So, I entertained the notion of making a gingerbread house this year. I’ve never made one before and it sounded like a fun holiday activity. Then I saw Molly Yeh’s Gingerbread Farm and thought, for sure, let’s make this happen. I could get into a little gingerbread silo or maybe a gingerbread chicken coop. Then I remembered I’m not very crafty (i.e. major crafting deficiency). This dual agricultural-architectural project involves stencils and templates and vertical lines and diagonal lines, possibly a protractor, maybe some blueprints, definitely some landscaping and none of those things really appeal to me. I also remembered that Michael and I have two new kittens who would likely be running around the house with cement-strength icing stuck to their little paws and it donned on me, I should just save myself a lot of frustration and make a gingerbread cocktail instead. Alcohol is where I really shine. And furthermore, let’s be as festive as possible and make shooters. Because nothing says winter holiday like potent little drinks served in short glassware.
Now, bare with me, but I follow an obscure, strict, self-imposed, food-based guideline which applies to seasonal ingredients. September is for apples, October is for pumpkin, November is for maple (with occasional pumpkin carry-over for pie) and December is for peppermint, eggnog and gingerbread. With these parameters in mind, I decided to make gingerbread shooters. These little treats combine some of my favorite seasonal flavors like brown sugar, cinnamon and molasses.
Regular readers of this blog know I can’t pass-up a simple syrup opportunity. I prepared a batch of gingerbread simple syrup and oh, good heavens – your holiday party needs this.
Pro tip: save some of the simple syrup for your coffee.
Adapted from Eat. Drink. Love.
For the Gingerbread Simple Syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp molasses
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and simmer until the sugar is dissolved, approximately 5 minutes. Remove sauce pan from the heat. Allow the mixture to cool and refrigerate until you’re ready to use.
For the Cocktail
2 oz vanilla vodka
1.5 oz Kahlúa
1.5 oz Baileys Irish Cream
2 tbsp gingerbread simple syrup (+/- to taste)
2.5 oz 1 % milk
Fresh whipped cream, ground cinnamon, gingerbread cookies and cinnamon sticks for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add vodka, Kahlúa, Baileys Irish Cream, gingerbread simple syrup and milk; shake until well combined. Strain into six shot glasses. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream, a pinch of ground cinnamon, a cinnamon stick and a gingerbread cookie.