Gingerbread is a popular Christmas treat all over the world, appearing from country to country in many different ways, including cocktails. In central Europe in the Middle Ages, gingerbread derived from sugars and spices that had been brought from the Middle East by soldiers returning from the Crusades. In England, gingerbread referred specifically to “preserved ginger.” Ginger had a preservative effect on breads, cakes, and other pastries. In the 15th century, the term gingerbread was used to describe the sweetcake made with treacle and ginger. During Queen Victoria’s reign, the monarch and her German-born husband, Prince Albert, brought gingerbread cookies in vogue when they counted them among their German Christmas traditions, including the Christmas tree and the Yule log. It was during the Victorian era that gingerbread cookies became associated primarily with Christmas. (Adapted from MyMerryChristmas.com)
This month I have a heart- and belly-warming cocktail for you based on the wonders of gingerbread. Adapted from The Food Network, this recipe relies heavily on cream liquor, vodka, and spiced whiskey. But first, to get you warmed up, here’s a little poem:
Making a ginger cocktail
Can be a snap
But some are fancy
Needing a recipe map
Many flavours can be added
Chocolate, coffee and various spices
And if you want to improvise
I will leave you to your devices!
Now, my version of a great recipe:
Chocolate Ginger Snap Cocktail
4 ounces 40 Creek Cream Liqueur
4 ounces vodka, such as Smirnoff’s (you want a standard bar vodka here, nothing too sharp to clash with the mellowness)
2 oz. vodka, such as Smirnoff’s
And 2 oz. Copperhead Black Currant Vodka (the black current goes nice with the coffee flavour)
1 oz. Kavi Reserve Coffee Blended Canadian Whiskey
2 ounces Spicebox Gingerbread Spiced Whiskey
2 scoops vanilla ice cream, softened
Whipped cream, for topping
Small handful gingerbread cookies, crushed
Combine the Irish cream liqueur, vodka, coffee whiskey, Gingerbread Whiskey and ice cream in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake well. Pour into four chilled martini glasses. Top each with a generous dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of gingerbread cookie crumbs.
Photos and recipe adapted from The Food Network.
About the Author: David Bruce Patterson is a Muskoka author, poet, and cocktail conoisseur. He finds it a stimulating challenge, rotating between novel writing, and poetry. “They meet somewhere in the middle,” he says. “The unknown genre.” David has completed his novel, Square Wheels, and is now working on Dorothy Parker and the Epigram Mysteries: Murder at Land’s End. David has also written more than 3000 poems and hopes to have an anthology out soon.