Polar Bear Cocktail Recipe

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Polar Bear Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:40%

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 Polar Bear cocktail is a unique blend of flavors that takes you on a journey to the Arctic. It's a cocktail that's perfect for those who love a bit of adventure and are always looking for something different. The Polar Bear was first created by a bartender who wanted to capture the essence of the Arctic in a glass. It's a cocktail that's loved by those who enjoy strong, bold flavors and aren't afraid to try something new.

How Polar Bear Tastes?

The Polar Bear is a cocktail with a complex flavor profile. It's strong, with the mezcal providing a smoky base, while the vermouth adds a touch of sweetness. The creme de menthe gives it a refreshing minty taste, and the angelica tincture or celery bitters add a hint of bitterness. It's a cocktail that's both refreshing and warming, perfect for a cold winter's night.

Interesting facts about Polar Bear

  • The Polar Bear cocktail is named after the Arctic animal, reflecting its strong and bold flavors.
  • Despite its strong flavors, it's a cocktail that's surprisingly easy to drink.
  • The Polar Bear is a great cocktail to serve at a winter-themed party.



Using 1.5 oz of mezcal provides a smoky base without overwhelming the other flavors. This spirit brings a certain warmth and depth that is essential to the cocktail's character. Omitting mezcal would strip the Polar Bear of its distinctive smokiness. As an alternative, try using a smoky Scotch to retain that essential smoky flavor, though it will impart a different type of smokiness compared to mezcal.

Alex Green

White Vermouth

At 0.75 oz, white vermouth adds a touch of botanical complexity and a hint of sweetness. It also helps to balance the potent mezcal. Without it, you'd lose the nuanced mid-palate that vermouth contributes. Dry vermouth could be a substitute, although it would make the drink a tad drier and less sweet.

Mary Mitkina

Crème de Menthe

0.5 oz crème de menthe offers a sweet, minty freshness. It's what gives the Polar Bear its 'polar' coolness. Too much could overpower the drink with sweetness and mint, while too little would make it barely noticeable. No crème de menthe? Peppermint schnapps could work in a pinch, but expect a sharper mint taste and a higher alcohol content.

Emma Rose

Angelica Tincture

A mere 6 drops of angelica tincture is all it takes to add an earthy, almost medicinal layer. This tincture can be hard to find, so celery bitters might be used instead, which would push the drink in a slightly more vegetal direction.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Polar Bear Drink

  1. Pour the mezcal, vermouth, and creme de menthe into a mixing glass filled with ice.
  2. Stir well until the mixture is well chilled.
  3. Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass.
  4. Add the angelica tincture or celery bitters.
  5. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and serve.

Pro Tips

  • Use a high-quality mezcal for the best flavor.
  • Make sure to chill your cocktail glass before serving for the best experience.
  • Don't skimp on the angelica tincture or celery bitters, they add a necessary complexity to the cocktail.

Perfect Pairings


  • Grilled shrimp: The smokiness of mezcal pairs wonderfully with the charred flavors of grilled seafood.
  • Chicken satay: The herbal notes in the cocktail complement savory peanut sauces often served with satay.


  • Chocolate mint brownies: Echoing the crème de menthe in the Polar Bear, minty desserts are a match made in heaven.
  • Vanilla ice cream: The creaminess balances the cocktail's intensity while the vanilla serves as a sweet counterpart.


  • Salted nuts: The saltiness will elevate the sweet herbaceous notes of the cocktail.
  • Dark chocolate: It can stand up to the robust flavors of mezcal and the sweetness of crème de menthe.

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What you could change in Polar Bear

  • Mezcal: Any other smoky mezcal will work in this cocktail.
  • Vermouth: You can use any other blanc vermouth if Dolin is not available.
  • Creme de menthe: If you can't find Tempus Fugit, any other creme de menthe will do.
  • Angelica tincture: If you can't find angelica tincture, celery bitters are a good substitute.

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And of course - twists🍹

Chocolate Polar Bear

  • Add a rim of cocoa powder to the glass.
  • Use crème de cacao instead of crème de menthe for a chocolatey twist. This version would be richer and would complement the smokiness of mezcal with sweet chocolate notes, making it a dessert-like experience.

Arctic Fox

  • Use white crème de cacao and a splash of peppermint schnapps.
  • Garnish with a white chocolate rim. Here, you'll get a creamier, confectionary drink with a strong peppermint kick, perfect for those with a sweet tooth.

Tundra Herb

  • Replace white vermouth with absinthe.
  • Add a spritz of lemon oil over the top of the cocktail. The Tundra Herb brings a powerful anise flavor to the forefront and adds a bright citrus note, challenging the mezcal's dominance and offering a complex herbal profile.

In case you forgot basics how to make Polar Bear

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

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

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 Polar Bear

What other garnishes can I use for the Polar Bear cocktail?

Aside from mint sprigs and chocolate shavings, some options can include a lemon twist, a cherry, or even a dash of cinnamon for a bit of a twist. Ensure the garnishes complement the flavors of the cocktail and enhance its overall presentation.

Does the type of glass affect the taste of the Polar Bear cocktail?

While the type of glass doesn’t necessarily affect the taste of the cocktail, it can certainly enhance the overall drinking experience. Serving the drink in a chilled martini glass, as recommended, adds to the coolness of the drink and the presentation.

Can I add other spirits or liquors to the Polar Bear cocktail?

Yes, you can add other spirits or liquors as long as they complement the existing flavors. For example, a splash of Baileys could add creaminess and enhance the alcohol content. However, keep in mind adding too many flavors could overwhelm the original taste of the cocktail.

Is the Polar Bear cocktail a strong drink?

The Polar Bear cocktail is mild to moderate in terms of alcohol content, depending on the amount and brands of spirits used. It contains vodka, crème de menthe, and crème de cacao which add to its alcohol content.

Is this cocktail suitable for people on a diet?

This depends on the specific diet. The Polar Bear cocktail does contain alcohol, cream, and sugar which may not be suitable for all diets. If you have diet restrictions, consider consulting with a nutritionist or doctor before enjoying this drink.

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