Category Archives: Peppermint Schnapps

Beer Good!

Another week, another hangover. I come to you this time kind of continuing my “back-to-school” theme with drinks based around that college party standard (and standard of pretty much any other party, really), beer!

Who doesn’t like beer? Well, lots of people, actually, but they’re all objectively wrong. Beer is great! And you probably just drink your beer without doing anything fancy to it. But why not experiment every now and then. In the spirit of exploration, here are seven beer-based mixed drinks to try the next time you’re bored with your Bud.

Beer Buster
-1 1/2 oz Vodka
-2 dashes Tabasco Sauce
-Chilled Beer

Beer Buster

I figured I’d start with the strongest drink first tonight, instead of ending with the strongest drink like last time. It’s probably a lot better for my pacing. Vodka in beer is a pretty good way to get a buzz going fast — and after last week’s disappointing Jäger-fest, who couldn’t use a good buzz?

I’m really not a fan of adding hot sauce to stuff, especially drinks. Sometimes I feel like the only person I’ve met who doesn’t think that hot sauce is a magical elixir that makes anything better. There’s a time and place for everything, but it’s certainly not on my burger.

This drink, however, isn’t all that bad. It ups the alcohol content of your beer with vodka, and the added spice actually works well. It’s not incredible, but it’s an interesting flavor, and it’s worth trying if you like spicy things — just don’t ruin an expensive beer with this. If you don’t like spicy things, you could just drink beer with vodka in it, but then people might call you an alcoholic.

In any case, this would probably be a hit at a lot of college parties. Combine the ingredients in a beer glass of your choosing and enjoy.

Black and Tan
-Lager or Pale Ale
-Stout

Black and Tan

This is one of the more well-known drinks on the list tonight. It’s often served layered, but as you can see in the picture above, it’s not necessary to layer it. Layering that much beer in a glass that big isn’t easy without the appropriate equipment (plus the bubbles make it hard to layer any carbonated beverage), so I opted to just let the two beers mingle. I honestly think it’s better that way. If you wanted to taste two beers individually, you can order two beers individually. Allowing the beers to mix together creates something much more interesting than a layered drink, pretty though a layered drink may be.

I really like this drink, because I’m not all that into stout. I appreciate it and enjoy it, but I can only do so much bitter. If you use a lager, then it cuts the bitterness of the stout quite well. I’m sure with a pale ale it would be a much different experience, but I’ll try that another day. For now, this is a beer concoction that would make a Mormon reconsider things.

Combine the two beers in a beer glass of your choice. Layer them if you can, but don’t worry too much if you can’t.

Boiler Maker
-1 shot Whiskey
-1 glass Lager or Pale Ale

Boiler Maker

There are three ways you can do this drink. First, you can do it as a shooter-chaser combo, where you down the whiskey and then chug the beer. Second, you can do it as a bomb shot where you drop the full shot glass into the beer and chug the mixture. Third, you can pour the whiskey into your beer without any drama and either chug it or drink it (though it’s expected that you chug it).

I chose the first option. Kind of a weird choice for me, because I’m not that good at chugging things, and sometimes shots of straight liquor can hit me wrong if I over-think it and briefly upset my stomach (which happened this time). So the actual experience of drinking this drink was not all that pleasant, but it ought to be judged on its own merits. As a shooter-chaser combo, it’s a good way to get a buzz. As far as flavor goes, the combination works well. It depends on the whiskey you use, but the whiskey flavor adds a nice, more refined layer to the beer. It’s a bit sweet if you use something like bourbon.

Anyway, I already explained how to make any version of this drink earlier, so I don’t think I need to explain it again. Make it, enjoy it, but be aware that doing more than two of these might just mean you’re an alcoholic or severely depressed (or both). Or maybe you’re just a college student at a party making bad decisions.

