Kids and holidays can be quite the distraction. Over the past few weeks, this is what my life has been about. While I didn’t stop experimenting, I didn’t have much time for writing. For those curious souls, I have been posting photos with ingredients on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/foreverthirtynine/) but, in all the craziness, I forgot to come back and write up the details and my thoughts here.
My obvious recent interest has been fruity (cranberry and pomegranate) cocktails. I really have looked to balance that out with some sweeter, creamy types of cocktails, but nothing has caught my attention. Then I found these chocolate peppermint drinks here, which finally gave me the inspiration I needed.
CANDY CANE VODKA
First you will need to create your own candy cane vodka. While store bought peppermint vodka would probably work just as well, it was fun and super easy to infuse my own. I also was able to control the strength of the peppermint flavor (in this case, I ended up adding more candy canes for a stronger flavor).
Ingredients: 3 (more or less-I used 5) full size candy canes, 1 cup vodka, mason jar or other glass container with a good seal
Directions: Pour vodka into the glass container. Add candy canes to the vodka, break them into smaller pieces if necessary. Allow to sit until all of the candy has dissolved.
DARK CHOCOLATE CANDY CANE MARTINI
Cocktail Ingredients: 2 oz. peppermint vodka, 2 oz. chocolate liqueur (I used dark chocolate Godiva), 1 oz. fat-free half-and-half, crushed candy canes (to rim the glass, if desired)
Directions: Start by rimming the cocktail glass with crushed candy canes, if desired. (Tip: sometimes you can find crushed candy canes in the holiday and/or baking section at the grocery store. If not, I found my blender to be very helpful with crushing them.) Dip the rim into simple syrup then place it into the peppermint pieces until the edges are coated.
Next, put the vodka, chocolate liqueur, and half-and-half into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into prepared cocktail glass.
WHITE CHOCOLATE CANDY CANE MARTINI
For a slightly different taste, I wanted to try the white chocolate liqueur with peppermint as well. You could, of course, use the first recipe using white chocolate liqueur instead. For this one, I used 1 1/2 oz. white chocolate liqueur, 1 1/2 oz. peppermint vodka, 1 1/2 oz. fat-free half-and-half.
Both drinks were delightful. And, for those craving a dessert-type drink, this will satisfy your sweet tooth without leaving you feeling like you’ve overindulged (especially if you’ve indulged the whole day). Depending on how peppermint-y your vodka is, you may want to adjust the amount you use in your cocktail. I like when the peppermint does not take over and you can actually still taste the chocolate flavor (that’s the whole point of a chocolate AND peppermint drink, after all). And, feel free to use the regular Godiva chocolate liqueur…I opted to buy the dark chocolate since my husband prefers dark chocolate and I wanted something that would be a bigger contrast to the sweetness of the white chocolate liqueur. Another thought for rimming your glass, if you don’t have the time, supplies, or desire to crush up candy canes, would be to use some festive sprinkles.