Crème de menthe and cocoa powder come together to create this delicious peppermint flavoured hot chocolate. It will help you stay toasty all winter long!
I’ve really been getting into the holiday flavours this month. From mandarin and cranberry to gingerbread and chocolate, I’ve done my best to incorporate all the best flavours Christmas has to offer. Today we’re tackling one of my favourite holiday combinations: mint chocolate!
I’ve been addicted to mint infused chocolate ever since I was a little girl. Purdy’s Mint Melties, candy cane chocolate bark, even those little mint chocolate wafers you get at restaurants, I’m in love with them all.
A few months after I turned nineteen, I went to dinner at a pub with my mom. It was sometime in January and the winds were blustery, the rain was coming down in sheets, and I was shivering beneath my winter coat. I wanted something hot to drink, but I was too embarrassed to order a tea at a pub. Plus, I wanted to fit in. I wanted to be an adult and get a cocktail or a beer or something other than the soda I normally ordered. My mom suggested an Irish coffee, but I knew that I’d be up all night if I had one of those. When the server came over, I asked her if the pub offered any other hot drinks, and she showed me the “After Dinner” cocktail menu.
As my eyes scanned over the various hot toddies, buttered rums, and European coffees, one drink at the very bottom of the list caught my eye. The Polar Bear contained chocolate, peppermint schnapps, cream, and whipped topping. My favourite mint/chocolate combination in a drink form? SOLD.
It was honestly one of the best warm cocktails I’ve ever had the pleasure of drinking. Unfortunately, that pub soon closed down, and although I’ve casually perused other restaurant menus for a drink of the same caliber, I’ve yet to find one. It doesn’t seem to be a very popular drink. Therefore, I decided I had to create my own version of it!
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Peppermint Polar Bear! The elusive winter cocktail that will keep you warm all season long. If you’re a die-hard mint chocolate fan like myself, you will LOVE this drink.
As per usual with me, I’ve made my version a little more natural and healthy. Instead of heavy cream, I chose to use 1% cow’s milk. I tried skim, but the results were just too runny. I wouldn’t go any lower than 1%. If you need a lactose-free beverage, you could also try almond or soy milk.
We’re making our own hot chocolate mixture here. This is the same hot chocolate mix I use to make regular hot cocoa all winter long. It’s dead simple, you probably have all the ingredients, and it tastes twenty times better than any prepackaged mix you can buy. It also doesn’t contain any preservatives, colourings, or artificial flavours. Only the good stuff!
Mix up my regular hot chocolate with a little crème de menthe, top it with a healthy portion of maple whipped cream or candy cane cream, and you have one heckuva great drink. Serve it after Christmas dinner, sit by the fire, and watch the lights on the tree sparkle and shine. A perfect ending to a wonderful Christmas Day, don’t you think?
- Moisten the rim of 4 serving glasses with a little bit of water. Pour the sugar dust onto a plate and dip the glasses into the sugar. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized heat proof bowl (or glass measuring cup), mix together the sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla and boiling water. Stir until it forms a thick paste. Set aside.
- Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add the milk. Whisk frequently until the milk heats through, about 5 minutes. Slowly add the heated milk to the chocolate paste, whisking continuously until emulsified. Add 1 shot (42ml) of crème de menthe to each serving glass. Divide the hot chocolate between the four glasses, stir well, top with whipped cream, and serve immediately.
2. To make this drink vegan-friendly, make sure to use almond, hemp, or soy milk. You can also top with coconut whipped cream in place of the regular whipped cream if desired.