Shandy
-Lemonade (or Lemon-Lime Soda, I guess)
-Lager or Pale Ale

Shandy

I have some differing opinions on this to report. I thought this was really good, because I’ve had pre-made Shandies out of bottles, and those aren’t very good. This made me understand why someone would choose to drink a Shandy in the first place. My wife, however, thought this tasted like blood. A good part of that might be that I used beer from a can. So, take that for what you will. This might be good. It might taste like blood. If you’re a vampire, that might be great news for you! However, if you don’t happen to be a mythical creature of the night who for some reason frequents my blog, maybe try this with bottled beer to help cut the metallic taste.

So, vampires and college students, given my experiences with bottled versions of Shandies, I wasn’t expecting something good here. I was pleasantly surprised with how the lemonade blended with the beer, bringing sweet, sour, and bitter together quite effectively. I’m sure it would be even better if I hadn’t used store-bought lemonade. Yes, I was too lazy to combine water, sugar, and lemon juice. Shut up.

Combine the two ingredients in equal parts in a beer glass of your choice. Drink, and enjoy if you can. If you can’t, try to find someone who avoids sunlight and garlic to offer it to, I guess.

Shandygaff
-Ginger Beer
-Lager or Pale Ale

Shandygaff

This is like a Shandy that’s a bit spicier. I’m not sure which drink came first, but in reading the Shandygaff, I learned that it is believed to have come from British slang for a pint of beer. The original phrase was “shant of gatter.” Shant meant “pub” and gatter meant “water.” Thus, we have “pub water” in a Shandygaff. See? You get to learn something, too.

This isn’t that intense or potent, but it’s still a very good drink. Ginger beer can be a really weird drink on its own, but it works here. The beer makes the ginger beer more palatable, and the ginger beer adds complexity and spice to the beer. It’s a very good mutual relationship.

Make it the same way you make a Shandy.

Depth Charge
-1 1/2 oz Peppermint Schnapps
-Lager or Ale

Deoth Charge

With the relatively large amount of peppermint schnapps in this drink, I wasn’t expecting something good. I clearly underestimated the power of the beer. The beer flavor is strong enough to counter the large amount of peppermint schnapps. Ergo, this drink is essentially just a beer with a bit of a minty kick — perhaps something to make your breath a bit better.

This is a nice and light drink with a little bit of mint. I don’t think I can’t say anything else about it. So, yeah. Mint and beer. It’s cool. I’m not sure why someone thought, “You know what my beer really needs? Mint!” But still. It’s cool.

Make it exactly how you expect to make it.

Michelada
-Lime Wedge
-Kosher Salt
-Mexican Lager

Michelada

This is apparently a Mexican classic, and it loosely translates to “my cold beer.” There are several variations of it, and I’ve given you the simplest version of it. You might see tequila and Tabasco in other versions, but all versions are based off of some combination of (Mexican) beer, lime juice, and salt, served over ice.

Well, feel free to look up other versions and add lots of ingredients, but whatever version you pick, this might be the one way to make Corona enjoyable. I’d definitely suggest a better beer than I did, but if you can’t find one, Corona will work, and it’s actually drinkable here.

In any case, this is a simple change to beer, but it’s quite pleasant. If I were an upper-class type, I would totally order this while lounging by the pool. Make this at your next college kegger to bring in some class.

Start by rimming a pilsner glass with the lime wedge and salt (I suppose pilsner glasses are kind of specialized, so use another glass if you must). Then squeeze the lime wedge into the glass and drop it in. Add ice and fill with beer. Have fun, you classy motherfucker.

Denouement
Beer. Probably the best thing humanity has to offer. Go have some.


Why your grandfather is so angry all the time: Whiskey Sour

Oh my, it’s been too long, hasn’t it? It’s been more than a month since my last post, and February is fading fast. I couldn’t let this month go by without making a post, so here I am, all of you functional alcoholics. Sorry it’s taken so long. It won’t happen again.

