If you’ve never heard of the Pink Squirrel cocktail, it’s not surprising. Most people haven’t heard of this bright pink cocktail. It was invented in the 1940s at a Milwaukee bar called Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge.
However, since its inception, it has remained in virtual anonymity, very much enjoyed by those who know it and utterly unknown to those who don’t.
How to Make a Pink Squirrel Cocktail
- 3/4 oz white crème de cacao
- 3/4 oz crème de Noyaux
- 1 1/2 oz heavy cream
- Garnish with grated nutmeg
- Gather all the ingredients, a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and a chilled coupe glass
- Combine the crème de Noyaux, white crème de cacao, and heavy cream into the shaker
- Shake vigorously until well-chilled
- Strain and pour into the chilled coupe glass
- Garnish with fresh-grated nutmeg
About the Pink Squirrel Cocktail
This drink is quite similar to the Grasshopper, which also features cream and crème de cacao. However, instead of crème de menthe, it includes crème de Noyaux, which is a liqueur that’s also been essentially forgotten, just like this cocktail.
If you’ve never heard of it (and most people haven’t), it’s got a bitter herbal flavor slightly reminiscent of almonds. The liqueur’s distinctive red color comes from the cochineal, an insect traditionally used for dye.
Since crème de Noyaux isn’t very popular because it’s always been so hard to find, it’s no surprise that this cocktail hasn’t become popular or even well-known, for that matter.
Also, contemporary cocktails have moved away from trends in the 1970s and 80s that heavily featured both overly sweet and creamy drinks. Either way, this delicious cocktail is definitely worth a try—it’s got great balance, and who knows, you might just find your new favorite!
Sweet, Creamy, and Bright Pink
There’s just one catch: finding a reliable source of crème de Noyaux can be problematic. Luckily, it’s become a bit easier over the last few years to find this liqueur, now available from Hiram Walker, Bols, and Tempus Fugit, the latter of which released a version in 2013 that most agree is exceptionally close to 19th-century recipes.
Tempus Fugit is made with bitter almonds, apricot and cherry pits, and other botanicals, giving this liqueur a distinctively bitter herbal taste.
This cocktail may not win any popularity awards, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s sweet, creamy, and delicious. The only tricky part of the recipe is finding crème de Noyaux, a red liqueur that gives the drink’s frilly sweetness some balance with its bitter botanical notes.
Next time you’re at the bar, try ordering this drink. It’s a unique choice that adds some deliciousness to any discerning cocktail lover’s repertoire.