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The Golden Dream is a creamy, dreamy after dinner drink! It’s like a sophisticated spin on a Creamsicle, with notes of orange and vanilla.

Golden Dream

Here’s a creamy drink you need in your life: the Golden Dream! This classy cocktail was popular in the 1960’s and 70’s, and we think it’s time for a reprieve. One sip and you’ll be instantly intrigued: in fact, it tastes like a boozy Creamsicle! It’s creamy with a strong orange flavor: and the finish isn’t too sweet, with subtle notes of herbs, licorice and vanilla. Alex and I made it alongside a Golden Cadillac and man! These two are major charmers.

What’s a Golden Dream?

The Golden Dream is an after dinner drink made with Galliano liqueur, Cointreau, orange juice, and cream. It was invented in Miami by Raimundo Alvarez sometime in the 1960’s. There’s not much more known about this citrusy drink, except that it was dedicated to actress Joan Crawford at some point. Some sources say the Golden Dream is a variation on the Golden Cadillac, a similar sweet cocktail starring creme de cacao.

Whatever the case, it was the Golden Dream that solidified itself in history by making it onto the International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails. This means it has an “official” definition of how to make it. The Golden Dream ingredients are:

  • Galliano liqueur
  • Orange liqueur: Triple Sec or Cointreau
  • Orange juice
  • Heavy cream
Golden Dream

More about Galliano

Galliano is what makes the Golden Dream! There are no great substitutes for this unique liqueur, so we recommend grabbing a bottle for this recipe. While you could probably substitute Licor 43 in a pinch, we recommend opting for the real thing. Here’s what to know about Galliano:

  • Galliano L’Autentico is a bright yellow, sweet herbal Italian liqueur. It’s made with a blend of 30 herbs, and it’s been produced in Tuscany, Italy since 1896.
  • What does Galliano taste like? It’s sweet and complex, with a strong vanilla flavor and notes of anise, juniper, cinnamon, and citrus.
  • How much does Galliano cost? It’s mid-priced. Galliano costs about $17 to $20 for a 375 ml bottle and about $30 to $35 for a 750 ml bottle.
  • Is it worth buying? Yes! This sweet liqueur tastes like pure gold. You can drink it as a digestif (a shot after a meal), or mix it into cocktails like the Harvey Wallbanger, Golden Cadillac, and Yellow Bird.

Use Cointreau, or Triple Sec as a substitute

Other other most important ingredient in a Golden Dream? The orange liqueur. The two most common types of orange liqueurs are Cointreau and Triple Sec. Which to use here? Here’s our two cents:

  • Cointreau is our preferred orange liqueur. Cointreau has a robust, rich flavor and an orange perfume essence; it tastes more sophisticated than Triple Sec. It’s our top choice for classics like the Margarita, Sidecar and Cosmo.
  • Triple Sec also works. If all you have is Triple Sec, that works too! It has a more straightforward orange flavor, almost like orange-infused vodka.

How to make a Golden Dream…some tips!

Once you’ve got your Galliano and Cointreau, it’s easy to make the Golden Dream! It’s a classic shaken cocktail. Here are a few tips for the process:

  • Check the freshness of the dairy first. Make sure you’re using fresh cream before you start mixing the drink.
  • Fresh squeezed orange juice is best. If all you have is bottled OJ, that works too. But fresh-squeezed has better flavor.
  • Shake in a cocktail shaker (or covered glass jar) until cold. If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, use a glass jar and strainer. Shake it up and strain into a martini glass.

Take one sip, and you’ll feel like you’re drinking a boozy Creamsicle. It’s creamy, zingy, and pretty darn irresistible. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Golden Dream

More orange cocktails

The Golden Dream is one of our favorite orange cocktails, perfect as an after dinner drink. But there orange cocktails for every time of day! Here are a few more you might enjoy:

When to serve the Golden Dream

The Golden Dream is a dessert cocktail that’s perfect when you need a sweet treat, but it also works for happy hour or a signature cocktail. Try it for a:

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Golden Dream

Golden Dream

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


The Golden Dream is a creamy, dreamy after dinner drink! It’s like a sophisticated spin on a Creamsicle, with notes of orange and vanilla.


  • 1 ounce* Galliano liqueur (Galliano L’Autentico)
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 1 ounce fresh orange juice
  • ½ ounce heavy cream
  • For the garnish: orange wheel


  1. Place the Galliano, Cointreau, orange juice and cream in a cocktail shaker. Add 2 handfuls ice and shake until cold.
  2. Strain into a cocktail or martini glass. Garnish with an orange wheel if desired. 


*1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Golden dream

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Trouble is trying to get Galliano liquor I’ve been to all local supermarkets and booze shops they don’t stock it had to go on line and get from drinkmaster