In any case, let’s get right to it. This week I’m drinking Whiskey Sours. If you’re interested, “sour” refers to a class of drinks that follow the blueprint of a base spirit, a sweetening agent, and a souring agent (usually lemon or lime juice). This means that drinks like the Margarita or Cosmopolitan are sours. However, the Whiskey Sour is the ultimate sour drink.

With Whiskey Sours, the basic blueprint is whiskey, lemon juice, and sugar (I use syrup, because it’s a little easier and faster). And lemon juice, by the way, means fresh lemon juice. For reference, a medium sized lemon at room temperature (cold citrus fruits don’t give as much juice) will give about an ounce and a half of juice, give or take. So, for most of these recipes, which call for three quarters of an ounce of lemon juice, I’m juicing half a lemon.

Now let’s get to it.

 

Whiskey Sour
-2 oz Bourbon (or other whiskey)
-3/4 oz Lemon Juice
-1/2 oz Simple Syrup
-Maraschino Cherry
-Orange Slice

Whiskey Sour

Whiskey Sour

This is it. Adult lemonade right here. The classic Whiskey Sour is just that: classic, and for good reason. It’s really good. Like, FOX bringing back Firefly for another season good. (But with Wash still alive, of course. You just don’t kill Alan Tudyk.) This is a great refresher, and it goes down easy while still capitalizing on the whiskey flavor.

The key to a good Whiskey Sour is balance. Too much whiskey, and it’ll be too strong and gross. Too much lemon juice and it’ll be too sour. Too much sugar and it’ll be so cloying you won’t be able to stand it.

However, if it isn’t to your taste, you can always add more of any of the ingredients to balance it out. This is one of the reason why you should NEVER USE SOUR MIXES. Sour mix, or sweet and sour mix, or bar mix, is just sweetened citrus juice. Use fresh ingredients instead, and you can find the balance that you prefer.

To make this tasty drink, shake the liquid ingredients with ice and strain the mixture into either a sour glass or an ice-filled old fashioned glass. I don’t happen to have any sour glasses, so I’ll be using old fashioned glasses all night. Finally, garnish with the fruit.

By the way, there is one exception with using sour mix: Lynchburg Lemonade. Perhaps I’ll make that the subject of a post one day. But it is not this day.

Moving on.

 

Boston Sour
-2 oz Bourbon (or other whiskey)
-3/4 oz Lemon Juice
-1/2 oz Simple Syrup
-1 Egg White
-Maraschino Cherry
-Orange Slice

Boston Sour

Boston Sour

This drink is pretty much a regular Whiskey Sour, but frothier and thicker, and if the actresses in certain Internet films I may or may not have seen are to be believed, then thicker is always better.

But I’ll let you decide for yourself if thicker is better. The egg white really doesn’t change the flavor. The difference between the Whiskey Sour and the Boston Sour is in texture and cosmetics. In other disciplines, these attributes would not be as important. But in mixology, presentation is half of the goal. So think about what aesthetics you want, and decide which version is right for you.

By the way, whenever you see egg white in a drink recipe, you can omit it if you don’t want to bother breaking an egg and separating the white and yolk. The texture of the drink will be different, but the taste will be mostly untouched. However, if it calls for egg yolk or the whole egg, then the taste will be greatly affected by an omission.

Anyway, start by shaking the bourbon, lemon juice, syrup, and egg white with ice. Shake it a bit more vigorously than you would normally. You want to make sure to break up the egg white and blend it with the rest of the drink. Some people will even recommend dry-shaking the egg white for a little bit before adding the ice and other ingredients. Whichever method you use, once it’s well-shaken, strain it into a sour glass or an ice-filled old-fashioned glass and garnish with the fruit.

Now let’s start playing with the flavors.

 

Double Standard Sour
-3/4 oz Bourbon (or other whiskey)
-3/4 oz Gin
-3/4 oz Lemon Juice
-1/2 oz Simple Syrup
-1 dash Grenadine
-Maraschino Cherry
-Orange Slice

Double Standard Sour

Double Standard Sour

I’ve never actually mixed gin and whiskey before. Probably because it sounds really gross. Oddly enough though, they work pretty well together here. The whiskey lends its strong, robust flavor, and the gin lends its nice, light aroma and taste.

