So I was investigating a cocktail for my Christmas Eve cocktail party. I have got to tell you how excited I am about taking a traditional Christmas Cocktail, the Candy Cane Martini, and how I'm boosting up in quality by long shots!
The original Candy Cane Martini varies with ingredients, some calling for half and half, some calling for grenadine, some calling for rum and some calling for creme de cacao. The main ingredients that seem to stand up to most recipes are without question vanilla vodka and peppermint schnapps. This is where I made the decision to attempt something more authentic. Inspired by a recipe I saw once that used candy corns as an infuser for vodka, I decided to infuse a bottle of mid-grade vodka with....What else? Yup! Candy Canes! Let me tell you something, the immediate color change of infusing vodka with candy canes is a cloudy pink while the candy canes remain the same. The vodka after only a couple of hours is now a ridiculously artificial pink with a fizzy frothy surface while the candy canes have sank to the bottom and are mere concentrated and dissentigrated sticks of peppermint. The smell already is an intense peppermint. I also placed a small split vanilla pod to add that vanilla flavor from the original recipe.
As for the schnapps I didn't buy some bottle of only knows what, I bought a bottle of moonshine and made my own schnapps! The recipe seems long and daunting but it is absolutely simple! I've been working on home made vanilla sugar for a while now (Taught by Chef Tom Pryztawik) so I used my vanilla sugar to create a thin simple syrup and once it cooled added the liqour and some peppermint extract (STRONG STUFF!)
Recipe as follows:
10 cups of water
2 1/2 cups of vanilla sugar
Stir sugar into water as it is being heated to a boil
After the mixture reaches a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes
Cool mixture to room temperature
Stir in 1 pint of 190 proof grain alcohol (turn off the flame, it's very flammable) and peppermint extract (Also flammable).
Get two 1oz. bottles of extract and add according to taste starting with 1oz.
I recommend an entire fifth of the grain alcohol (moonshine or Everclear) and 2 oz. of extract.
Makes at least 3 quarts, so you will need two 1 quart bottles.
For a batch of Peppermint Schnapps that equals just over a traditional 750 ml bottle (You will still need to go out there and find an empty 750 ml bottle as you will have either extra grain alcohol or too much of the final product.
I had to use Google to break down the measurements and sadly all I have are the milliliter measurements, luckily most measuring cups have this as an available measurement!
Rounding measurements you will need:
WATER = 789 ML
VANILLA SUGAR = 197 ML (can add to taste)
LIQOUR = 158 ML (I however found mine to be way too weak and added almost 4 times this ammount so I highly recommend adding to taste)
PEPPERMINT EXTRACT = 1/2 oz to an ounce. (Again, make it as little or as highly pepperminty as you want, I did a little over 1/2 of a regulard 1 ounce bottle of peppermint extract)
In this bottle I also added a small split sprig of a vanilla pod.