and Salud!
Don’t forget to chill until they’re ready for Christmas delivery. I wish you all a wonderful and delicious Noche Buena, my friends.
Christine Lopez Nolan says
How long woulde the Crema de Vie be good for once made? Will it be ok to drink on Noche Buena if I make it on the 21st?
Absolutely! The rum really does act as a preservative. LOL
My mom kept her bottle to sip all the way into February and she lived to almost 103. That’s all I have to say about that!
Howdy from the South!
I am the wife of the Country Cuban (I told you the story about him a few years back and won a coffee mug).
I made and served the Crema de Vie AND played the Cuban Christmas playlist both at my staff party (we are dance teacher’s so you know we danced, as well) and our Sumners/Moreno/Esquinaldo Cuban Christmas dinner. Both were hits!
Thank you for your inspiration and encouragement. I have bestowed upon my self the title of honorary Cuban. Since my MIL has passed, I want to keep the food and traditions alive for generations to come. You help me to do that!
Thank you for being who you are and for what you do!
Marta M Darby says
Thank you for your kind words. I’m so proud of you!!
And it makes me doubly happy that I’ve been able to inspire you. You have totally earned the Honorary Cuban title and you wear it well!
Wilfredo Brito says
Muchas Gracias for keeping the tradition.
Marta!! I am making the Crema de Vie for Noche Buena. Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family. Feliz Navidad Y Propspero Año Nuevo!!
Marta M Darby says
What a delight! I hope you enjoy and remember me when you raise your glass to toast to the new year.
Thank you for your lovely Christmas greeting. Feliz Navidad to you, my friend!
Hello from Texas Marta!
Im Mexican married to a Cuban and I am trying to impress my suegros by making them the Cuban flan. Just had a question about your recipe. It says one can of water, how much water does that imply?
Marta M Darby says
I use the empty can of sweetened condensed milk as a guide. Sorry it wasn’t more clear!
Thank you! Looking forward to making your recipe 🙂
Sonia Hernandez says
My mom passed away earlier this year and I really want to make this in her honor for Noche Buena. However, my husband is compromised and I don’t want to risk using raw eggs yolks. What do you think if after making the recipe (before adding the rum), I cook it in a double boiler whisking constantly. Do you think it would work? I can’t find pasteurized eggs by me.
Sheila Galera says
Hello! My mom passed away in 2010 and I’ve been using her recipe every year. It’s just a touch different than yours. I love the bottles, where can I get some?
Marta Darby says
I shop around for the bottles. I have found some good ones at Pier One or World Market.
I’ve even gone to wine stores and they’re happy to let me use their discarded empties.