I think the sweeteners really pull this drink together. You don’t want to overdo it, because too much syrup will make your drink taste the way Katy Perry songs sound, but the syrup (or sugar if you prefer) and grenadine are essential here, and help mellow the gin and whiskey to work together instead of clashing.

Shake the liquid ingredients with ice and strain into a sour glass or ice-filled old fashioned glass. Garnish as you’ve garnished all of them so far.

 

New York Sour
-2 oz Bourbon (or other whiskey)
-3/4 oz Lemon Juice
-1/2 oz Simple Syrup
-1/2 oz Dry Red Wine
-Lemon Slice

New York Sour

New York Sour

This is a pretty tasty variation. The wine really lends a lot of flavor, and is enhanced itself by the sweet-and-sour dynamic of the drink. The wine here becomes an interesting canvas where its own flavors are played with by the traditional ingredients of the sour.

To be sure, I don’t like red wine that much. It’s not my drink. But this drink makes red wine work, sister. It makes it fucking dance and sing. It makes red wine its bitch and it’s damn good.

A note though: do use a DRY red wine. Sweet won’t cut it here. It won’t dance in the same way, and you risk it being too sweet (which is obviously not something you want for a sour). A dry red wine will be a little bit more neutral, and therefore a much better blending ingredient. If you’re curious, I used a cheap Merlot (no need to empty your wallet for this). Make your own decision about what wine to use.

To make it, shake the bourbon, lemon juice, and simple syrup with ice and strain it into a sour glass (note that I’m not recommending an ice-filled old fashioned glass here). Since I don’t have a sour glass, I used a white wine glass. It’s the closest thing I have to sour glass, but it is bigger, and the shape goes in more at the top.

Once you’ve strained it, float the red wine on top. As you’ll probably see in the picture, I did a thoroughly mediocre job of floating the wine. Part of this was my poor skill. Seriously, I suck. But the other part of it was the glass choice. Because wine glasses go in so much at the top, it can make it hard to float an ingredient on the top of a drink, especially when there’s only about three ounces of liquid of the glass. A better alternative might have been a champagne coupe or a martini glass, but neither of those would have preserved the aroma of the wine as well. Make your own choice about the glass.

Finally, garnish with the lemon slice. Damn, that might be the most instructions I’ve ever written for one drink.

Let’s try another, shall we?

 

Park Lane
-2 oz Bourbon (or other whiskey)
-1/2 oz Sloe Gin
-3/4 oz Lemon Juice
-1/2 oz Simple Syrup
-Maraschino Cherry
-Orange Slice

Park Lane

Park Lane

Sloe gin is weird. That’s really all I can say about it. It’s not bad. It’s not particularly good. It’s just weird.

That being said, the flavor doesn’t come out that much here — which is really a good thing. You don’t want to ruin your whiskey with a cloying liqueur. But since the flavor itself is downplayed here, it makes this drink a bit hard to describe. It’s sweeter, it’s a bit fruitier, and it’s not as good as regular whiskey sour.

If you have sloe gin on hand, you might as well give this a try. If you don’t, I don’t see much of a reason to make this drink. If you really feel a need to make the Whiskey Sour fruitier, or if you particularly like sloe berries, then maybe. Otherwise, let it go. If you must make your Whiskey Sour fruitier, I suggest watching a Nathan Lane movie while drinking it.

In any case, shake the liquid ingredients with ice and strain into a sour glass or ice-filled old fashioned glass, and garnish with the cherry and orange. Don’t overdo it with the sloe gin. Simple enough, right?

Next one!

