Peppermint Martini

The Peppermint Martini is creamy and minty fresh: the ideal winter cocktail! Step it up and rim the glass in…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

The Peppermint Martini is creamy and minty fresh: the ideal winter cocktail! Step it up and rim the glass in peppermint candies.

Peppermint Martini

Here’s a delightful signature winter cocktail: try the Peppermint Martini! This drink is creamy and minty fresh, a delicious combination of peppermint schnapps and chocolate liqueur. In fact, you may want to drink this any time of year! Of course, it’s perfect for the holidays. Cozy up with one by the fire, or drink it as a fun Christmas cocktail with appetizers. Either way, with a flavor of liquid candy canes, this one’s a total crowd pleaser.

What’s in a Peppermint Martini?

The Peppermint Martini is a spin on a flavored vodka martini that’s made with peppermint schnapps. As you may know, the vodka martini is barely related to the classic Dry Martini. It’s more of an excuse to make a flavored drink with vodka served up in a martini glass! This one combines peppermint and chocolate flavors with a rich, creamy body. Here are the ingredients you’ll need for a Peppermint Martini:

Peppermint martini

How sweet is this drink?

Shake these ingredients up in a cocktail shaker, and it comes out minty and creamy! This Peppermint Martini is just sweet enough, in our opinion (and we’re not fans of overly sugary drinks). While it can be considered a dessert drink, it’s not over the top. The sweetness comes mainly from the schnapps and the Creme de Cacao, so there’s no added simple syrup.

Prepping the Peppermint Martini glass rim

This Peppermint Martini is great as is, but if you’re entertaining it’s perfect with a peppermint candy rim! Here’s how to do it:

  • Crush the peppermint candies and add them a plate. Place them in a plastic bag and use the bottom of a jar, can, or rolling pin to break them into pieces.
  • Add a pool of grenadine to another plate. It doesn’t have to be much! Grenadine syrup is the glue that will hold on the candy. Place the outer edge of the glass in the grenadine and rotate. Hold the position of the glass constant and just rotate the stem so you get an even coating.
  • Don’t have grenadine? You can use water, too. Simply use your finger to wet the edge of the glass rim. Grenadine does a better job of adhering the candy, but water works.
  • Place the rim in the crushed candies and rotate. Then, do the same thing in the crushed candy! The grenadine will glue the crumbs to the rim.
Peppermint Schnapps

Make it dairy free or vegan

Want to make this a dairy free or vegan Peppermint Martini? All you have to do is substitute full-fat coconut milk for the heavy cream! It comes out with a slight coconut flavor, but it’s not overwhelming. The coconut fat works well as a substitute for the dairy fat. (Don’t use cream of coconut: the drink will come out much too too sweet!)

More about peppermint schnapps

Peppermint schnapps is what makes this Peppermint Martini! It’s a clear alcohol made by adding peppermint flavoring to a clear grain spirit. You can substitute white Creme de Menthe if you have it on hand. Here’s what to know about this type of schnapps:

  • What ABV is peppermint schnapps? Peppermint schnapps is sold in three different ABV levels: 15% ABV (30 proof), 30% ABV (60 proof), and 50% ABV (100 proof). Compare it to 40% ABV of hard alcohol like vodka.
  • What does peppermint schnapps taste like? The flavor is like a candy cane, with a spicy, boozy finish. The strength tastes almost like mouthwash!
  • How much does it cost? Peppermint schnapps is very inexpensive: a 750 ml bottle costs $8 to $10.
  • Are there any substitutes? White creme de menthe can work as a substitute: it has a gentler, more balanced mint flavor. Just make sure not to get the green Creme de Menthe (which makes the signature green color in a Grasshopper)!

Important: 100 proof schnapps

There are a few types of peppermint schnapps that you’ll find at stores and online: 30 proof (15% ABV), 60 proof (30% ABV), and 100 proof (50% ABV). As you might guess, 100 proof is very strong. If the bottle says 100 proof, skip the quantity in the recipe and add it to taste!

