Tag Archives: peppermint schnapps

Celebrating Chocolate…and mint!

chocolate mintThere are many strange holidays out there that seem to slide under the radar and go unrecognized. Normally I let these holidays pass by unnoticed, but today’s holiday caught my eye and inspired me to celebrate. Today my friends, is Chocolate Mint Day! I love chocolate, and chocolate gets its fair share of attention from the popular  holidays (Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween etc.) so why not have a day to celebrate the delicious act of mixing chocolate with mint (if you’re skeptical think: Thin Mints, mint chocolate chip ice cream and the little chocolates fancy hotels leave on your pillows). I’ll be mixing up a cocktail that pairs these two ingredients (almost) as perfectly as a Thin Mint.

Mint Chocolate Martini
• ½ part Hiram Walker® White Crème de Cacao
• 1 part Hiram Walker® Peppermint Schnapps
• 2 parts ABSOLUT® Vodka
Shake all ingredients and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Enjoy!

-KJ

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Simple and Sweet – Spiked Hot Chocolate

Photo from Flickr Creative Commons (kesara.lk)

There is absolutely no denying that I love myself a well-made hot chocolate. Add a bit of booze and aromatics in the form of mint, hazelnut, or even orange (orange and chocolate = a to die for combination!) and I’m content for an evening of warmth and coziness. Serious Drinks posted a collection of spiked hot chocolate recipes on the site late last week that had me drooling at my desk. And, if you still happen to be looking to wrap up your Valentine’s Day plans, skip the box of chocolates and pick up the necessary ingredients to mix one of these delights instead.

However, if your personal style rather tends to lean towards simple and straightforward, here’s a most basic – yet absolutely delicious – of hot chocolate recipes to keep in your reserves.

Snuggler:

  • 1 part Hiram Walker Peppermint Schnapps
  • Fill with Hot Chocolate

Build in a mug and garnish with whipped cream.

Trust me on this one, keeping it simple with Peppermint Schnapps, well made hot chocolate and cream (to which you can booze up, too, if homemade!) is a winning combination. Think of it as basically drinking a melted York(R) peppermint patty. What more is there to say?!

Cheers!
SJ

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Peppermint for the Holidays

Hiram Walker Candy Cane cocktail

Peppermint is a ubiquitous, commonplace flavor associated with the winter holiday season. To get in the spirit of the season, I tried combining peppermint schnapps with another all-natural Hiram Walker flavor that remind me of  December – pomegranate schnapps.

Behold the Candy Cane Cocktail, an extremely mint-forward cocktail whose bright red color is reminiscent of holiday lights dangling from trees and rooftops. I garnished mine with a piece of peppermint brittle  because, well, the candy canes in my apartment seemed to mysteriously “disappear”…don’t you hate when that happens?! Here’s the recipe:

Candy Cane Martini

  • 1 part ABSOLUT® Vodka
  • 1½ parts Hiram Walker® Pomegranate Schnapps
  • 1½ parts Hiram Walker® Peppermint Schnapps
  • ¼ part Simple Syrup

Shake and strain into martini glass, garnish with mini candy cane or mint leaf.

But this drink is nowhere near my favorite expression of the uses for peppermint schnapps. My Cocktail Connection features a few of my favorite cocktails using Hiram Walker’s Peppermint Schnapps, such as the Peppermint Patty.  If you’re looking for a peppermint cocktail fix, that would be my preferred drink of choice.

Peppermint is also a great ingredient to use in a variety of hot beverage during the cold winter months. If you have a favorite Hot Drink that uses Peppermint Schnapps, or a selection of other Hiram Walker flavors, you can enter your drink to the Hot Drink contest of The Quest, Hiram Walker’s search for the country’s greatest cocktail recipes as submitted by consumers. For your chance to win one of two prizes, VISA gift cards valued at up to $500, enter your recipe on Hiram Walker’s website or Facebook page by December 31.

Cheers and enjoy what time remains of this holiday season!
SJ

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Countdown to V-Day – Part III

Chocolate candies, truffles, and all of the like are Valentine’s Day staples. So why would cocktails be left out of the mix? Incorporating Crème de Cacao, or chocolate liqueur, into your Valentine’s cocktail menu is a boozey way to achieve this cocoa-inspired flavor profile.

In other slightly related/slightly unrelated news, it also happens that today is Peppermint Patty Day. As an homage to that minty chocolate delight from York, here is the recipe. Great for both this Friday’s Feature cocktail and for a sweet Valentine’s dessert drink. To make it lean on the more romantic side, try switching up the garnish; instead of a candy cane, why not float candy hearts on the top of the drink? It’ll add a more personal touch.

Peppermint Patty

  • 2 part Hiram Walker White Crème de Cacao
  • 1 part Hiram Walker Peppermint Schnapps
  • 2 part ABSOLUT Vodka

Shake all ingredients and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a candy cane on the rim (or candy hearts for Valentine’s Day).