 

Southern Comfort Sour
-2 oz Southern Comfort
-3/4 oz Lemon Juice
-1/2 oz Orange Juice
-1/2 oz Simple Syrup
-Maraschino Cherry
-Orange Slice

Southern Comfort Sour

Southern Comfort Sour

And here we have the first drink of the night I cannot, in good conscience, recommend, under any circumstances. Why is that? It’s because Southern Comfort might just be the worst alcoholic beverage of modern times. Yes, even worse then Jägermeister. No one, under any circumstances, should drink Southern Comfort.

So why did I drink it? Well, why did Rihanna get back together with Chris Brown? Why do I know anything about Rihanna and Chris Brown? These are all questions we’ll never know the answers to.

A probable answer to the first question, though, is that I commit to my part. I found this variation, thought it might be interesting, and committed to trying it out and reviewing it for you, my dear readers.

So here’s my review: cough syrup. This drink tastes like cough syrup. Worse than that, though, it tastes like bad grape cough syrup.

Surely you remember being a kid, and getting sick. Inevitably, you needed to take medicine. Having taken medicine before, you knew which artificial flavors tasted awesome, and which tasted like ass. Cherry cough syrup, for example, came straight from Hell to punish sick toddlers for their youth.

But then there was artificial grape. It tasted nothing like grape and everything like Heaven. Surely it was a gift from the gods to reward us for diligently eating of our vegetables and not pooping our pants. Artificial grape is the best flavor. If you disagree, you are objectively wrong.

But then the beast reared its ugly head. You asked for grape cough syrup, but your mom got the wrong brand. Something was off about it. It didn’t taste the way it was supposed to. Instead, it tasted like Satan playing a cruel joke on a young kid just for the fun of it. It was wrong and disgusting.

That’s what this drink tastes like.

So, if you, for whatever insane reason, like Southern Comfort, you make it like all the rest of these drinks: Shake the liquid ingredients with ice and strain it into a sour glass or ice-filled old fashioned glass, and garnish with the fruit. I suppose it does taste better than straight Southern Comfort, but that’s really not a hard feat to accomplish. If you do make this drink, do not skip the orange juice (and use fresh orange juice if you can). The tartness goes a long way in balancing out the utterly gross sweetness of the SoCo.

Now, let us move on. Thankfully.

 

Stinger Sour
-2 oz Bourbon (or other whiskey)
-1 dash Peppermint Schnapps
-3/4 oz Lemon Juice
-1/2 oz Simple Syrup
-Mint Sprig

Stinger Sour

Stinger Sour

Oh, here’s something interesting. Generally, I’m not that big of a fan of mint. However, it tends to work really well in cocktails. This drink is no exception.

This is an incredibly good libation, with a similar sour-sweet-mint dynamic that you might find in a Mojito. Of course, this isn’t as sweet, and whiskey is a helluva lot different than rum, so the comparison isn’t perfect. But the dynamic and the complexity is there. This is a good drink, you guys.

To be fair, though, I don’t quite see why you’d go with this instead of a Mint Julep, other than the fact that you don’t have to muddle anything with this drink. Since peppermint schnapps is so strong, even if you add only a dash, this drink comes down to bourbon versus mint, with a little bit of sweet-and-sour going on in the background. That’s not a bad thing, but a Mint Julep is a much simpler way to get a similar effect.

Your call, though. This isn’t a bad drink at all.

Shake the liquid ingredients with ice, strain it it into either the sour glass or the ice-filled old fashioned glass, and garnish with the mint sprig. Enjoy.

Last drink.

 

Ward Eight
-2 oz Bourbon
-1 oz Lemon Juice
-1 oz Orange Juice
-1 dash Grenadine
-Maraschino Cherry
-Orange Slice

Ward Eight

Ward Eight

To finish with, here we have the drink that departs most with the common Whiskey Sour formula, but it definitely qualifies as a variation. Coincidentally, it’s also probably the most well-known of any of the drinks listed here other than the basic Whiskey Sour, with the possible exception of the Boston Sour. The Ward Eight is a drink on its own, and that in itself deserves some respect.