Peppermint martini

More peppermint drinks

The Peppermint Martini is one of our favorite minty cocktails! Here are a few more minty drinks that work as holiday cocktails and beyond:

Peppermint Martini

Peppermint Martini

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink
  • Diet: Vegetarian


The Peppermint Martini is creamy and minty fresh: the ideal winter cocktail! Step it up and rim the glass in peppermint candies.


  • 1 ounce 30 proof or 60 proof* peppermint schnapps (or white Creme de Menthe)
  • ½ ounce** vodka
  • 1 ½ ounces Creme de Cacao
  • 1 ½ ounces heavy cream
  • Peppermint candies and grenadine, for the rim (optional)


  1. Prepare the rim: Crush the peppermint candies and place them in an even layer on a plate. On another plate, add a small pool of grenadine, or simply wet the rim of the glass with water using your finger (grenadine is easiest and works best). Run the rim of a martini glass in the grenadine first, rotating the glass so the rim is evenly coated. Then roll the rim in the crushed candies until evenly coated.
  2. Shake the drink: Place the peppermint schnapps, vodka, Creme de Cacao, and heavy cream in a cocktail shaker. Add a handful of ice and shake until cold. Strain the drink into the prepared martini glass.


*Check the bottle before you make this drink! If using 100 proof (50% ABV) schnapps, use half the quantity and customize to taste.

**To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: Peppermint martini

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Bushwacker Drink

The Bushwacker drink is like a mashup of a chocolate milkshake and piña colada! This boozy frozen cocktail stars Kahlua…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

The Bushwacker drink is like a mashup of a chocolate milkshake and piña colada! This boozy frozen cocktail stars Kahlua and creme de cacao.

Bushwacker drink

Here’s a frozen cocktail that will blow your mind with its creamy, chocolaty flavor: the Bushwacker drink! This one is equal parts refreshing and rich…and man, are we glad it’s now part of our repertoire. Invented in the 1970’s, the Bushwacker is a mashup of a chocolate milkshake and piña colada. It’s lusciously smooth with notes of chocolate, coffee and vanilla. It’s perfect for sipping poolside or as a dessert drink any time you’re dreaming of sun. Here’s how to make the best Bushwacker on the planet.

What’s a Bushwacker?

The Bushwacker is as frozen alcoholic drink made with Kahlua, rum, creme de cacao, and cream of coconut. It was invented in 1975 in St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, and has since become very popular especially in Florida and beach resorts. How did it get its name? The story goes that bartender Angie Conigliaro and restaurant manager Tom Brokamp named it after a guest’s dog, an Afghan hound named Bushwack!

What’s in a Bushwacker? This frozen milkshake relies on classic cocktail ingredients blended to perfection…not ice cream as you might expect! Here’s what you’ll need for a classic Bushwacker drink:

  • Aged rum
  • Kahlua
  • Creme de cacao
  • Cream of coconut (not coconut cream! see below)
  • Milk
  • Ice

Let’s chat through the more unique ingredients, shall we?

Bushwacker drink

What’s creme de cacao?

Despite what you might think, creme de cacao is not creamy or made with dairy! This special liqueur is what makes a Grasshopper and a Chocolate Martini, and it’s one of the oldest liqueurs around. Here’s more about why to add it to your collection:

  • Creme de cacao is a chocolate liqueur, available in both white (clear) and dark varieties. It’s possibly one of the first alcoholic beverages, made in the 1600’s by monks after cocoa beans were brought back to Europe from America (source). The original Bushwacker had dark creme de cacao, but white is more commonly used so we white used it here.
  • What does creme de cacao taste like? White creme de cacao tastes like milk chocolate with notes of vanilla. Dark creme de cacao tastes richer with dark chocolate notes.
  • How much does creme de cacao cost? It costs between $10 to $20 for a 750 ml bottle.
  • Is it worth buying? Yes, if you like dessert drinks! Use it to make creme de cacao drinks like the Brandy AlexanderChocolate Martini, or Grasshopper.

