Holiday Hooch is a boozy peppermint dessert cocktail to get you in the holiday spirit. Make it by the glass or by the bottle and sip on this delectable Christmas cocktail from Thanksgiving to New Year’s.
This was my first truly successful original cocktail creation. I thought it up in a ski resort bar one crowded Christmas and it’s been a family staple ever since.
There’s not much “craft” to this cocktail. There are no special tools or techniques required. If you can measure and pour, you can make hooch. Happy holidays!
Holiday Hooch Recipe
- 1.5 oz Vodka
- 1.5 oz Irish Cream
- 1.5 oz Peppermint Schnapps
- Add ice cubes to glass
- Pour ingredients into glass
- Stir until mixed and chilled
Detailed instructions and notes
This cocktail is “built in the glass.” That means you’ll be making the drink in the very glass you’re serving it in. No special shaker or mixing glass required.
Put a couple ice cubes in a double Old Fashioned glass, or really any glass. Then pour in the three ingredients and stir until mixed and chilled.
Add a sprig of fresh mint for a classier look. Or garnish with a candy cane. Or just drink it, because it’s the holidays and you need a drink.
You can also pre-make this drink by combining equal parts of vodka, Irish cream, and schnapps in an empty bottle. Store it in the refrigerator and it will keep through the whole season – if it lasts that long!
How I created this cocktail
I was snowboarding with my sister and her family in Breckenridge, Colorado, in late December, 2011. The mountain was unbelievably crowded. Lift lines were an hour long and the icy slopes were packed with people.
We stopped for lunch and were in no hurry to get back to the crowds. I wanted a Christmas cocktail, and had an idea. I called the waitress over and said, “I’d like you to make a drink for me. 1 part vodka, 1 part Bailey’s, and 1 part peppermint schnapps. We’ll take three.”
The idea came from an old concoction I made for wilderness backpacking trips. I used to carry a flask of half Irish cream and half peppermint schnapps. After a long day on the trail, I’d make camp and put a little in my coffee as a special treat.
There in the ski resort bar, I had the idea to swap the coffee for vodka to increase the alcohol content and create an après-ski cocktail with a holiday flair.
When the drinks came, my sister and her husband raved! We dubbed it Holiday Hooch and a tradition was born. Now both our families make it on Thanksgiving and keep it on hand through the season.
You don’t have to run all over town shopping for ingredients like you were trying to find a Turbo Man. A Christmas cocktail should be easy, and Holiday Hooch is very forgiving when it comes to ingredients. Use what you have or buy cheap stuff.
Vodka: Any neutral-flavored 80-proof (40% ABV) vodka will be fine. Stick with a decent major brand and it really doesn’t matter. Ketel One, Stolichnaya, Absolut, Tito’s, etc. My favorite is Deep Eddy from Austin, TX.
Irish Cream : Bailey’s is the classic choice, of course. I like Saint Brendan’s better because it feels creamier to me. Use your favorite Irish cream between 30 and 40 proof (15-20% ABV).
Peppermint Schnapps : Here you have a choice. I recommend a lower-proof schnapps like Leroux (40-proof / 20% ABV) or De Kuyper (60-proof / 30% ABV) but if you want really boozy hooch, De Kuyper makes a 100-proof (50% ABV) option. I think the extra alcohol affects the flavor in a negative way.
Happy Holidays from Home Cocktail Craft! If you need gift ideas for that special someone, check out the Mixology Gift Guide.
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