This drink has about the same dynamic of sweet versus sour, but with a lot more fruitiness. Scratch the Nathan Lane idea, and ditch the sloe gin; if you want a fruitier Whiskey Sour, try this drink. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea (or cup of liquor, I suppose), but it does exactly what it’s supposed to do, and it does it well.

Shake the liquid ingredients with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with the cherry and orange, and enjoy.

 

Denouement
So, what have we learned? First off, we learned that I’m a lazy asshole and need to start posting again. Second, we learned that sour mix is best left in the grocery store. Third, we learned that Southern Comfort is probably just fermented grape cough syrup. Please don’t drink it.

That’s all, guys. Please drink responsibly.

Cheers!


I’ll Be Drunk for Christmas: Holiday Drinks

December is here, and that means you can’t get away from holiday themes and decorations everywhere — which has technically been true for the past three months. September, we hardly knew ye.

As it turns out, this blog is no exception to the rule, since I more than happy to welcome the extra traffic that will come in from search engine hits if I do a holiday theme.

So welcome to my post for the holidays! Hopefully most of these drinks will be somewhat non-denominational (I mean, Christmas doesn’t have a monopoly on peppermint, right?), but there might be a few drinks specific to one holiday. Maybe next year I’ll really get into the whole denominational thing, and do an eight crazy shots post or something. Sounds fun.

In any case, no matter what you celebrate this year, it’s a great time for family, love, kindness, and alcohol. Lots of alcohol. After all, you are going to be seeing your family, so it’s kind of a necessity. So while you’re giving your loved ones the gift of junk you wouldn’t buy for yourself, give yourself the gift of intoxication. Here’s eight drinks to enjoy this season.

 

Holly Berry
-1 1/2 oz Raspberry Vodka
-1/2 oz Triple Sec
-1/4 oz Rose’s Lime Juice
-3 oz Cranberry Juice
-Holly Sprig without Berries

The Holly Berry

The Holly Berry

I think the recipe book I got this from just decided to make a reddish drink and add a holly sprig to it to make it look relevant to the season. With that in mind, I encourage you to use this method to invent your own festive holiday drinks — just be sure to pluck off all the berries (they are poisonous) and wash the sprig. Hell, you can use a plastic replica for all I care. Just whatever you do, don’t die.

In any case, this drink is pretty good, even if its inventor was really lazy when thinking it up. Despite being mostly raspberry vodka and cranberry juice, it’s not overly tart at all. In fact, the flavor of the triple sec is very noticeable, making for a very nice orange taste. In the end, all the flavors of the drink work very well together, much in the same way that all the religions in America don’t this time of year.

To make this, shake the liquid ingredients with ice, strain the mix into a martini glass, and garnish with the holly sprig. Or, if you’re not trying to impress anyone, go ahead and skip this garnish. Your call.

Moving on…

 

Vanilla Dark and Stormy
-2 oz Dark Rum
-1 dash Vanilla Extract
-Ginger Beer
-Lime Wedge

Vanilla Dark and Stormy

Vanilla Dark and Stormy

So this is seasonal in that vanilla and ginger are both flavors associated with the season. Other than that, it’s not very special. However, it is pretty good. Just be ready for the ginger beer. If you haven’t tasted ginger beer before, it’s kind of weird, and it can be as shocking as waking up to cat butt, though definitely not as unpleasant.

Personally, I am not a huge fan of ginger beer, but it’s definitely not a bad flavor. It is weird at first, but it’s good. Unfortunately, the vanilla flavor isn’t all that noticeable in this drink, but you will get hints of it here and there. It’s nice when you do notice it, anyway. Either way, this is a good and easy cooler for the holiday season, so if you’re a fan of ginger, give this a try.

To make, just pour the liquid ingredients in a tall glass of ice and stir. Squeeze the lime wedge over the drink and drop it in. Not the most complicated of holiday drinks, but not bad at all.

Let’s make something a little more pretty.

