For this special Christmas Eve edition of Tasting Notes, we fully immerse ourselves in the spirit and flavors of the holiday season by spending some time with the newly released Rocky Mountain Peppermint Schnapps from Lee Spirits Company (Colorado Springs, Colorado).
Proudly introduced earlier this month as one of the only craft Peppermint Schnapps manufactured in the United States, Rocky Mountain Peppermint Schnapps is a premium quality Peppermint Schnapps “made from all-natural peppermint, purified Rocky Mountain water and all-natural premium cane sugar.” Clocking in at 90 PROOF/45% ABV, Rocky Mountain Peppermint Schnapps “is designed to drink ‘neat’ or accompany a wealth of mixed drinks such as enhancing the delicious Alexander or adding peppermint schnapps to hot chocolate.”
750ml bottles of Rocky Mountain Peppermint Schnapps are available now in Colorado and will see expanded distribution in 2019. You can find this new offering at fine liquor retailers and bars located throughout the state of Colorado.
With all that background information now out of the way, what do you say we raise a neat pour of Rocky Mountain Peppermint Schnapps to the holidays and get into these Tasting Notes?
Tasting Notes for Rocky Mountain Peppermint Schnapps from Lee Spirits Company
Appearance: Rocky Mountain Peppermint Schnapps is packaged in a tall and slender clear bottle that is wearing a parchment-like label that depicts the offering’s name cut out of a bed of peppermint leaves. This tastefully stylized design is blocked out and centered above a tiny Colorado state flag and a proud proclamation of “Handmade with Rocky Mountain Water.” When poured neat into a tasting glass, the spirit is mostly clear but does have a tinge of a translucent cloudiness to it. When swirled, the liquid seems to carve a high arcing line into the glass and drops some of the slowest moving legs we have ever seen in a spirit.
Aroma: Just as one would expect, these Schnapps are filled with peppermint, but it is an incredibly clean and natural presence. There is not a hint of artificiality or extract. This deeply herbal waft is then tempered a bit with a delicate layer of pure sugar and a gentle jolt of alcohol residing in the background. As a whole, these aromatics easily conjure up comforting and cheery memories of the holidays.
Taste: Peppermint of course dominates here as well with a bright, refreshing burst of that minty coolness. This is countered slightly as cane sugar works its way in to lay down some sweetness alongside those herbal tones. These elements combine to create an experience that is strikingly similar to that of a classic candy cane. Clean alcohol is present in the finish, but it does not even attempt to overwhelm the peppermint.
Mouthfeel: A touch on the syrupy side, these Peppermint Schnapps completely coat the tongue and palate before slowly evaporating away into nothing. Although it does lean a bit to the sweet side, the herbal character of the peppermint does a good job of lifting away some of that sweetness in effort to keep things from getting cloying. That 45% ABV/90 PROOF brings a bit of booziness, but it is tame and takes the form of a comforting warmth in your belly. Notes of your favorite peppermint candy are left to linger behind in the aftertaste.
Final Thoughts: All in all, Lee Spirits Company made Rocky Mountain Peppermint Schnapps exactly what it should be: a clean, cool and fresh peppermint spirit. The peppermint character is wonderfully natural and pronounced but cut with just the right amount of sugar to keep things from coming across medicinal. With that said, the peppermint maintains enough of its integrity to keep the sweetness from becoming cloying. The ratio is spot on, basically making Rocky Mountain Peppermint Schnapps liquid peppermint candy but without any hint of artificial character.
Rocky Mountain Peppermint Schnapps can easily be enjoyed neat (we were delighted to sip on it for over an hour while working on these notes), but you can get into some real fun with this spirit by experimenting with it in cocktails. Peppermint can work wonders in a variety of cocktails all year long, but the desire for that flavor does become more prevalent during the winter and especially during the holidays. With that in mind, we decided to combine Rocky Mountain Peppermint Schnapps with eggnog, another quintessential flavor of the holidays, to create a festive and fun Candy Cane Nog (pictured above):
Candy Cane Nog
- 6 oz. to 8 oz. Eggnog
- 3/4 oz. Rocky Mountain Peppermint Schnapps
- Whipped Cream
- Candy Cane Stick
Add Eggnog and Rocky Mountain Peppermint Schnapps to shaker tin filled with ice and shake. Strain into a glass coffee mug. Top with whipped cream and garnish with a candy cane stick. You can also dust the whipped cream with cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa powder (our choice) or red & green sprinkles for added garnish.
The Candy Cane Nog shows just how versatile peppermint is as an ingredient as the Rocky Mountain Peppermint Schnapps brightens and lifts the heavy creaminess of the eggnog while embracing and accentuating the nog’s spices. This combination beautifully balances the two featured ingredients and elevates these established festive flavors to another level.
If you are not a fan of eggnog, you can always use Rocky Mountain Peppermint Schnapps to make an Adult Hot Cocoa or incorporate it into the recipes for cocktails such as the Peppermint Patty or Peppermint White Russian.
No matter how you chose to enjoy Rocky Mountain Peppermint Schnapps, one thing is for sure: you are certainly never going to be disappointed whenever this spirit graces your glass. Be sure to treat yourself to a bottle if the opportunity arises . . . but, above all, make sure you have a safe and happy holidays. Prost!