Gingerbread Martini

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Cocktail History

The Gingerbread Martini is a Christmas cocktail that was created by Emma Stokes and was first published in her book Have Yourself a Merry Little Cocktail. While you’d probably expect lots of sugar, a candied rim, or a ridiculous garnish in a drink named as such, this fairly austere recipe is a holiday-inspired take on the classic Dry Martini that maintains its palatability by mixing vanilla-flavored vodka with sweet vermouth, almond liqueur, and a deletable gingerbread syrup.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Vanilla Vodka: This is a type of vodka made with vanilla pods, grains, vegetables or fruits, and alcohol. We used Smirnoff Vanilla Vodka because it has a tasty vanilla flavor and is affordable. For a mocktail version of this drink, try STRYKK Not Vanilla V*dka in place of the vanilla vodka.

Dry Vermouth: This is a fortified wine made with grapes, sugar, botanicals, herbs, sugar, and alcohol. We used Dolin Dry Vermouth de Chambéry because it has a light and airy flavor profile with notes of Alpine herbs. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Apéritif Dry in place of the dry vermouth.

Amaretto Liqueur: This is a liqueur made in Italy with almonds, spices, and alcohol. We used Di Amore Amaretto Liqueur because it has a strong almond flavor and a smooth texture. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Monin Premium Amaretto Syrup in place of the amaretto liqueur.

Gingerbread Syrup: This is a sweetener made with ginger, ground nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, whole allspice berries, whole black peppercorns, vanilla extract, honey, white sugar, brown sugar, gum Arabic powder, and water. We made ours at home using Alex’s sous vide recipe.

Star Anise: This is the seed pod from the fruit of the Illicium verum plant. We used star anise from the bulk section at our local grocery store.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Mixing Glass: This is used to hold the ingredients while they’re being stirred. We used the Viski 17 oz Cocktail Mixing Glass.

Bar Spoon: This is used to stir ingredients. We used the Barfly Stainless Steel Teardrop Bar Spoon.

Julep Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is stirred. We used the A Bar Above Julep Strainer.

Tasting Notes

The Gingerbread Martini features light aromas of anise and an initial taste that hints at the flavor of dry vermouth and botanical gin. After that, the festive flavors come forward as it sits in the mouth and on the swallow, hitting your tastebuds with a lingering mashup of baking spices, sweet nuttiness, and a slight ginger sting.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: We were both surprisingly pleased with how this recipe tasted, and we think its combination of classic Martini flavors, fun sweetness, and baking spices make it a great “gateway Martini” for those lesser inclined to the dry, botanical classic.

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“As someone who likes his Martinis with dry gin and vermouth, I thought this was surprisingly good. The vodka and vermouth were the first things I tasted, and since vodka is mostly flavorless, it was mostly just vermouth. In the back of the mouth on the swallow is where all of the main flavors come forward. It’s an assault of baking spices, ginger, nuttiness, and sweetness that are honestly quite delicious, and I could see this drink being enjoyed by somebody who does not like my idea of a dry Martini.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“This cocktail sounds as if it would be sickly sweet, but it’s definitely not. Although made with a few sweet ingredients, this variation of a Gingerbread Martini manages to be serious but still tasty to the lesser developed palate like mine. This is a great pick for sophisticated sipping and could even be a gateway to drier Martinis after a few, or it could at least get you used to the taste of vermouth.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Have Yourself a Merry Little Cocktail: 80 Cheerful Tipples to Warm Up Winter by Emma Stokes.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Cocktail: 80 Cheerful Tipples to Warm up Winter
Have Yourself a Merry Little Cocktail: 80 Cheerful Tipples to Warm up Winter
Hardcover Book; Stokes, Emma (Author); English (Publication Language); 144 Pages – 12/01/2020 (Publication Date) – Pop Press (Publisher)
$19.95 Amazon Prime

AuthorHave Yourself a Merry Little Cocktail

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 2 oz Vanilla Vodka
 1 oz Dry Vermouth
 1 ½ tsp Amaretto Liqueur
 1 Star Anise

Method
1

Add vanilla vodka, dry vermouth, amaretto liqueur, gingerbread syrup, and cubed ice to a mixing glass.

2

Stir for 30-45 seconds.

3

Strain into a martini glass.

4

Drop in star anise.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Vanilla Vodka
 1 oz Dry Vermouth
 1 ½ tsp Amaretto Liqueur
 1 Star Anise

Directions

Method
1

Add vanilla vodka, dry vermouth, amaretto liqueur, gingerbread syrup, and cubed ice to a mixing glass.

2

Stir for 30-45 seconds.

3

Strain into a martini glass.

4

Drop in star anise.

Gingerbread Martini

Make It a Mocktail: Use STRYKK Not Vanilla V*dka in place of the vanilla vodka, Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Apéritif Dry in place of the dry vermouth, and Monin Premium Amaretto Syrup in place of the amaretto liqueur to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

Libbey 8876 Art Deco 6 oz Martini Glass, Set of 6 with Bonus FDL Picks
Libbey 8876 Art Deco 6 oz Martini Glass, Set of 6 with Bonus FDL Picks
Quantity of 6 Art Deco 6 oz Libbey 8876 Martini Glass; Great for floated mixers, martinis, and a wide variety of mixed drinks and desserts
$59.90
Sale
Libbey 3779 Embassy 9.25 Ounce Martini Glass - 12 / CS
Libbey 3779 Embassy 9.25 Ounce Martini Glass – 12 / CS
Model : 3779; Chip-resistant rim and foot; Excellent clarity; Dishwasher safe; Use Traex rack TR-8DDD with this Embassy Martini Glass
$57.52
Libbey 8978 Libbey Stemware Domaine 8 oz. Martini Glass
Libbey 8978 Libbey Stemware Domaine 8 oz. Martini Glass
Model : 8978; Chip-resistant rim; Dishwasher safe; Use Traex rack TR-8DDD with this Domaine Martini Glass
$59.66

More Christmas Cocktails

If you like this Christmas-inspired cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Cranberry Cobbler Cocktail Recipe

Cranberry Cobbler: A sherry cocktail made with cranberry syrup, orange slices, an orange wedge, mint, and cranberries

Sugar Cookie Cocktail Recipe

Sugar Cookie Cocktail: A vanilla vodka cocktail made with amaretto, Irish cream liqueur, heavy cream, simple syrup, and sprinkles

Kohler Mint Cocoa Cocktail Recipe

Kohler Mint Cocoa: A chocolate mint brandy cocktail made with milk, white peppermint schnapps, dark crème de cacao, cocoa powder, whipped cream, and grated chocolate

Winter Berry Gin Fizz Cocktail Recipe

Winter Berry Gin Fizz: A gin cocktail made with lime juice, cranberry syrup, raspberry liqueur, soda water, cranberries, and rosemary

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