This pretty pink cocktail is a boozy dessert-like drink with the creamy flavors of sweet almond and chocolate. This classic favorite makes the perfect night cap or classy party drink.
Why Is It Called a Pink Squirrel?
The pink squirrel cocktail gets its name from its beautiful pink color, resulting from the use of crème de noyaux, a red color liqueur mixed with cream.
What Is the History of the Pink Squirrel Drink?
This cocktail was originally created by Bryant Sharp at Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge in Milwaukee back in 1941. The original recipe was served as an ice cream drink.
Pink Squirrel Ingredients
Since the original ice cream drink, most variations of the pink squirrel use heavy cream. The heavy cream is shaken with creme de noyaux, and white crème de cacao. To top it off, fresh grated nutmeg makes a flavorful option or for an unique impressive option, try edible glitter.
If you’d like to go with the traditional milkshake/ice cream version, the creme de noyaux, and white crème de cacao will remain, but instead of being shaken with cream, are blended with ice cream.
All About Creme de Noyaux
Creme de Noyaux is a crème liqueur. It’s made from apricot kernels or kernels of cherry or peach pits; creating an almond-like flavor. Many versions of it use red coloring; resulting in a pink hue when used in the Pink Squirrel cocktail.
Flavor/What Does It Taste Like (Amaretto?)
Creme de Noyaux is very close in flavor to amaretto, with a slight complexity, much like marzipan.
What Is a Substitute for Creme de Noyaux?
Amaretto + as splash of maraschino cherry juice works great as substitute. This substitution can be used often in the absence of Creme de Noyaux (it can be difficult to find).
Steps to Make a Pink Squirrel
Making a pink squirrel requires very limited prep work. Just measure and pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake until well combined/chilled. And then strain into a glass. Top as desired; typically, it is served as-is, sprinkled with ground nutmeg, or with maraschino cherries. I personally have also used edible pink glitter; for a glamorous pink party drink.
There is 1½ total ounces of liquor in this recipe – the equivalent of about one drink.
Most variations of the pink squirrel use heavy cream, creme de noyaux, and white crème de cacao. For the traditional milkshake/ice cream version, ice cream is used in place of the heavy cream.
It gets its name from its beautiful pink color (a combination of crème de noyaux and cream).
The pink is a result of the use of crème de noyaux, a red color liqueur — when it’s mixed with cream. If crème de noyaux cannot be found, a mix of amaretto and pomegranate juice can also be used.
Amaretto + as splash of maraschino cherry juice worked great as substitute.
*I tried a substitution of Amaretto combined with pomegranate juice; but it did not work in this recipe, I had to use extra juice to get the pink color correct and then the fruity flavor overpowered the chocolate flavor.
More Fun Party Cocktails
The pink squirrel is a special dessert cocktail (and not my usual type of recipe due to the red coloring; great for special occasions only). However, in this blog, you’ll typically find gluten free and healthier cocktails. Here are some favorites:
- Blueberry Lavender Mimosas
- Pumpkin Spice Martinis
- Cucumber Lime Coolers
- Island Breeze Mimosas (or Sparkling Party Punch)
Here’s to the prettiest, chocolaty party drinks and regaining our sparkle together,
Pink Squirrel Cocktail
- 7 oz
coupe glass(or glass of choice)*
- ¾ ounce crème de noyaux liqueur*
- ¾ ounce white crème de cacao liqueur
- 2 ounces heavy cream
- Optional garnish: ground nutmeg or pink glitter
- Fill a cocktail shaker 2/3 full of ice.
- Add ingredients to shaker and shake until blended/cold.
- Strain into a coupe glass.
- Optional: garnish with ground nutmeg or pink glitter.