When it comes to original shots with delicious flavor, the polar bear is one of the best options, especially during the holidays and winter parties.
Thanks to its unique mint-chocolate mix similar to many of those sweets we eat around Christmas time, the polar bear shot is hard to resist.
Actually, I think this is one of the best and most delicious options to surprise my guests and make them feel special. Also, this shot is very similar to peppermint patties, which everyone loves!
However, what I like the most about this polar bear shot recipe is that it is easy to prepare, so it’s the best drink when we have to serve crowds! Since it only needs just two ingredients and we can make it in just minutes, we can save time without burning our pockets!
Do you want to learn how to prepare this fabulous wintry drink? I’m here to help you! Read on to find the best polar bear shot recipe, a comprehensive step-by-step guide, some tips for getting the best results, and more!
What is a Polar Bear Shot?
The polar bear shot is a party drink known for its peculiar characteristics: despite having a crystal clear, colorless look, it’s full of flavor!
This clear shot will hit your throat with intense but delicious notes of chocolate and peppermint. I’m pretty sure you’ll love it! If you’re waiting to put the peppermints out, our scooby snack shot recipe is a great alternative.
The polar bear shot also became very popular and even went viral on Twitter after it was featured in an episode of the TV drama Schitt’s Creek, and fans tried to figure out how to make it.
There is another drink that is often confused with this one: the polar bear brink cocktail. However, it is made with Sprite, vodka, and blue curacao.
What Ingredients Do Polar Bear Shots Have?
This delicious party shot is made from just two ingredients: crème de cacao and peppermint schnapps. However, we must make the right choices to get the best results. Let’s better understand each one.
Creme de Cacao
It’s a cocoa bean-flavored liqueur responsible for giving our polar bear shot its characteristic delicious chocolate flavor. There are two types: white and dark crème de cacao.
However, to keep this shot’s frosty and colorless look, we should use white crème de cacao instead of the dark or brown version.
With this clear and mint-flavored spirit, we give our polar bear shot the peppermint flavor! However, it can be hard to find, and most people don’t have it at home.
Therefore, if you want to make this shot but don’t have this liquor, you can add some drops of peppermint extract. I usually get them in the backing sections of my favorite grocery stores.
As you can see, finding these ingredients can be a bit tricky. However, once you buy them, making this polar bear shot recipe will not take you more than a few minutes.
How to Make This Polar Bear Shot Recipe
Now that you know this delicious drink and want to try it the next time you get together with your friends or family for a winter party, it’s time to get started!
Here’s my favorite polar bear shot recipe with everything you need, from ingredients to tools!
As mentioned, most grocery stores don’t have peppermint schnapps and creme de cacao. However, if we can’t find these ingredients, we can look for some substitutes to prepare our polar bear shot and make sure it has the same delicious flavor.
I think finding the creme de cacao is much easier than finding the peppermint schnapps, which is relieving because it’s essential to give our shot that characteristic dark chocolate flavor.
However, if we don’t have peppermint schnapps, we can use peppermint-flavored drops. As mentioned, I usually use the version that bakeries sell or the one bought in the baking section of a local grocery store.
In addition, there is another potential substitute. If we can’t find peppermint schnapps or peppermint drops, we can also use creme de menthe.
Available in colorless and green versions, creme de menthe is a sweet and mint-flavored alcoholic beverage made from mint leaves. It can give our polar bear shot that refreshing taste that we love!
Also, when we already have the ingredients, we must look for the right equipment. To make a polar bear shot, we need the following tools:
- A cocktail shaker
- Chilled shot glasses
Tips and Tricks to Make a Polar Bear Shot
Do you want to get the best results to impress your friends, family, or other guests? I can also help you! Here are some tips to keep in mind while making this polar bear shot recipe:
Chilled Shot Glasses
To maintain the arctic theme that defines this drink, the shot glasses we use must be cold! Therefore, we have to rinse it with cold water and then take it to our refrigerator.
We must put our shot glasses in the coldest part of our freezer and wait at least 1 minute until they are frosty!
Picking Beverages With the Right Color and Intensity
The liquors we choose can affect the color and strength of our polar bear shots. However, to maintain its characteristic frosty appearance, we must make sure it’s colorless and crystal clear.
Contrary to what many may think, creme de cacao is not creamy and milky but light and similar to dark rum (unless we choose the white version). Also, its taste is similar to dark chocolate.
Peppermint schnapps typically has a higher liquor content than creme de menthe. Therefore, if we want our polar bear shot to hit our throat harder, we can use this spirit.
However, for a mint-flavored polar bear shot with more intent and slightly sweeter but less alcohol content, we can use the creme de menthe instead of the peppermint schnapps.
Fill the Cocktail Shaker with Ice
Our drink has to be as cold as possible! Therefore, we have to add ice cubes to our cocktail shaker when preparing it.
We can also take the cocktail shaker to the freezer for a few minutes before starting to prepare the shot.
Garnishing Our Shot Glass
If you don’t want to use colored sprinkles to garnish the shot glass, you can also make an attractive presentation with a mint sprig!
Controlling the Shot’s Strength
We can also add more ice to the cocktail shaker and mix the liquors for longer to control the strength of our polar bear shots.
The cold water from the melted ice can dilute the spirits, resulting in a less potent drink.
If you love the polar bear shot but want to try other similar drinks, here are some of the variations you can make at home:
Polar Bear Shot on the Rocks
To make polar bear shots, we must follow the same recipe with peppermint schnapps and creme de cacao, but the shot glass must be filled with ice.
This drink should also be served in lowball glasses instead of traditional shot glasses.
Vodka Polar Bear Shot
This polar bear version is also very similar to the original, but we have to add vodka.
To prepare the vodka polar bear shot, we must mix an ounce of vodka with equal parts of peppermint schnapps and creme de cacao.
While the mint-chocolate taste stays the same, adding vodka makes this polar bear shot stronger and stiffer in flavor.
When you’re done trying all of these variations and want something that warms you up, the mexican candy shot will do the trick!
Frequently Asked Questions About This Polar Bear Shot Recipe
How Strong Is the Polar Bear Shot?
A classic polar bear shot has at least 15-15% alcohol by volume. However, as mentioned, it depends on how much ice we add to dilute the mixture!
Can I Make Enough Drinks for Four Shot Glasses?
Yes, of course! However, the recipe I shared is for one shot only. If you want to make enough mixture for four shot glasses, you need to multiply the amount of each ingredient by four.
How Many Calories Does a Polar Bear Shot Have?
A polar bear shot (about one ounce) made with crème de cacao and peppermint schnapps has at least 86 calories. If we use the spirit with substitute creme de menthe, the drink would have 102 calories.
When Should I Take the Shot Glasses Out of the Freezer?
Our shot glasses should be as cold as possible. Therefore, I recommend putting them in the coldest part of the freezer before making the recipe and taking them out only when we are going to serve the drink.
- ½ oz white crème de cacao
- ½ oz peppermint schnapps
- Colored sugar sprinkles for garnish (optional)
- Ice cubes
- Gather all ingredients and equipment on a table, including the cocktail shaker and shot glasses.
- Add the peppermint schnapps or creme de menthe and the white crème de cacao to a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes.
- Shake for at least 30 seconds so that the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Pour the mixture into a shot glass (for a winter touch, you can use a chilled shot glass, but we'll talk more about that later)
- Garnish the shot glasses with the colored sprinkles if you would like and serve!
For a winter touch, you can use a chilled shot glass!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 123Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 0gSugar: 15gProtein: 0g