Pink Squirrel Cocktail Recipe

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Pink Squirrel Nutrition Facts






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 Pink Squirrel cocktail is a classic dessert cocktail that originated in the 1940s. It was created by Bryant's Cocktail Lounge in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and quickly gained popularity due to its unique flavor and eye-catching color. This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy sweet, creamy drinks and is often served at celebrations and special occasions.

  • Origin: 1940s
  • Creator: Bryant's Cocktail Lounge
  • Popular for celebrations and special occasions

How Pink Squirrel Tastes?

The Pink Squirrel has a sweet, creamy, and nutty flavor profile. It is rich and indulgent, with a velvety texture and a hint of fruity notes from the crème de noyaux.

Interesting facts about Pink Squirrel

  • The Pink Squirrel gets its distinct pink color from the crème de noyaux, a liqueur made from apricot and cherry pits.
  • The cocktail was popular in the 1950s and 1960s, but has since become a retro classic.
  • The Pink Squirrel is often served as a dessert cocktail due to its rich, sweet taste.


Crème de Noyaux

This almond-flavored liqueur not only provides a unique, nutty flavor but also imparts the cocktail's signature pink color. Using 1 oz keeps the drink balanced – too much and it can overpower, too little and you'll miss out on the almond essence. As an alternative, Amaretto could be used, but expect a darker color and a somewhat different nutty taste.

Mary Mitkina

White Crème de Cacao

This clear chocolate-flavored liqueur adds the necessary sweetness and a hint of cocoa. Matching the Crème de Noyaux with 1 oz ensures a harmonious blend without excessively tipping the scales to a too-sweet experience. A substitution could be white chocolate liqueur which would create a similar profile but with a richer, more buttery chocolate note.

Mary Mitkina

Heavy Cream

Heavy cream creates that dreamy, silky texture and tempers the sweetness of the liqueurs. The 1 oz measurement balances the cocktail, providing richness without becoming cloying. If omitted, the cocktail loses its luxurious mouthfeel. A dairy-free substitute like full-fat coconut milk could provide a non-dairy twist but will add a slight tropical hint.

Alex Green

Maraschino Cherry

The garnish to top it all off – it's the finishing touch for presentation and adds a sweet, chewy bite at the end of the drink. Without it, you'd miss the classic cocktail aesthetic and that final flavor note. No true substitute, but a small dollop of cherry syrup could mimic some of the maraschino's qualities in the drink itself.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Pink Squirrel Drink

  1. Chill a cocktail glass in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the crème de noyaux, white crème de cacao, and heavy cream.
  3. Shake the mixture vigorously for about 20 seconds, or until well chilled and frothy.
  4. Strain the mixture into the chilled cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Pro Tips

  • Shake the cocktail vigorously to ensure a frothy and creamy texture.
  • Chill the glass beforehand to keep the cocktail cold for longer.
  • Use fresh heavy cream for the best taste and texture.

Perfect Pairings


The Pink Squirrel is sweet and creamy, making it an excellent companion to desserts, especially those with almond or chocolate themes. Think of pairing it with almond biscotti, chocolate lava cake, or delicate macaroons.

After-Dinner Cheese Plate

This cocktail, with its nutty flavor, also goes well with a cheese plate. A selection of brie, camembert, and mild blue cheeses can balance the sweetness of the drink.

Light Appetizers

To contrast its richness, try serving the Pink Squirrel with a range of light appetizers, like melon balls wrapped in prosciutto or mini quiches.

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What you could change in Pink Squirrel

  • Crème de Noyaux can be substituted with Amaretto for a slightly different flavor.
  • White Crème de Cacao can be replaced with dark crème de cacao, but this will change the color of the cocktail.
  • Heavy Cream can be replaced with half-and-half for a lighter version.

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And of course - twists🍹

Almond Joy Squirrel

  • Substitute heavy cream with equal parts coconut milk and a splash of cream for a tropical twist.
  • Add a 1/2 oz of dark chocolate liqueur for deeper chocolate notes.
  • Float shredded coconut on top for garnish. This twist mimics the flavors of the Almond Joy candy bar, giving you a nutty-chocolate escape with a hint of the tropics.

Nutty Orchard Squirrel

  • Replace Crème de Noyaux with Hazelnut liqueur.
  • Add a hint of apple brandy (about 1/4 oz).
  • Use a thin apple slice as garnish. You'll find this version to be a walk in a nutty orchard, with earthy hazelnuts and a fresh zesty apple hint, perfect for fall.

Red Velvet Squirrel

  • Use half the cream and introduce 1/2 oz of cream cheese for a velvety texture.
  • Add a teaspoon of red velvet cake syrup.
  • Garnish with a small red velvet cake crumble. The Red Velvet Squirrel pays homage to the beloved cake, with its creamy and slightly tangy flavor complemented by the indulgence of red velvet.

In case you forgot basics how to make Pink Squirrel

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 Pink Squirrel

What kind of glass is best to serve the Pink Squirrel in?

It is traditionally served in a cocktail glass, specifically a coupe glass.

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of the Pink Squirrel?

Yes, you can substitute non-alcoholic versions of the creme de noyaux and white creme de cacao, and use cream instead of the heavy cream.

Is the Pink Squirrel suitable for a vegan diet?

As the classic recipe involves heavy cream, it's not suitable for a strict vegan diet. However, you can use a vegan cream substitute if desired.

Can I make the Pink Squirrel in a batch for parties?

Yes, just keep the ratio of the ingredients consistent. Chill in the refrigerator instead of a cocktail shaker and stir well before serving.

Why is my Pink Squirrel cocktail not pink?

The pink color comes from the creme de noyaux. If your cocktail is not pink, check the type and brand of your creme de noyaux.

How should I store leftover Pink Squirrel?

It needs to be refrigerated because it contains heavy cream. It's best consumed within a day or two.

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