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Tag Archives: peppermint schnapps

Christmas CocktailDecember 6, 2011 – The Twilight Lounge

 So my eternal quest for a the perfect cocktail that combined chocolate and peppermint flavors has finally ended.  Typically, my past efforts had way too much peppermint and were as tasty as mint Listerine.  Tonight, however, I toned down the peppermint, amped up the Bailey’s (it ain’t Christmas without George Bailey, is it?) and added enough vodka to give it some punch.  Oh, and the Amaretto?   Well that adds depth and helps to counterbalance the peppermint.  Thus, behold the George Bailey!

  George Bailey

  • 1-1/2 oz vodka
  • 1-1/2 oz Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 1/4 oz peppermint schnapps
  • 1/4 oz Amaretto

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and gently shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Mmmm, delicious.  Just the right combination of mint, chocolate and nuttiness from the Amaretto, with the vodka providing a base to make this a cocktail and not just a girlie sipper.  So pop It’s a Wonderful Life into the DVD player and give it a whirl.  Let me know what you think!

Merry Christmas!

Day 236, Cocktail 234

Last night Gwen hosted her Newcomer’s Christmas party.  While I had mixed up a batch of Sleigh Wrecks for her party we decided to have a pre-party cocktail down in the Twilight Lounge.  She was really in the mood for a martini, so I pulled Sally Berk’s “The Martini Book” of the shelf.  After a bit of thumbing I found the perfect martini type cocktail to get us started for the evening.  Note that in her book Ms. Berk refers to this as a Christmas Martini…which I will not do since there is only one cocktail called a martini in my world!                                               

  Christmas Cocktail

  • 3 oz Plymouth gin
  • 1/2 oz dry vermouth
  • 1/8 oz peppermint schnapps

Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a fresh cranberry.

This was a very nice take on the traditional martini with the peppermint schnapps providing just a hint of peppermint flavor to give it a holiday twist.  Give it a try and let me know what you think!  In the meantime, I’m signing off to go make Gwen another one!

Cheers!

Day 223, Cocktail 221

This is the post wherein I attempt to make our friend Andrea very sad for having left beautiful Milwaukee for Boston…

Saturday night was our annual NID Holiday cocktail party.  Definately another occasion to come up with an orginal Christmas cocktail — and one that I could make up by the pitcher full!  Now, the first time I did this several years ago Andrea got wrecked on my creation, causing us to change the name from the Sleigh Ride to the Sleigh Wreck.  Even though she swore off of them, I’m pretty sure they were the cause of her dancing on the bar at our annual holiday party that year.  Andrea, if you’re reading this, set me straight if I’ve missed anything.

Anyway, back to Saturday night.  I tinkered around for a bit and came up with this.

  Bad Santa

  • 1-1/2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 oz triple sec
  • 1/2 bar spoon peppermint schnapps

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Pour into a rocks glass and garnish with a mint leaf or green striped candy cane. 

Both Gwen and I, as well as several of our friends enjoyed this one.  The pomegranate juice keeps it fruity without being sweet and the peppermint schnapps give it just a whiff of mint flavor.  Definately a crowd pleaser for those holiday parties!

Now, if you do want to mix it up by the pitcher full, just work the scale up.  I used 3 cups vodka, 2 cups pomegranate juice, 1 cup triple sec and just 1 oz of peppermint schnapps.  I also added about 3/4 cup of ice to the pitcher and let it melt in.  This is really important to remember when mixing large batches.  When you mix a cocktail one at a time, you’re getting about 20% water into the drink from the ice melting.  Thus, adding ice or water to your large batch mixes still gives you the proportion.  Otherwise, you risk having your guests dancing on top of your bar by 10pm instead of 1am!

Cheers!

Day 222, Cocktails 218

Friday night turned into home movie night for Gwen and me, with both the daughters out of the house.  We took advantage of the evening by watching one of our favorite Christmas movies – White Christmas with Danny Kaye, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen.  Man, can that Vera Ellen dance!  We also love all the cocktail lounges that are part of the movie and how the women wear cocktail dresses and the men suits.  I swear that I should have turned 30 in about 1952!

When watching a movie like this we like to sip cocktails ourselves.  I wanted to stay within my sour theme of the moment and also wanted to create a cocktail that would be emblematic of White Christmas.  So, down to the Twilight Lounge I went and started tinkering.  This is what I came up with:

  White Christmas

  • 2 oz Death’s Door gin
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz bar syrup
  • 1/2 bar spoon peppermint schnapps

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with 3 fresh cranberries.