 

Angel’s Delight
-3/4 oz Gin
-3/4 oz Triple Sec
-2 to 3 dashes Grenadine
-1 oz Cream

Angel's Delight

Angel’s Delight

Isn’t this drink pretty? The deep red is very appropriate for the season, and the cream on top looks like a mound of snow or the trim on Santa’s suit. It’s just… oh, so pretty. I almost didn’t want to drink it.

But drink it I did, and it was delicious. Grenadine and gin compliment each other very well, and the triple sec throws in a little bit of complexity for the occasion. The cream is wonderful and fluffy as it just sits on top.

So, it’s pretty, it’s yummy, and it’s alcoholic. I suppose not much else is required to make something angelic. Especially when I’m three drinks in.

Shake all of the ingredients except the cream with ice and strain it into a champagne flute. Then carefully float the cream on top of the rest of the drink. You can also use a wine glass or a martini glass for this cocktail. I chose the champagne flute because it looks prettier.

 

Evergreen
-1 1/2 oz Gin
-1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
-1/2 oz Melon Liqueur
-1 dash Lemon Juice
-1 splash Blue Curacao
-Maraschino Cherry

Evergreen

Evergreen

Gin always did kind of taste like a tree, so this seems like a natural fit for it. This is essentially a Kyoto Cocktail, but with the addition of blue curacao and a cherry. It’s not bad, but in all honesty, the lemon juice really conflicts with the melon liqueur. The recipe is clearly following the sweet ingredient and sour ingredient blueprint, but I don’t think it works here.

Other than that, the drink isn’t bad. The melon is nice, the gin gives that slight tree-like taste, and biting into the cherry at the end is a great finisher. It is also pretty, so that’s worth something. Go light on the lemon juice, and it might impress some guests. Otherwise, this drink will overwhelm you, and that nice tree-like taste will quickly start to feel like that one scene from Evil Dead that Sam Raimi later regretted.

Shake the gin, vermouth, melon liqueur, and lemon juice with ice and strain it into a martini glass. Top it with a splash of blue curacao and drop the cherry in. It’s pretty, but not as good as some of the others on this list.

Now let’s look at peppermint, that ever-popular holiday flavor.

 

Candy Cane Twist
-1 oz Raspberry Vodka
-1/2 oz Peppermint Schnapps
-2 oz Cranberry Juice
-1/2 oz Grenadine
-1 splash Lemon-Lime Soda
-Candy Cane

Candy Cane Twist

Candy Cane Twist

Yeah, we all have probably had enough of peppermint by now. But, alas, This list would be incomplete without a peppermint-themed drink. It’s not a bad flavor at all, but it is overdone this time of year. However, this fact apparently didn’t stop me from beating this dead horse with a comically large candy cane.

This drink is nice and smooth. It’s sweet without being too sweet, and it has that peppermint flavor without being overpowering. A note on that, by the way: The peppermint flavor is kind of subtle in this drink if you use the above proportions. It gives that cool feeling without being very strong. If you want to have a stronger peppermint flavor, increase the amount of peppermint schnapps a little at a time — maybe in quarter ounce increments. Be careful though, as peppermint schnapps is one of those ingredients that is very powerful, and can overpower whatever it’s in if you put in too much.

Shake the liquid ingredients except for the soda with ice and strain it into a martini glass.  Add the soda, garnish with the candy cane and enjoy. Also, if you want to put in the effort, you can crush another candy cane and rim the glass with it. I attempted to do this, but I couldn’t get the candy cane crumbs to stick to the glass. I’m sure there’s a good way to do this, but I didn’t figure it out. If you’re up for the adventure, be my guest.

 

Christmas Shooter
-1/2 oz Grenadine
-1/2 oz Green Crème de Menthe
-1/2 oz Cream

Christmas Shooter

Christmas Shooter

Turns out we’re not quite done with mint yet, because I wanted to do at least one shot for this post. I figured that the celebratory nature of the holiday season is perfect for shots, so here’s one with Christmas colors.

