Some things you eat or drink will always remind you of someone in your life. Do you all have those recipes that are connected with a friend or family member? It's been a bit of a whirlwind year (where has it gone!?) and Asheville played a big part in my travels this year. On the second trip there, for the National Gingerbread Competition, Helen and I had a cocktail at The Grove Park Inn that we talked about for days and days afterwards. It embodied everything about our long weekend there: sweet, imaginative, and a wee bit over the top: The Gingerbread White Russian.
I served this cocktail the other night at a holiday dinner party. While many people give a sideways look to the frou-frou "girly drink", this was happily consumed by everyone at the party – for some people, that meant multiple times. Be as fancy and embellished as you want – crush up gingersnaps or peppermint candies for the rim. Grate chocolate on top or dust with a sprinkle of cocoa or cinnamon. I used a candy cane as a swizzle stick in mine – the candy melts away and infuses the drink with minty flavor. This drinks is all about the just-a-tad-too-glitzy-but-who-cares-ness of the holiday season.
Gingerbread White Russian – recipe makes one drink – based on a drink from The Grove Park Inn
– Measure all ingredients into a shaker filled 1/3 of the way with ice. Shake vigorously and strained into your rimmed martini glass. Sprinkle with cinnamon, cocoa or shaved chocolate. Serve immediately.