The Pink Squirrel cocktail was invented in the 1950s by Bryant Sharp at his bar, Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was so popular that it made its way into the tiki bar scene and could be made in the form of a slushy depending on its ingredients.
There are many variations of the recipe available online, but it is typically made with Crème de Noyaux, Crème de Cacao, and heavy cream. Some recipes call for a bit of vanilla ice cream in lieu of the cream.
The Pink Squirrel cocktail is typically served in a champagne coupe, cocktail glass or a martini glass. These glassware ops show off the drink’s pink color while the stem allows the drinker to hold the glass without warming the cocktail with their hand. Their wide rims also allows the aroma of the ingredients to come through, enhancing the overall drinking experience. Alternatively, it can be served in a hurricane glass or a Nick and Nora glass.
A maraschino cherry is a typical garnish for the Pink Squirrel cocktail. The bright red color of the cherry provides a nice contrast to the pink color of the drink, and the cherry’s sweet and slightly bitter flavor complements the notes of the Crème de Noyaux and Crème de Cacao.
A twist of orange peel is also a garnishing option—the oils from the peel can add a nice citrus aroma and flavor to the drink.You can also garnish it with a sprinkle of cocoa powder or grated chocolate on top of the drink or a drizzle of chocolate sauce on the rim of the glass.
You can experiment with different garnishes to find the one you like best. We used the flower of the Bougainvillea bush. These plants grow in various hues of whites, pinks and purples.
Here’s a basic recipe for a Pink Squirrel cocktail:
- 1 1/2 oz Crème de Noyaux
- 1 oz Crème de Cacao
- 1 oz heavy cream
- 1/4 oz Grenadine syrup
Let’s Make it!
- In a cocktail shaker, combine the Crème de Noyaux, Crème de Cacao, heavy cream, and Grenadine syrup.
- Fill the shaker with ice and shake well for about 15 seconds.
- Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Optional: garnish with a maraschino cherry.
On the skinny:
- Instead of using heavy cream, we opted to test out the original recipe with Breyer’s Smart Carb low sugar ice cream. * As another alternative, use 30-calorie Almond Milk.
- We skipped the Grenadine syrup.
- Using a hand-held mixer, we combined the Crème de Noyaux and Crème de Cacao with the ice cream.
- We found the color was the perfect pink without the Grenadine syrup, further cutting back calories on this very sweet drink.
Serve this drink in a pretty coupe glass.
Note: The Pink Squirrel cocktail is a creamy and very sweet drink. It is generally not shaken but stirred to prevent the cream from getting frothy. You can adjust the ratio of ingredients to suit your taste or add more grenadine for a deeper pink color.
Tip: It may depend on where you live and the availability of certain ingredients. In general, specialty ingredients for cocktails can sometimes be harder to find and may require searching at liquor stores or specialty shops. However, with the rise of online shopping, finding ingredients for a pink squirrel cocktail may be more accessible.
There are a couple of Crème de Noyaux brands you can use for a pink squirrel– Bols comes in a tall, slim bottle with a rich reddish color. Hiram Walker and Tempus Fugit Spirits are slightly lighter rouge but taste the same. Their flavors come from apricot kernels or peach or cherry pits. An alternative to these options would be Arrow Creme de Almond Noyaux Liqueur– made from almonds.