Oh, Schnapp(s)!

Making the most of your peppermint liqueurs


It won't be the classiest or most versatile bottle in your home bar, but you still shouldn't go without a bottle of peppermint schnapps. For one, it's cheap (the best bottles won't run over $20, and frankly, you don't need the best bottles), and beyond that, it's wintertime festivity in a bottle. It makes your coffee into Christmas coffee, just like that, and you can't go skiing or caroling or even rent It's a Wonderful Life unless you can prove you've got a viable bottle of peppermint liqueur somewhere in your house. Hey, we didn't make the rules.

We did, however, gather a handful of great ways to make that schnapps sing, along with tips for how to make your very own signature stash.
First, though, let's do schnapps 101. The word itself comes from the generic German term Schnaps, which can be used to indicate any number of strong alcoholic beverages; today, the two words are not necessarily synonymns. American schnapps are typically fruit-flavored liqueurs -- distilled grain spirits flavored with fruit or other candied or spice inflections (butterscotch, cinnamon) and infused with sugar. The majority of the category gets a bad rap for a good reason. The bottlings -- peach, notoriously -- can be cheaply made, sickeningly sweet and cloying, and have the unfortunate honor of causing many a college freshman's first nightmare hangover.

In the hands of a smart drinker with a hankering for a holiday-tinged drink, however, peppermint in particualr can be downright pleasant.

Peppermint Twist

1 oz Peppermint schnapps
1 oz Coffee liqueur (Kahlua)
1/2 oz Dark creme de cacao

Combine in a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Peppermint Stick

1 oz peppermint schnapps
1 1/2 oz white creme de cacao
1 oz light cream

In a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice, combine and shake the schnapps, creme de cacao, and cream. Strain into a champagne flute, garnish with a candy cane.

Peppermint Kiss

3/4 oz Peppermint schnapps
5 oz Hot cocoa
whipped cream

Combine cocoa and schnapps in an irish coffee cup or mug, garnish with whipped cream.

DIY Peppermint Schnapps
Recipe adapted from Epicurious

1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 1/4 cups water
2 1/12 cups brandy
3 drops peppermint oil

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil and stir constantly until sugar is dissolved. Stir in the peppermint oil. Cool until luke warm, stir in brandy. Seal in a bottle or airtight container.

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  • Snooth User: Keyote
    562147 3

    In the DIY Peppermint Schnapps recipie you call for 2 and 1/12 cups of brandy I believe the correct recipe is 3 and a half cups.

    Nov 13, 2010 at 11:41 AM

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