Cheers!
SJ

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Weekend Warmers

“Only Irish Coffee provides in a single glass all 4 essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar, fat” ~Alex Levine

Irish Coffee will be the talk of the town on Tuesday in celebration of another foodie holiday; however, there are a varying number of other spirits and liqueurs, coupled with coffee, that make for a great winter “pick-me-up”.

As you prep your bar and stock up on Jameson for that traditional coffee pairing, be sure to round up some of these other liqueurs for a plethora of hot coffee cocktails. Try out a different recipe each day leading up to Irish Coffee Day and let me know what you think of each combination.

Hazelnut Coffee

Hazelnut Liqueur

The all natural flavor of hazelnuts is transformed into a 60-proof spirit from Hiram Walker and is a great flavor in coffee drinks. Try out the Hazelnut Coffee or the Nutty Irish Man, a generous cup of Joe with 1 1/2 parts each of Hazelnut Liqueur and Irish Cream.

Peppermint Schnapps

Peppermint Schnapps is a cool, refreshing counterpart to balance out a hot cup of coffee. Give the Alps-inspired Swiss Coffee a try – 1 part each of Hiram Walker Peppermint Schnapps and Kahlua Coffee Liqueur poured in with 4 parts coffee and garnished with chocolate shavings.

Cinnamon Schnapps

Stay away from the hot and spicy schnapps that occupy this category; instead, I would recommend reaching for Original Cinn, which has warming cinnamon and vanilla flavors that will complement any cup of coffee. As previously attempted in a hot chocolate recipe, I have found that simply one part of Hiram Walker Original Cinn with a splash of cream can enhance your cup of coffee, whether it be early in the morning or a simple evening dessert.

Stay warm, my friends!

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Peppermint Patty Cocktail

Chocolate and mint are, without a doubt, a highly complimentary combination of flavors. In desserts, in cocktails, in dessert cocktails…

The spiced Hot Chocolate is a simple way to utilize that bottle of peppermint schnapps you have behind the bar; however, why not steer yourself in a slightly different direction? In place of those benchmark hot drinks we’ve been sipping on for the past few weeks, consider stirring up instead this chilled cocktail that is full of festive holiday flavors, such as the aforementioned mint and chocolate.

Peppermint Patty

* 2 parts Absolut Vodka
* 1 part Hiram Walker Peppermint Schnapps
* 1/2 part Hiram Walker White Creme de Cacao

Shake all ingredients and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a candy cane on the rim.

Enjoy this cocktail during the waning days of 2010 – you and your guests will surely be impressed!

Happy Holidays!
SJ

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Dr. Bamboo and the Garnet cocktail

Looking for a creative new way to look at peppermint schnapps? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

The seasonally-appropriate schnapps gains most of its popularity (or notoriety, take your pick) through a variety of shot recipes. However, the following recipe developed by Dr. Bamboo for a Thursday Drink Night calls for the use of peppermint schnapps…as a rinse!

Clocking in at 90-proof, I love this concept of using the Hiram Walker Peppermint Schnapps as a rinse to your cocktail glass. Plus, with a schnapps as flavor-packed as this one, it’s icy, minty zest still manages to make its subtle presence known.

Daring enough to be different? Give the Garnet recipe a try:

Garnet (created by Craig Mrusek, Dr. Bamboo)

1.5 oz. Rye (recommend a high-proof brand like Wild Turkey, Rittenhouse, etc.)
1.5 oz. Averna
.25 oz. Demerara simple syrup
2 dashes Regans’ orange bitters

Shake everything with ice and strain into a well-chilled cocktail glass that’s been rinsed with Hiram Walker Peppermint Schnapps.  Garnish with a pinch of ground cloves.

Looking for a simpler musing from Dr. B? Read his take on the Madras in his December column for Bar None Drinks. You’ll find my monthly contribution there as well.

Cheers!
SJ

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Icy Apple Martini

Before jumping into the realm of Halloween cocktails (yup, Cocktail Culture’s got ’em for you, stay tuned!), I wanted to pay homage to October for being more than just a love-fest with pumpkin. Oh, no! October is actually National Apple Month and deservedly so; Connecticut, as I’ve come to realize, is abundant with apple picking festivals throughout the month (CTbites.com is a great resource for all of your CT festival and event needs).

On a brisk autumn October afternoon, the 5:00 happy hour ‘itch’ hit the office staff a little earlier than normal. I grabbed a hold of the Hiram Walker Sour Apple Schnapps I purchased for an event back in September and decided to give the apple and spearmint combo a test spin in the Icy Apple Martini. Here’s the recipe:

Icy Apple Martini

  • 1 part ABSOLUT Vodka
  • 1/2 part Hiram Walker Sour Apple Schnapps
  • 1/2 part Hiram Walker Peppermint Schnapps

Mix ingredients in a shaker with ice. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a slice of apple.