Make sure it’s cream of coconut (not coconut cream)

Another important ingredient in the Bushwacker drink: cream of coconut! If you read one thing in this article, note this: Buy cream of coconut, not coconut cream! What’s the difference? Here’s what to know: cream of coconut vs coconut cream:

  • Cream of coconut is a sweetened syrup for drinks! It’s made with coconut cream and lots of added sugar. Because it’s used in drinks, it’s sold in handy squeeze bottles. Cream of coconut is easy to find online or at your local liquor store. A popular brand is Coco Real.
  • Coconut cream is unsweetened: it’s very thick and has a strong coconut flavor. It’s typically sold in cans next to the coconut milk. Coconut cream is made from chilling coconut milk and then skimming off the layer of cream that floats to the top.

What if you accidentally buy coconut cream? You can still save your Bushwhacker drink! Use 1 ounce coconut cream and 1 ounce simple syrup in place of the 2 ounces cream of coconut.

More with cream of coconut? Try popular coconut cocktails like the Piña Colada, Painkiller, Coconut Martini or Bushwacker!

Use Kahlua or any coffee liqueur!

The last ingredient of note in the Bushwacker drink? Kahlua! Kahlua is a type of coffee liqueur: the most popular brand, in fact. But what actually is it?

  • Kahlua is a coffee liqueur that’s made in Mexico. It’s made with rum, sugar and coffee. Again, there’s no dairy in it! It’s naturally dark brown in color and tastes like sweetened coffee. Kahlua has caffeine, but it’s only about 25% as much as the same volume of coffee.
  • How much does Kahlua cost? It costs about $15 to $20 for a large 750 ml bottle.
  • Is it worth buying? Yes, there are lots of Kahlua drinks to use it in! Try it in a Mudslide, Espresso Martini, B-52, Kahlua Coffee, Mind Eraser, Colorado Bulldog, Black Russian or White Russian.

How to make a Bushwacker drink: a few tips!

Once you’ve got your specialty liquors, mixing up the Bushwacker drink is a breeze! Here are a few things to note:

  • You can use any type of rum; we like aged best. Aged rum has the most delicious, nuanced flavor with notes of vanilla and oak. But you can use whatever rum you have on hand! White and dark work too.
  • Use any type of milk. Anything you have on hand works, from 2% to whole.
  • The drink tends to separate, which is normal. Just stir it up with your straw while drinking!

More sweet & frozen drinks

The Bushwacker is one in a family of sweet cocktails and frozen alcoholic drinks. Here are a few related drinks you might enjoy:

  • Painkiller It’s an even tastier, more sophisticated pina colada! It also uses cream of coconut.
  • Strawberry Daiquiri The best daiquiri is homemade, made from frozen strawberries!
  • Frozen Margarita The best tangy flavor! The frozen version of everyone’s favorite, the margarita.

When to serve a Bushwacker drink

The Bushwacker cocktail is creamy and refreshing! It’s great as a:

  • Summer drink
  • Poolside or lake house drink
  • Happy hour drink
  • Dinner party drink
  • Signature cocktail
  • Girls night drink

Bushwacker drink

Classic Bushwacker

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 drinks
  • Diet: Vegetarian


The Bushwacker drink is like a mashup of a chocolate milkshake and piña colada! This boozy frozen cocktail stars Kahlua and creme de cacao.


  • 2 ounces (¼ cup) aged rum (or white or dark)
  • 2 ounces Kahlua
  • 2 ounces creme de cacao (white or dark; we used white)
  • 2 ounces cream of coconut
  • 2 ounces 2% milk
  • 3 cups ice
  • For the garnish: Shaved chocolate or grated nutmeg, cocktail cherry (optional)


  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Garnish with shaved chocolate or grated nutmeg, if desired. Add straws and serve. (You can stir with the straw when the drink starts to separate.)
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Blender
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: Bushwacker drink

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.