The bottle: Magnum Cream Liqueur, $ 27.99
The back story: Serious sippers have come to think of cream liqueurs as grandmotherly drinks, the sort of sweet, easy-to-quaff stuff that a reasonably cultivated booze buff would never buy. But in recent years, the category, long dominated by Baileys Irish Cream, has started to get some attention (and has started to rack up sales worth a reported $ 1 billion). RumChata, a rum-based cream liqueur, has been the dominant new brand. And now, there’s Magnum, a brand that has been rolled out in the New York metropolitan region over the past two years, but is poised to be in at least 10 states over the coming year.
And what is Magnum? It’s essentially the “Scotch” answer to Baileys. That is, it’s made using Scotch whisky — specifically, from the Speyside region — whereas Baileys uses the Irish variety. Adding to Magnum’s upmarket allure: The cream is also carefully sourced — from Holland, of all places. (It’s “the ancestral home of Holstein black and white dairy cows,” as Magnum touts.) A final interesting element: the packaging. The “bottle” cleverly resembles an old-school milk container (or milk pail, as they’re called).
The bottom line, says Magnum brand director Efren Puente: “This is not your grandmother’s cream liqueur.”
Charles Passy pours Magnum, a cream liqueur made with rum and one of the newest entrants in the ‘RumChata’ category.
What we think about it: We admit we’re suckers for a good cream liqueur — these are no-brainer drinks that appeal to our sweet-toothed side. Magnum is no exception. It’s plenty sweet and plenty rich, with just a touch of added depth from the Scotch. We would never dare confuse it with an actual Scotch, of course. But it’s tasty sipping.
How to enjoy it: This is one that works well chilled or on the rocks (Puente says he likes to keep a bottle in the freezer). But it works well in a variety of cocktails, too. Or just add a splash to your coffee for a sweet meal-ender.