Festive Candy Cane Martini Recipe

Published October 25, 2021
candy cane martini


  • Lemon wedge and sugar for rim
  • 1½ ounces vanilla vodka
  • ½ ounce peppermint schnapps
  • ¼ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ ounce grenadine
  • Ice
  • Candy cane for garnish


  1. To prepare rim, rub the rim of the martini glass or coupe with the lemon wedge.
  2. With the sugar on a saucer, dip either half or the entire rim of the glass in the sugar to coat.
  3. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, vanilla vodka, peppermint schnapps, lemon juice, and grenadine.
  4. Shake to chill.
  5. Strain into prepared glass.
  6. Garnish with candy cane.

Variations and Substitutions

The beauty of the candy cane martini is how much it affords the chance to swap around ingredients while staying true to the spirit of the cocktail.

  • Skip the grenadine for a clear martini.
  • Add a splash of simple syrup for a sweeter taste.
  • Use plain vodka with a splash of vanilla schnapps or white creme de cacao.
  • Gin can be used in place of vodka for a more herbaceous candy cane martini.


Adding a cocktail garnish isn't a step to skip, they're as much a part of the recipe as any other ingredient.

  • Use crushed candy cane pieces instead of sugar.
  • Consider red and white sprinkles for a pop of color.
  • Skip the rim for a less sweet martini.
  • A lemon peel adds another layer of color to the drink.
  • Pierce several whole cranberries on a cocktail skewer for a twist.

About the Candy Cane Martini

The candy cane martini is a more modern martini compared to most. Its rise was helped by the increase of available flavors, both vodka, schnapps, and liqueurs. Today, there's no need to layer flavors to create a candy cane flavor.

With the candy cane flavor already bottled, the candy cane martini can be further modified by layering other, more complex flavors, to truly take the martini from good to great.

Candy Canes for All

More than just a Christmas candy or decoration, candy canes can be enjoyed throughout life. When you find yourself missing the candy canes from childhood, give the candy cane martini a shake to happily stroll through memory lane, or make new memories with this adult twist.

Festive Candy Cane Martini Recipe