Often, layered shots are made to look pretty rather than to taste good. In this case, however, it works both ways. The flavors work pretty alright together (as long as you do it as a shot, rather than sipping it the way that assholes always drink shots), and the layering actually allows you to taste each ingredient individually and in order, giving you an enjoyable progression.

Plus, it does look very pretty. Especially if it’s in a clear glass, as opposed to the yellow-ish glass I used. Apologies. It will take a few minutes to layer them all correctly, but whip up a round of these at a holiday party, and people will really like it.

To make this wonder of alcohol and thick liquids, carefully layer each ingredient into a shot glass in the order given. Depending on the size of the glass, you may have to adjust the amounts. In order to layer the ingredients, pour the first one in, and then slowly pour in the next two, using the back of a bar spoon to break the liquid’s fall just above the surface of the shot.

Once you’ve made your shot, throw it down the hatch.

 

Menorah Cocktail
-1 1/2 oz Vodka
-1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
-1 splash Blue Curacao
-Sugar
-Blueberries

Menorah Cocktail

Menorah Cocktail

Jewish readers, I’m afraid I must apologize, as I fear I have let you all down. Not only is this a week late, but, as you see, finding a good Hanukkah-themed cocktail proved a challenge for me, especially given limited ingredients. If I could get every brand the Internet recommended to me, I could make a cocktail with nothing but Israeli spirits. However, most Hanukkah-themed cocktails proved to be nothing more than normal Winter-themed cocktails. That’s all well and good, but I wanted something a bit special.

But then I learned that blue is a big Hanukkah color, and I found this allegedly blue drink that some blogger or writer had invented specifically to celebrate the lighting of the menorah. On top of that, a sugared rim always looks frosty, so that adds a nice winter touch.

However, if the picture of this drink loaded on your computer and you’re not colorblind, then you already know the problem. This drink is green, not blue. You see, the sweet vermouth colored the drink too, and it simply came out green. I’m betting the person who invented this drink doesn’t know too much about mixing drinks and most definitely never actually mixed this drink. It still works for this post, since green is a Christmas color, but that just gives Christians another drink and robs the Jews of their rightful booze. I am sincerely sorry.

The taste is pretty good, in any case. Sweet vermouth and curacao play off each other in interesting ways. I don’t know if that’s a good thing, but it is an interesting thing. You could try making this drink with dry vermouth — which would probably help keep it blue — but that would also drastically change the taste. Try it if you so choose.

First, rim a martini glass with sugar. Then shake the liquid ingredients with ice and strain it into the prepared glass, and garnish with the blueberries. I know blueberries are out of season right now, which is all the more proof that the person who invented this drink didn’t know what they were doing. I have frozen blueberries in my fridge, so that worked out for me.

 

Cinnamon Old Fashioned
-2 1/2 oz Fireball Cinnamon Whisky
-1/4 oz Simple Syrup
-2 to 3 dashes Angostura Bitters

Cinnamon Old Fashioned

Cinnamon Old Fashioned

I was going to end there, but I thought that this post would be incomplete without some cinnamon. I also wanted a stiffer drink, so I decided to whip up an Old Fashioned, but use Fireball in place of bourbon or rye. This was an on-the-fly decision, and I think it worked out well.

A note for you Old Fashioned enthusiasts, though: I know you probably think this drink is an abomination. I know that Fireball is very sweet, and is closer to a liqueur than a liquor. So, I understand how some of you will punch your screen right now, because “This isn’t a real Old Fashioned!”

Calm down, please. This drink is just for the season, and there’s no reason to get upset over a novelty.

Now that we have that out of the way, let me say that this drink works very well. It’s good, delicious, and alcoholic. What more do want from anything?

So, pour the ingredients into a rocks glass with or without ice (your preference), and stir. Also, Fireball is already kind of sweet, so feel free to reduce the amount of syrup.

 

Denouement

Happy Holidays. Be safe. Be responsible. Check back next week for a New Year’s post with champagne drinks.


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