Posted by: acooksca | 04/03/2009

Snowshoe… A Holiday Cocktail

The revival of vintage drinks is big business. Urban bars compete for attention with drink menus of rediscovered neon-cocktail-1a(mostly pre-prohibition original) cocktails. The uber-hip magazine Imbibe details the cutting edge of the international “liquid culture”. In the December issue Dr. Cocktail resurrects my Holiday favorite, the Snowshoe.

The synergy of a Snowshoe lies in the balance of its only two ingredients: 100-proof Wild Turkey Bourbon and Peppermint Schnapps. This drink is a blast of contrasts: toasty hot, icy cold, sharp, sweet, assertively masculine (the bourbon) matched by sassy femininity (the peppermint).

During the 1970s the Snowshoe appeared briefly at bars in ski resorts and other cold places… like foggy Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco. That’s where a girlfriend and I discovered this cocktail in a wood paneled bar with a gas fireplace just after we turned 21.

During the 1980’s the Snowshoe faded like an aging prom queen without a date. Bartenders were busy with fruity vodka drinks and Margaritas. By the 90’s bartenders were too young to have heard of a Snowshoe and I had to search for a bar that still carried out-of-fashion Peppermint Schnapps.

In December, 2000 I ordered my annual Snowshoe at a stylish hotel bar in San Francisco. The grey-haired bartender said “you know darling, you are dating yourself ordering a Snowshoe…only people who came of drinking age during the mid-70’s order that drink.” So be it. And now it is back.

Thanks, Imbibe magazine and Dr Cocktail, for giving new respect to my old favorite Holiday cocktail. I guess I can stop explaining to bartenders how to make it…at least for a year or two.

1 ½ oz. 100-proof Wild Turkey Bourbon
1 ½ oz. Peppermint Schnapps (Imbibe suggests Rumplemintz 100 proof)
       Do not use Crème de Menthe
Crushed ice

Pour ingredients into an old fashioned glass and stir. No garnish needed.


Originally published in Farmstead Cheese News by Karen Bolla, edited for A Cook’s California (A Cook’s CA)  by Karen Bolla.


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