Nutcracker Cocktail Recipe

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Nutcracker Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:20%

Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Nutcracker cocktail is a classic holiday drink that has been enjoyed for generations. Its origins are somewhat murky, but it's believed to have been first created in the early 20th century. It's a favorite among those who enjoy sweet, nutty flavors, and it's often served at holiday parties and gatherings.

  • Origins: Early 20th century
  • Popular Among: Sweet and nutty flavor lovers
  • Occasions: Holiday parties and gatherings

How Nutcracker Tastes?

The Nutcracker cocktail is a delightful blend of sweet, creamy, and nutty flavors. It has a rich, velvety texture with a hint of spice from the nutmeg. The sweetness of the amaretto and cream liqueur is balanced by the strong, warming kick of the vodka.

Interesting facts about Nutcracker

  • The Nutcracker cocktail is named after the famous ballet, 'The Nutcracker'.
  • It's a popular drink during the holiday season, especially Christmas.
  • The cocktail is often garnished with a sprinkle of nutmeg, adding to its festive appeal.


A few good options for Nutcracker are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


Vodka: 1.5 oz is the backbone, providing a clean canvas for the other flavors. Too much, and you'll over-power; too little, and the cocktail feels weak. No vodka, no kick!

Emma Rose


Amaretto: 1 oz brings a warm, sweet, almond-like flavor that cozies up beautifully with the cream. Substitute with Frangelico for a hazelnut spin, though beware, it's nuttier than a squirrel's pantry!

Alex Green

Cream Liqueur

Cream Liqueur: 1 oz adds velvety texture and a hint of vanilla. If you skip it, you'll miss out on the lush mouthfeel. Irish cream is a classic choice, but there's room to experiment with coffee-flavored or chocolate cream liqueurs, toying with your taste buds like a nutty Nutcracker himself!

Mary Mitkina


Nutmeg: Just a pinch for that spicy-sweet fragrance, nodding to holiday traditions. It's the fairytale ending to your drink. Without it, the cocktail is like a ballet without music—still good, but missing the magic.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Nutcracker Drink

  1. Fill a shaker with ice cubes.
  2. Add vodka, amaretto, and cream liqueur to the shaker.
  3. Shake well until the outside of the shaker becomes frosty.
  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  5. Sprinkle with nutmeg as garnish.

Pro Tips

  • Use high-quality ingredients for the best flavor.
  • Chill your glass before serving for a colder, more refreshing drink.
  • Don't overdo it with the nutmeg - a little goes a long way!

Perfect Pairings


Rich and creamy desserts like cheesecake or tiramisu can complement the smooth and sweet flavors of the Nutcracker cocktail.

Salty Snacks

Salty snacks like mixed nuts or gourmet popcorn will balance the sweetness and provide a satisfying textural contrast.

Coffee or Espresso

A strong coffee or espresso can round out the experience by adding a bitter element that contrasts pleasantly with the cocktail's sweetness.


Fresh fruits, particularly berries or sliced ripe pears, could make a refreshing side, cutting through the creaminess of the drink.

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What you could change in Nutcracker

  • Vodka: Can be substituted with white rum or bourbon for a different flavor profile.
  • Amaretto: If unavailable, you can use a different nut-flavored liqueur.
  • Cream Liqueur: Can be replaced with half-and-half or heavy cream.

Explore all drinks starting with N here

And of course - twists🍹

Espresso Nutcracker

Add a shot of espresso to give the cocktail a caffeine kick and a deeper flavor profile. The bitterness of the coffee will contrast with the sweetness, making for a more adult version of the treat.

Spiced Nutcracker

Include a splash of spiced rum in place of some of the vodka, adding a warm, holiday spice bouquet. Think of it like the Nutcracker gaining a Caribbean tan!

Fruity Nutcracker

Muddle some raspberries in the shaker before adding the rest of the ingredients. The fruit will impart a tart freshness and a pop of color, taking your Nutcracker on a summer vacation.

In case you forgot basics how to make Nutcracker

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Nutcracker

What is the best type of vodka to use for a Nutcracker cocktail?

The best type of vodka to use is entirely subjective and depends on personal preferences. Typical choices range from premium vodkas like Grey Goose and Belvedere to more reasonably priced options like Smirnoff.

Can I make a Nutcracker cocktail without alcohol?

Absolutely! You can replace the vodka with non-alcoholic vodka, amaretto with almond syrup, and use a non-alcoholic cream liqueur. It might taste different, but it's still delicious.

Can I make a large batch of Nutcracker cocktails in advance?

Yes, Nutcracker cocktails can be made in large quantities and stored in the fridge ahead of time. Bear in mind, however, that the blender may need to work in batches depending on its size.

What is the best glassware to use for a Nutcracker cocktail?

Traditionally, a Nutcracker cocktail is served in a chilled cocktail glass. However, you can use any glass you prefer.

What other garnishes can I use for a Nutcracker cocktail?

You could also garnish with a cinnamon stick or a cocktail cherry. Or both.

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