When you need a cocktail that tastes like Christmas, this gingerbread martini is your ultimate drink of the holiday season! Prepared with a homemade gingerbread simple syrup, vodka, orange liqueur and a touch of luscious cream, this gingerbread cocktail is a sure party favorite drink that will make everyone instantly feel the holiday spirit. Let’s get festive and start mixing some Christmas cocktails.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Tastes like a gingerbread cookie in a cocktail glass — this is your perfect holiday cocktail for gingerbread lovers.
- Comes with a batching option for your holiday parties.
- Uses a homemade gingerbread syrup instead of a bland store-bought syrup.
- Gives you the most wonderful gingerbread syrup you can use in so many other ways.
Gingerbread simple syrup: To make our homemade gingerbread syrup, we need water, dark brown sugar, fresh ginger, molasses, orange zest, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground allspice and vanilla extract.
Orange liqueur: Triple sec works for a more economical option, or you can get fancy and use Cointreau or Grand Marnier.
Orange bitters: These add a complexity to balance the sweet notes.
Heavy cream: A touch of heavy cream gives us an extra indulgent cocktail for the season.
How to Prepare the Gingerbread Simple Syrup
Step 1: Before we can make the drink, we need to prepare the gingerbread simple syrup. To start, we add the gingerbread syrup ingredients except for the vanilla extract to a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil (photo 1).
Step 2: After the mixture comes to a boil, we turn off the heat, stir in the vanilla and let it steep (photo 2).
Step 3: Our next step is to strain the gingerbread simple syrup, let it cool, and it’s ready to make some festive Christmas cocktails (photo 3).
How to Mix the Gingerbread Martini
Step 1: And now for our drink. To make a lovely garnished rim, we run an orange slice along the rim of the glass to moisten and then swirl it in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar on a small plate (photo 4). For now, we set the glass aside.
Step 2: Now we add the vodka, gingerbread simple syrup, orange liqueur, heavy cream, orange bitters and ice to a cocktail shaker (photo 5).
Step 3: We secure the cocktail shaker top and shake vigorously for about 15-30 seconds (photo 6).
Step 4: After mixing, we remove the cocktail shaker top and strain that delicious gingerbread cookie martini into a chilled martini glass (photo 7). For another fun garnish, try a cinnamon stick, dollop of whipped cream or even a miniature gingerbread cookie.
Let’s take a sip of our Christmas martini and enjoy all those wonderful holiday flavors. Isn’t it pure decadence?
Of course, if you love this festive gingerbread martini recipe, make sure you also try these fun drinks.
How to Prepare a Pitcher
Prefer to make a pitcher to serve a crowd? Here’s how to do that.
- Stir together the ingredients in a large pitcher.
- Cover and refrigerate.
- Stir again, pour into a cocktail shaker and mix as originally directed.
We still want to shake the cocktail to get the proper aeration and dilution, but pre-mixing will still save a lot of prep work. You can find the full recipe proportions in the notes section of the recipe card.
Absolutely. To make a nonalcoholic gingerbread martini, use a zero-proof vodka and orange juice instead of orange liqueur. Bitters technically have alcohol, but they add a negligible level. That said, you can still leave them out.
While you can use a store-bought gingerbread syrup, I don’t recommend it. Those store-bought syrups aren’t nearly as flavorful, especially compared to this recipe. A cocktail is only as good as its ingredients, so for best results, I highly recommend making the homemade gingerbread simple syrup, which is truly the star of this martini.
No, martinis are served straight up without ice. The shaking process chills the drink perfectly.
Keep leftover syrup in a sterile, airtight container in the refrigerator. It should last at least two to three weeks with proper storage.
Variations and Substitutions
- Use a flavored vodka instead of regular vodka — a vanilla vodka would add a nice touch.
- Try another spirit, like dark rum, bourbon or Irish whiskey, if you’re not a vodka fan.
- Substitute the heavy cream for a dairy-free alternative if you have any vegan guests.
- Experiment with another bitters variety, like ginger, cinnamon or cardamom.
- Add a touch of Baileys Irish Cream for extra decadence.
Used chilled martini glasses: Simply place the glasses in the freezer for at least five minutes, though preferably 30 minutes, to make them nice and frosty.
Save any leftover gingerbread syrup: Besides more gingerbread cocktails, you can use the syrup to make a gingerbread latte, stir into your oatmeal, top on gingerbread waffles or spoon onto a bowl of ice cream.
No cocktail shaker, no problem: Instead, you can use a mason jar with a solid lid.
Shake the gingerbread syrup before using: As a thicker syrup with gingerbread spices, it benefits from a quick shake to ensure nothing settles to the bottom.
Naturally, a Christmas dessert cocktail calls for a gingerbread dessert. You can try these favorites.
Let’s make it a jolly holiday season with a gingerbread martini in hand. You'll love every sip of that warm, cozy gingerbread flavor.
Sip on More Festive Cocktail Recipes
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- Small saucepan
- Fine-mesh sieve
- Jigger or small measuring cup
- Cocktail shaker
Gingerbread Simple Syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup fresh ginger peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- ⅔ cup packed dark brown sugar
- ⅓ cup unsulphured molasses not the blackstrap variety
- 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Ground cinnamon for garnish, optional
- White sugar for garnish, optional
- Orange slice slit in the middle, for garnish, optional
- 2 ounces vodka
- 1 ounce gingerbread simple syrup
- 1 ounce orange liqueur
- ½ ounce heavy cream
- 2-3 dashes orange bitters
- Cinnamon stick for garnish, optional
Gingerbread Simple Syrup
- In a small saucepan, add the water, ginger, dark brown sugar, molasses, orange zest, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Stir to combine. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Stir every so often to help dissolve the sugar.
- When the mixture boils and the sugar dissolves, turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Allow to steep for at least 15 minutes.
- Strain the syrup to separate the solids. Allow the mixture to cool and store in a sterile, airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Stir together cinnamon and sugar on a small plate. Run the orange slice along the rim of the glass to moisten. Swirl the glass in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Set aside.
- In a cocktail shaker, add the vodka, gingerbread simple syrup, orange liqueur, heavy cream, orange bitters and a handful of ice.
- Secure the top and shake for 15-30 seconds.
- Strain the drink into the rimmed glass. If desired, garnish with a cinnamon stick. Enjoy!
- Store gingerbread simple syrup in the refrigerator in a sterile, airtight container in the refrigerator for two to three weeks.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.