Savor the holiday spirit with every sip of a Peppermint Candy Cane Martini. Made with whipped cream vodka, peppermint vodka, creme de cacao, Baileys Irish cream, and heavy cream, this show-stopping martini is creamy, delicious, and easy to make. Whether you’re hosting a holiday party or winding down by the fire, this peppermint martini promises a merry mix of tradition and taste.
Sipping on seasonal and fun cocktails is one of my favorite ways to enjoy Christmas time. They make great nightcaps or after-dinner dessert drinks. My Peppermint Espresso Martini is excellent this time of year. Other seasonal creamy cocktails that I enjoy this time of year are my Peppermint White Russian and Sugar Cookie Martini.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s a fun and festive drink. The peppermint flavor and candy cane rim make this drink a delicious way to enjoy the holiday season – whether it is for a party or simply something to sip on while trimming your Christmas tree.
- It’s creamy and smooth. The Baileys and heavy cream give this dessert martini a rich and luxurious texture.
- It’s versatile. You can adjust the sweetness and strength of the martini to your liking.
Candy canes and white chocolate: Crushed candy canes stick to the glass rim thanks to melted white chocolate. It makes for a peppermint bark-like martini rim. I melted the white chocolate chips in the microwave at 15-second intervals until it was smooth. For the crushed candy canes, I added a few to a ziplock bag and used a rolling pin to crush the candy into small pieces.
Peppermint vodka: This can be quite strong, so I like to have a split base for the cocktail using whipped cream vodka with a touch of peppermint vodka. If you don’t want to buy a huge bottle of peppermint vodka for this recipe, you can always purchase a mini bottle.
Creme de cacao: You can find this liqueur at just about any liquor store.
Irish cream: My favorite is Baileys, but you can use whatever Irish cream you prefer. I sometimes buy big bottles of Kirkland Irish cream at Costco, and it’s great! If you want a plant-based option, Baileys makes an almond milk-based Irish cream called Baileys Almande.
Heavy cream: Half and half works well also. If you want a plant-based option, you can also use coconut milk or oat milk as these give the creamiest mouthfeel of all the non-dairy milk options.
Step 1: Roll the rim of the glass in melted white chocolate, then crushed candy canes.
Step 2: Add the whipped cream and peppermint vodkas, creme de cacao, and heavy cream to an empty cocktail shaker.
Step 3: Add the Baileys Irish cream and ice cubes to the shaker. Give it a good shake until well chilled.
Step 4: Strain into your prepared martini glass and garnish with a small candy cane, if desired.
Expert Tips + Variations
- Chill your ingredients and/or martini glass. This will help to create a crisp and refreshing martini. Chill your vodka, liqueurs, and heavy cream before shaking and straining.
- Serve Immediately! To maintain the integrity of the flavors and temperature, serve the Candy Cane Martini immediately after mixing—this drink is best enjoyed fresh.
- If you prefer a sweeter martini, add more creme de cacao or Baileys. If you prefer a drier martini, add less. You can also add sweetness with simple syrup.
- Always add ice cubes after adding the ingredients to the cocktail shaker to prevent excessive dilution.
- You can substitute peppermint candies for candy canes if that’s what you prefer or have on hand.
My favorite way is using melted white chocolate because when the chocolate hardens it keeps the candy canes secure and they won’t slide off if you are rimming the glasses in advance for a Christmas party or get-together.
If you don’t have peppermint vodka, you can use plain vodka or increase the amount of whipped cream vodka as a base and add a few drops of peppermint extract to achieve the desired minty flavor.
Another option is to use peppermint schnapps or peppermint simple syrup (if you’re okay with adding a bit more sweetness to the drink).
Yes, you can make a batch of this Candy Cane Martini recipe for holiday parties. I do not recommend making the martinis in advance as leaving alcohol and dairy mixed for an extended amount of time can cause the dairy to curdle due to the breakdown of the milk proteins.
You can have your martini glasses with the candy cane rim prepped in advance, and they will hold up well as the white chocolate will harden and keep the crushed candy canes in place.
To efficiently make a batch on-the-spot without curdling:
-Keep the whipped cream vodka, peppermint vodka, and creme de cacao pre-mixed in a large pitcher and refrigerate.
-Store Baileys and heavy cream separately, also refrigerated.
-Just before serving, combine the pre-mixed spirits, Baileys, and heavy cream in a cocktail shaker with ice.
-Shake well and strain into prepared glasses.
This method keeps the dairy and alcohol separate until the last moment to prevent curdling while still speeding up the cocktail-making process. You can also pre-measure the heavy cream and Baileys in separate little ramekins so that you can just pour and shake!
Did you love this recipe?
Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating & review in the comments below.
Candy Cane Martini Recipe
- White chocolate melted
- Candy canes crushed
- 1 ½ ounce Whipped cream vodka
- ¼ ounce Peppermint vodka
- ½ ounce Creme de cacao
- 1 ounce Irish cream (Baileys)
- ½ ounce heavy cream
- Roll the martini glass in the melted white chocolate, then the crushed candy canes.
- Add the vodkas, creme de cacao, Irish cream, and heavy cream in an empty cocktail shaker.
- Add ice and shake until well chilled.
- Strain into the prepared martini glass. Garnish with an extra candy cane, if desired.
- For a plant-based or non-dairy option, try subbing coconut milk or oat milk for the heavy cream as these give the most creamy mouthfeel of all the non-dairy milks. Baileys also makes an almond-milk based version called “Baileys Almande”.
- Always add your ice cubes after you add your ingredients to the cocktail shaker to prevent diluting the drink.
- Keep the whipped cream vodka, peppermint vodka, and creme de cacao pre-mixed in a large pitcher and refrigerate.
- Store Baileys and heavy cream separately, also refrigerated.
- Just before serving, combine the pre-mixed spirits, Baileys, and heavy cream in a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Shake well and strain into prepared glasses.
- Bonus tip: You can also pre-measure the heavy cream and Baileys in separate little ramekins so that you can just pour and shake!