Peppermint Martini

published Dec 13, 2023
Peppermint Martini Recipe

This highly festive cocktail is extra creamy and minty, and will get anyone into the holiday spirit.

Makesmakes 1

Prep10 minutes

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Close up head on shot of a peppermint martini with a candy cane rim and broken candy cane pieces in the background of the shot.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: James Park

When I think of the holidays, I immediately think of peppermint-flavored candy canes. While I love to look at those cheerful stripes of white and red, I rarely want to eat the sweet candies. Instead I use up the candy canes I receive in creative ways, from sprinkling them on top of chewy brownies to turning them into peppermint bark.

By far, my favorite way to enjoy candy canes is to use them in cocktails — especially in a creamy peppermint martini. My peppermint martini is extra festive, as it uses the candy canes as both a garnish and flavoring. Here, it takes the cocktail to the next level, transforming the drink into a pretty pink color, which makes it feel like a holiday in a cup — well, a martini glass in this case.

What Is a Peppermint Martini? 

A peppermint martini is a creamy, delicious cocktail that’s perfect for winter and holiday parties. This minty martini is made with heavy cream and white crème de cacao, so it’s not super spirit-forward, which means it goes down easy. 

Ingredients in a Peppermint Martini

  • Candy canes: Use crushed candy canes to decorate the rim on a martini glass. You can also add a crushed candy cane to the

    cocktail shaker

  • White crème de cacao: This sweet chocolate liqueur makes for a delightfully creamy cocktail. Compared to other dark-colored crème de cacao, this one is a clear liqueur, so the drink will come out frosty-colored.
  • Heavy cream: You can adjust the amount of heavy cream, depending on how creamy you want the cocktail to be.
  • Peppermint vodka: It’s essential to use peppermint vodka for a pleasant minty flavor. Just be sure to find a flavored vodka that doesn’t taste too artificial.
  • Vodka: A combination of peppermint vodka and regular vodka balances the alcohol without overpowering the peppermint flavors.
  • Peppermint extract: You can control how minty you want it to be by adding a little bit of peppermint extract, which is more assertive than peppermint-flavored vodka. 
  • Vanilla extract: A little bit of vanilla extract can help offset the flavors of peppermint extract and creates a wonderful balance with the heavy cream.  
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: James Park

3 Tips for Making a Peppermint Martini

  1. Experiment with the amount of peppermint extract. A little bit of extract can make it taste  incredible, but too much can easily ruin the cocktail. Have fun with it, but just make sure that you aren’t adding too much!
  2. Add more flavor in the cocktail shaker. My peppermint martini includes crushed candy canes in the cocktail itself to infuse it with more color and flavor. It’s a fantastic way to add more flavors subtly. If you want to add more pine-y, winter flavors, feel free to add real mint or peppermint to this.
  3. Find balance with heavy cream. If you want more liqueur taste, add less heavy cream. If you don’t want to taste too much alcohol, add more heavy cream. 

What to Serve with a Peppermint Martini

This peppermint martini will go well with something sweet like baked Brie with cranberry sauce or whipped eggnog loaf cake

Peppermint Martini Recipe

This highly festive cocktail is extra creamy and minty, and will get anyone into the holiday spirit.

Prep time 10 minutes

Makes makes 1

Nutritional Info


  • 2

    regular-size candy canes

  • 1 ounce

    white chocolate (see Recipe Notes)

  • 1 1/2 ounces

    white crème de cacao, such as Hiram Walker Crème de Cacao White Liqueur

  • 1 1/2 ounces

    cold heavy cream

  • 1 1/4 ounces

    peppermint vodka, such as Smirnoff Peppermint Twist

  • 1 1/4 ounces


  • 1/4 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    peppermint extract

  • Ice


  1. Unwrap 2 regular-size candy canes and place in a plastic zip-top bag. Using a rolling pin or flat side of a meat tenderizer, crush the candy canes into fine pieces (about 1/4 cup). Place on a flat plate and spread into an even layer.

  2. Finely chop 1 ounce white chocolate and place in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 20-second intervals, stirring in between each, until melted and smooth, 40 seconds to 1 minute total. Scrape onto a flat plate that’s wider than a martini glass.

  3. Invert a 6-ounce or larger martini or stemmed cocktail glass into the white chocolate, turning it as needed, to coat the rim. Dip the glass, still inverted, into the crushed candy canes, turning it as needed, to coat the rim. Place the glass in the refrigerator or freezer to chill for at least 5 minutes.

  4. Place 1 tablespoon of the remaining crushed candy canes, 1 1/2 ounces white crème de cacao, 1 1/2 ounces cold heavy cream, 1 1/4 ounces peppermint vodka, 1 1/4 ounces vodka, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract in a cocktail shaker. Add enough ice to fill the shaker halfway. Seal the shaker and shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is frosty, 30 seconds.

  5. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into the chilled glass.

Recipe Notes

White chocolate chips: Only white chocolate chips which contain cocoa butter, such as Guittard Choc-au-Lait, will melt smoothly enough for this recipe; no need to chop before melting. If you can’t find white baking chips with cocoa butter, opt for chopped-up bars or discs of white chocolate instead. Don’t use white candy melts, which aren’t as flavorful as white chocolate.