Whipping cream is a milk product that contains between 30 and 36% milkfat. It is so named because it can be whipped, or aerated into a semi-stable foam. Whipping cream is highly perishable, so without access to a local farm, most whipping cream at the supermarket will contain thickeners such as carageenan, and sodium citrate, which is used to prevent fat molecules from clumping together.
It is very difficult to find whipping cream that has not been ultrapasteurized (heated to 140 degrees F). Many people believe that ultrapasteurized cream tastes "flat" or "burnt". Ultrapasteurization decreases the ability of whipping cream to whip, so carageenan is typically added to help the process.
Whipping cream has many uses in cocktails, from texturizing drinks without eggs to muting the sharpness of alcohol. Care must be taken in using whipping cream and acidic juices together in cocktails, as curdling may occur.