Although we didn’t have the appropriate apple garnish on hand, this recipe ended up being quite the afternoon delight. The nose permeates of apples, the booze goes down smoothly (two coworkers failed to even recognize the taste of vodka in the cocktail!), and the finish leaves your mouth with the cool, tingly sensation of spearmint.

I must say, the Icy Apple Martini has quite the complex flavor profile for being such a Simple-tini!  Give this recipe a try or share some of your other favorite fall recipes in the comments section!

Cheers!
SJ

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The Big Bad Christmas Post

This time of year cocktail blogging can become a little overwhelming. There’s just so much to cover and not nearly enough time to cover it all. So rather than write-up a million little posts on great holiday cocktails (hey…I need time to wrap gifts too!) I figured I’d bite the bullet and put down everything you need to know about holiday drinking right here in my BIG BAD CHRISTMAS POST. Ready? Here we go…

Keep warm with this simple coffee cocktail. It makes for a great fireside sipper or dessert tipple.

Irish Winter

1 part Kahlua Coffee Cream

1 part Jameson Irish Whiskey

Freshly brewed coffee

Combine ingredients in a mug and stir. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Scotch is wonderful in seasonal cocktails—this one has the simple, warm flavors of brown sugar, hazelnuts, and vanilla. Great stuff from the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) Distiller of the Year—Chivas Regal.

Vanilla Hazlenut Blazer

2 oz. Chivas Regal 12 yo

2 tsp Brown Sugar

2 Hazelnuts

2 drops Vanilla Essence

Heat a brandy balloon over hot water with the whisky, sugar, vanilla and nuts. Set liquid aflame and twist glass to soften ingredients (about 30 seconds). Meanwhile, fill an Old Fashioned glass with ice. Pour flaming liquid over the ice. Garnish with 2 Hazelnuts & 2 Almonds.

The Beefeater Shrub takes a bit of work, but it’s well worth it for this well-balanced fresh cocktail.

The Beefeater Shrub

Beefeater 24 Gin

2 punnets Raspberries

2 punnets Blackberries

8-10 tbs caster sugar

Cloudy apple juice, lemon juice and nutmeg

In a saucepan muddle together the raspberries and blackberries. Add a little water and gently heat through adding the sugar as it warms up, simmer for 5 minutes. When cool place into an empty bottle and add equal parts of gin to the mixture. Leave this to stand in at room temperature for a day or two giving it enough time to marry together. Pour into a wine glass 3 oz. of the mixture, fill the glass with ice, squeeze and discard a piece of lemon and top with apple juice. Give it a quick stir and finally grate some fresh nutmeg over the drink.

Last but not least, give this new cocktail from Cheri Loughlin a try. It’s a decadent drink that just as appealing to the eye as it is to the taste buds. Absolutely the perfect drink with which to impress your holiday guests!

Minted Snowfall – created by Cheri Loughlin

Photo courtesy of Cheri Loughlin

I part Espresso Vodka

3/4 part Hiram Walker Peppermint Schnapps

1 part White Chocolate Liqueur

1 part Heavy Whipping Cream

Crushed Peppermint Rim

Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Stick Garnish -optional

Rim Old Fashioned Glass with white chocolate liqueur. Dip rim of glass in crushed peppermint.  Set aside.  Combine liquids in cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake to blend and chill.  Strain into peppermint rimmed old fashioned glass over fresh ice.  Garnish with chocolate dipped peppermint stick.

Whatever your drink of choice this season, be sure to have a safe and happy holiday! Best wishes & cheers!

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The People’s Peppermint Crush

peppermint_leaf1From time to time, I like to take a look at the analytics for Cocktail Culture. It’s really interesting to me to see where you all are coming from and how you got here. One thing I’ve noticed, of late, is that there are a lot of visitors ending up at Cocktail Culture who are looking for peppermint cocktails. Makes sense—peppermint and winter just seem to go together.

The problem is my site doesn’t feature many peppermint drinks, so I figured I’d better throw one up here before I lose you! I’ve been reading A Mountain of Crushed Ice a lot lately, so I couldn’t help thinking these ingredients would be beautiful with crushed ice. It’s so much better than blending a drink—no brain freeze! So here it is—ye asked and ye shall receive. Don’t say I never gave you anything! Cheers!

The People’s Peppermint Crush:

1 oz. Chocolate Syrup
1 oz. Coconut Cream
1 oz. Heavy Cream
¾ oz. Dark Rum
½ oz. Hiram Walker Peppermint Schnapps

Combine Chocolate Syrup, Coconut Cream, and Heavy Cream in a cocktail shaker with ice. Stir. Add Dark Rum and Hiram Walker Peppermint Schnapps. Shake thoroughly. Strain over crushed ice in a highball glass. Garnish with mint.

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