This was delicious!  Using the shaker and really shaking vigourously left bits of ice that came through the strainer and helped froth up the cocktail a bit.  This gives the drink a very nice, white, almost snowy appearance.  I did have to be careful with the peppermint schnapps to be sure not to overpower the gin and lemon juice with it.  Too much and it just takes over!  You can, however, adjust the amount of schnapps to your taste.  For instance, I do like mine just a bit more minty than Gwen did.  The Death’s Door gin is a local product made from wheat and juniper berries grown on Washington Island.  It’s not quite as strong on the flavor as a typical London dry gin.  If you don’t have Death’s Door in your area I would substitute Plymouth in its place.

With our cocktails in hand we settled in for the movie and had a fun evening!

Cheers!

Please, No More!

Day 139, Cocktails 137, 138 & 139

So just where the heck did schnapps come from anyway?  Well, schnapps linguistically comes from Germany where the reference is to any strong, distilled alcoholic beverage.  These typically were distilled from fruits and, in fact, schnapps type beverages can be found all over Europe.  Of course, once we got a hold of it in America we had to add sugars (mostly in the form of high fructose corn syrup, yeech) and turn into something that frat boys could use to get sorority girls drunk.  Sigh.

Tonight, I bring my quest for a cocktail using peppermint schnapps to an end.  To my credit, I am going down swinging, but I just don’t see it happening.  For those of you who enjoy watching slow motion train wrecks, please keep reading.

The first effort tonight was pulled from the CocktailDB web site.  I did an ingredient search on peppermint schnapps and something called the Milwaukee Madness caught my eye.  Madness is correct for this cocktail as that is what this is – sheer madness.

  Milwaukee Madness

  •  1 oz bourbon
  • 3/4 oz peppermint schnapps
  • 1 dash of bitters

Combine the ingredients in a rocks glass with 4-5 ice cubes.  Stir and serve.

If you enjoy cough syrup, you’ll enjoy this.  If you are a 19 year old sorority sister, you’ll enjoy this.  If you like a well made cocktail, then, well, you’ll be out of luck.

Unfortunately, hubris set in and I became convinced that I could make something enjoyable out of this mess.  I decided to amp up the bourbon content and add another liqueur to the mix.  Being a fan of maraschino liqueur I decided to go in that direction.

  Milwaukee Madness (Take Two)

  • 1-1/2 oz bourbon
  • 3/4 oz peppermint schnapps
  • 1/4 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur
  • 2 dashes bitters

Combine the ingredients in a rocks glass with 4-5 ice cubes.  Stir and serve.

Ok, so I could finally taste a bit of bourbon and the maraschino helped subdue the schnapps a bit… but this is still too damn pepperminty syrupy.

But, being who I am, I decided to take one last stab at this.  I swapped out the maraschino liqueur for cherry heering, hoping the darker cherry flavor and inherent smokiness would subdue the schnapps and make it play nice. 

  Milwaukee Madness (Take Three)

  • 1-1/2 oz bourbon
  • 3/4 oz peppermint schnapps
  • 1/4 oz cherry heering
  • 2 dashes bitters

Combine the ingredients in a rocks glass with 4-5 ice cubes.  Stir and serve.

Uncle!  I give up.  This version is actually a step backwards towards the cough syrup end of the spectrum.

So what did I learn?  That I’m gonna’ have to either dump the peppermint schnapps or wait for a sorority party to break out at the Twilight Lounge in order to get rid of this stuff.  Maybe I’ll just stick it in the fridge and pass it off on unwitting friends playing Mexican sweat at the next party…

By the way, you find these recipes in the index because I really don’t want to ever drink them again!

Cheers!

The Explorer's Club

Day 135, Cocktail 134  

It’s been a fun and enjoyable Labor Day weekend around here, and I hope you’ve had a safe and enjoyable holiday.  There’s lots to report on that happened over the last three days, but for this post I decided to take you on a journey with me.  A journey through flavors and experiments as I search for just the right combination of ingredients to create a delicious and refreshing fizz to celebrate the holiday. 

My journey started today with my continued insistence that I find some way to use up the peppermint schnapps that I have behind the bar.  My first pass consisted of filling a collins glass with ice and adding 1/2 oz of peppermint schnapps and 1/2 oz of fresh lemon juice.  I then filled the glass with seltzer water, added a dash of maraschino cherry juice and viola!  My first attempt at the Mint Fizz.  Hmmm, at first blush this wasn’t too bad, but over the course of the 30 to 45 minutes that I was sipping on it the mint gradually took over.  Drinking several of these would not be an option, unless you like sucking on peppermint candies all day.  So, back to the drawing board.  

