A Gift from the Heart

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Brandy Hopper

1 1/2 oz Brandy [Monteru]
3/4 oz Creme de Menthe [Short Path]
1/2 oz Homemade Bailey’s
1/4 oz Creme de Cacao [Tempus Fugit]

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake, and stain into an ice filled rocks glass.


Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and I have the perfect gift idea. Sure, flowers or chocolates are pretty traditional, but booze is way more fun. DIY gifts are always more personal and meaningful, so what if I told you there was a way to create a delicious, sweet, boozy gift for your SO that could be ready RIGHT NOW.

I’m talking about homemade Bailey’s Irish cream, which I got from Smitten Kitchen. I often head to Deb’s site for dinner ideas, but this was my first drinkable recipe from her. And man, did this thing deliver. The ease of prepartation-to-deliciousness on this one is through the roof. All you need is cocoa powder, whipping cream, condensed milk, vanilla extract, and some irish whiskey (natch). I used an Irish whiskey from Boston because…drink local. You can even add in a bit of instant espresso if that’s your thing Whisk together the cocoa powder and a bit of cream, slowly adding more until it’s a thick paste. Then add everything else, whisk to combine, and you’re good to go. Put it in a fancy bottle for style points and amaze your partner with a handmade gift.

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Of course, this stuff is super delicious on its own, but this is a cocktail blog…so let’s make a cocktail! I wanted to capture some of that Valentine’s day spirit so I knew some creme de cacao would be involved. Knowing the Bailey’s already had some whiskey in it, I opted for some Brandy as the base spirit. Finally, creme de menthe added a lovely cooling sensation to everything to lighten it all up. In fact, it bascially ended up being a cross between a Brandy Alexander and a Grasshopper, with the cream in both replaced with the homemade Irish cream.

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The silkiness of this drink is amazing. The brandy and creme de menthe give it just enough kick to counterbalance the sweet irish creme and creme de cacao. And you know what, probably not bad idea to gab some chocolates to share with your special someone after you pour this over ice. After all, what is Valentine’s Day without a bit of indulgence?

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