Sweet, creamy, and spiced with cinnamon and ginger, this Gingerbread Martini is a fun dessert cocktail. Tasty as an after dinner drink or perfect for a special holiday event!
I love the Scandinavian concept of hygge, especially around the holidays. Because what is more in the spirit than gathering together and getting cozy. And isn’t gingerbread one of the most inviting flavors around!
Yes, all you need to do is bake a batch of gingerbread bars and the fragrant spices fill the air . One taste and the warm flavors begin to push out the chills. Add in a soft blanket ad a crackling fire and I’m all in.
Of course for something just as fun but a whole lot easier, you could go with a Gingerbread Martini. Creamy and spicy, this sweet cocktail is just the thing to start out a holiday themed evening. Bing Crosby, here I come!
Why You’ll Love This!
Festive & Fun. Between the gingerbread flavor and the pretty garnishes, this will put you in the spirit!
Cozy. Loaded with warm spice flavors like cinnamon, ginger and cloves, this will cozy up your day.
Easy. How often can you make a “dessert” in 5 minutes!
Lower Sugar Option. I am watching my sugar, so I used a gingerbread syrup that I made myself, sugar free (recipe includes sugared version too). But there are also commercial counterparts. The Bailey’s will still contribute sugar, but I figure every little bit helps.
What You’ll Need
- Bailey’s Irish Cream. This gives it a creamy warm flavor that is very complementary to gingerbread. You can also use another good brand of Irish Cream.
- Vanilla Vodka. This adds a hint of vanilla and a little more “kick.” You can substitute plain vodka and a tiny dash of vanilla.
- Gingerbread Syrup. This provides the gingerbread flavor. There are commercial syrups like Torani or Monin or make your own!
- Half and half. This adds creaminess, mellows the flavors and provides volume. You can use another dairy or non-dairy milk, preferably with a little thickness.
- Ice. For shaking
- Optional Garnishes. Crushed gingerbread cookies, graham crumbs or colored sugar can be used on the rim. Whipped cream is also nice, maybe topped with more sprinkles or a gingerbread cookie!
- No special tools are required but pretty martini glasses are always fun. If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, you can stir your drink and strain out the ice instead.
Step by Step Directions
Add ingredients to shaker with ice.
Cover and shake.
Rim glass (optional). Pour into glass and optionally add whipped cream and additional garnishes. Serve.
How to Test by Making a Mini Martini Sip
Because different gingerbread syrups can be of different strengths, you can do a tiny test martini if you’d like. Now don’t feel that this is a requirement because I can pretty much assure you that using the lower level of syrup will be yummy. But a benefit of doing this is that you can make an educated decision to increase the gingerbread flavor if you choose.
I going to share a technique I developed to test new martini recipes. I reduce the quantities of everything proportionally–and by a lot! So, for this martini, I would use teaspoons instead of ounces. That mean’s I’d mix 1 teaspoon each of Bailey’s, vodka and gingerbread syrup with 3 teaspoons of half and half. Then I’d do another test with double the gingerbread syrup.
I developed the technique one year after hosting a “martini lab.” With kids home from college for winter break, i bought a gift set of flavored vodka minis, and we gathered a group in our kitchen to “invent” new holiday drinks. It wasn’t long before we realized going that making a lot of variations meant a lot of martinis! Which is how we learned to cut back. But it was seriously fun–and a great lesson for a food blogger who tests a lot of food!
How to Serve
Sweet martinis like this Gingerbread Martini are delicious for cocktail hour or dessert! And a festive flavor like this is perfect for a holiday event! Offer some up for a holiday movie night or ornament making party for extra fun!
To enhance the yummy creaminess of this drink, I like to top it with whipped cream but that’s entirely optional. Then I sprinkle the whipped cream with crushed gingerbread cookies, sprinkles or whatever I feel like. And feel free to set a gingerbread cookie in a pile of whipped cream
For a pretty rim, which is also optional, I have used both crushed gingerbread or white and gold sprinkles. Graham cracker crumbs or any complementary sprinkle would also be lovely!
An Alternative Rimming Technique
I have had more success with a slightly different rimming technique than most people use (partly because it feels wasteful to pour out a deep ring of liquid, and another of the decoration). Rather than dip my whole glass rim in liquid then the accent, I use a different process. I dip a clean finger in a sticky syrup like honey or corn syrup and run it around the edge of the glass. Then I put a small pile of the topping on a plate and roll the rim in the mixture, rotating the glass until the whole rim is covered.
I should note that rimming with a colored sugar is relatively easy, since sugar is light weight. In that case a lot of liquids will work as a “glue”. For something heftier like crushed cookies or peppermint, I have more success using a very sticky syrup like honey or corn syrup.
Have I convinced you to add festive martinis to an upcoming event? If you’d like to go beyond this Gingerbread Martini, consider:
- a Cranberry Martini (Cosmopolitan)
- a Chocolate Nut Martini (Nutty Uncle)
- a Sugar Plum Martini
- a Bilzzard White Chocolate Martini
- a Downton Abbey Christmas Champagne Cocktail
Whatever you pick, I’m sure you’ll have fun!
- 1 ounce Baileys
- 1 ounce vanilla vodka or plain vodka with a dash of vanilla
- 1-2 ounce gingerbread syrup like Torani or homemade syrup
- 3 ounces half and half or whole milk
- gold & white sugar, graham crumbs, gingerbread crumbs
- Whipped cream
- Add ingredients to shaker with ice.
- Cover and shake.
- Rim glass (optional).
- Pour into glass and optionally add whipped cream and additional garnishes. Serve.
- Gingerbread Syrup (Sugar Free Option)
- Butternut Mac and Cheese with Bacon