I need something that will counteract the mint without knocking my socks off.  Let’s try some Luxardo maraschino liqueur.  I went with the same amounts of peppermint schnapps and lemon juice (1/2 oz) and added 1/2 oz of Luxardo maraschino liqueur.  The maraschino stands up equally to the schnapps, giving me a minty, cherry flavor.  But it is still not quite right at this point.Round three had me leaving the peppermint schnapps and maraschino at 1/2 oz but increasing the lemon juice to 3/4 oz.  I also added 2 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters to the drink.  Not only does the Peychaud’s impart a very light, pink color to the cocktail, but it adds a bit of binder to tie this whole thing together.  At this point, I have a pretty decent fizz that has a nice interplay between the schnapps and maraschino, without being too minty.  I could drink several of these in an afternoon (oh wait, I did, didn’t I?).  

  Mint Fizz  

  • 1/2 oz peppermint schnapps
  • 1/2 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • seltzer water

Fill a collins glass with ice cubes.  Add the schnapps, maraschino, lemon juice and Peychaud’s.  Top the glass with seltzer water.   

Try it out and let me know what you think!   

Cheers!  

Day 131, Cocktail 131

Live and learn…and maybe someday I’ll learn.  I was flipping through Mittie Hellmich’s Ultimate Bar Book looking for a bourbon recipe tonight.  I saw several candidates, but kept looking, not sure what I wanted.  Then I saw it, the Mint Condition.  I’ve got two bottles of peppermint schnapps that I’d love to get rid of (but cant’ bear the thought of throwing it away), and this recipe used peppermint schnapps.  Never mind that there’s a reason that I want to get rid of this stuff.  I was gonna’ make this cocktail!

  Mint Condition

  • 3/4 oz bourbon
  • 3/4 oz vodka
  • 3/4 oz peppermint schnapps
  • 1/2 oz Kahlua

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice cubes and shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled coupe.  No garnish required!

Well, if you like mint flavored mouthwash, you’ll love this.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t recommend trying it. 

That said, I do think that toning down the peppermint schnapps volume and boosting the Kahlua might work.  Maybe taking it down to just 1/4 oz of peppermint schnapps and using 3/4 oz Kahlua.  That combo will have to wait for another day though.

Cheers!

Day 104, Cocktails 103 & 104

Saturday was a fun, family day at the Wisconsin State Fair, and we managed to avoid eating any food on a stick.  We did see the chocolate covered bacon on a stick, and it did not look appetizing at all.  We were also fortunate to have our friends from St. Louis, Andy and Jennifer, and their two daughters, come over for a cook out and some swimming Saturday evening.  It ended up being quite a little party.

When Andy and Jennifer arrived that signalled the beginning of cocktail hour.  The problem was that when asked what they wanted, Jennifer and Gwen both said “Whatever”.  I’d never hear of a cocktail with that name and didn’t find anything on the CocktailDB web site either.  So I set about making up a cocktail for the girls.

Whatever Cocktail

  • 2 oz Hendrick’s gin
  • 1/2 oz cucumber juice
  • 1/4 oz St. Germain
  • 1/8 oz peppermint schnapps

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice.  Shake, shake, shake to completely chill.  Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with a cucumber wheel.

My inspiration for this was the Love and Happiness.  However, rather than muddling cucumber I used my juicer to squeeze cucumber slices.  And, since I’d pretty much used all the mint from my garden, I added the peppermint schnapps to add just a hint of mint flavor.  It must of worked, because the girls loved it and I thought it worked out pretty well too.

It didn’t take long before the girls were ready for a second cocktail.  Jennifer joined me in the Twilight Lounge and wanted to have something named for her.  I asked what she liked and she told me vodka, rasberry and tequila.  I nearly pulled out the rasberry vodka, then thought about using vodka and chambord.  I even briefly considered the Sleigh Wreck, but I wanted to wait on that one.  I asked if she liked ginger and Jen said “yeah, its OK.”  So, I started thinking about a twist on a mule style cocktail combined with a margarita.  Thus, the Jennifer was born.

  Jennifer

  • 2 oz Cadadores tequila
  • 1/2 oz Domaine de Canton
  • 1 oz lime juice

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice.  You know what’s coming…shake, shake, shake.  Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.

Jen and Gwen loved this, and so did I.  Much more sophisticated than a mule and a flavorful twist on a margarita, this cocktail definately shifted the party into high gear.  I can’t wait until this fall when we’ll see Andy and Jennifer again!

Cheers!