happy hour & happy holidays December 22, 2009

Russian1 copy

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

  • 1 1/4 ounces vanilla flavored vodka
  • 1 ounce Kahlua
  • 1/2 ounce Gingerbread Syrup – Torani makes one you can get at places like World Market or online
  • 1 ounce heavy cream, half and half, or whole milk – I prefer half & half here
  • Garnish ideas: sugar rim, crushed peppermint candy rim, peppermint swizzle stick, rock candy swizzle stick, crushed gingersnap rim, mint leaves, cinnamon/cocoa/chocolate sprinkle on top

– 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.


Tower Beer, Wine & Spirits Dec 22, 2009 05:12 am

You could use Gingerbread Liqueur
as a substitute for the syrup
or as a variation of the recipe.

Tower Beer, Wine & Spirits Dec 22, 2009 05:12 am

You could use Gingerbread Liqueur
as a substitute for the syrup
or as a variation of the recipe.

tamih Dec 22, 2009 05:12 am

I’ve never heard of such thing! Thanks for the suggestion – will edit the post to suggest that when I have a chance this evening :)

Jen Blehm Dec 22, 2009 06:12 am

Sounds delish and that’s a beautiful photo!

The Teacher Cooks Dec 22, 2009 10:12 am

My!My! This could be a Christmas special! Looks so good!

Peasepudding Dec 23, 2009 12:12 am

I have just made ginger bread ice cream but I think I like this much better, that’s if I can find the gingerbread syrup. Thanks for the recipe

janelle Dec 23, 2009 02:12 am

I love the idea of this drink! I am so excited!!!
Merry Christmas!

The Broke Socialite Dec 23, 2009 05:12 am

Yes. (as in “Yes. I will have one”) No shame in my game.

Katharine Dec 27, 2009 02:12 pm

That’s gorgeous! Do you have a particular vanilla vodka that you prefer in it?

Tina Dec 29, 2009 06:12 pm

I made this on Sunday-fantastic! I think I just might make another one right now…

Madame Fromage Dec 31, 2009 12:12 pm

These look brilliant. I can’t wait to try them…what did you serve them with at the party? Salty stuff…I’m thinking, almonds?

RolliCannoli Nov 18, 2010 10:11 pm

I’ve had this drink at Grove Park and it is delish!! Can’t wait to serve it over the holidays