Of Bars, Booze, and Bartending - Proving "Coughlin's Law" Invalid Since Feb '05

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Flavored Booze for the Holidays

I'm not often excited by the new liquor and liqueur offerings that come out this time of year; all the flavors can be baffling, and there's never enough room on the bar to add new bottles. I'm not going to remove my trusty bottle of Beefeater to make room for Smirnoff-Raspberry- Pomegranate-Vanilla-Mojito Vodka, for example.

However, when my liquor rep brought me a bottle of Baileys Mint Chocolate to sample, I knew after one sip that I'd have to find room on the shelf for it. They also make a new Caramel flavor, but it's not sufficiently different from the original Baileys... I recommend you skip it and go right for the Mint Chocolate.

Upon first taste, it was obvious it would pair well with vanilla vodka (Stoli's still the best), so feel free to mix up equal parts, shake well, and pour into a martini glass. It doesn't get much simpler than that.

If you're in the mood for a little more mixing, though, try this recipe, which I modified a bit from the version suggested by my liquor rep; his was too strong and the proportions were way off. I also prefer Crème de Cacao to the recommended Godiva Chocolate Liqueur for mixing; Crème de Cacao is thinner, cheaper, and doesn't have an overwhelming boozy aftertaste like the many chocolate liqueurs available now.

Creamy Peppermintini

1 1/2 ounces Baileys Mint Chocolate
1 ounce Rumple Minze Peppermint Schnapps
1/2 ounce Light Crème de Cacao
Splash of heavy cream

Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass; garnish with dusting of cocoa and fresh mint sprig.

Take great care with the Peppermintini, readers... they go down smooth, but Rumple Minze ("The Bartender's Breath Mint") is 100 proof and you'll be feeling that dizzy holiday cheer rather quickly if you overdo it.

Finally, on this day, December 5th, 1933, the 21st Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, officially repealing Prohibition. Ironically, Utah was the 36th state to vote for ratification. At any rate, if you're looking for an excuse to celebrate tonight, there you go!


Come on, babe, why don't we paint the town?
And all that jazz
I'm gonna rouge my knees and roll my stockings down
And all that jazz
Start the car, I know a whoopee spot
Where the gin is cold, but the piano's hot
It's just a noisy hall where there's a nightly brawl
And all that jazz

- John Kander and Fred Ebb (Chicago) - "All That Jazz"

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