What Is A Pink Squirrel And Where Was It Invented?

When it comes to cocktails, the possibilities are endless. You can incorporate as few or as many ingredients as your heart desires to create an unforgettable experience. Over the years, cocktails have been taken to a whole new level. From their colors to their garnishes to the glasses in which they are served, a lot of imagination — and improvisation — have obviously gone into the creation of boozy beverages. Some cocktails, however, are happy just being their classic selves.

At Bryant's Cocktail Lounge in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the mixologists on staff are trained to create innovative drinks based on patrons' personal flavor preferences. Do you love the combination of dark chocolate and peppermint? They'll happily rustle you a drink that will blow your mind. Or are you a fan of tart drinks with a fruity kick? Be prepared to be amazed. Although they don't offer customers an official menu, there are a few cocktails Bryant's is known for being the very best at making.

One of the most recognizable — and arguably one of the most eye-catching — vintage cocktails of all time is the Pink Squirrel. Invented at Bryant's in the 1940s, this stunning pink, refreshingly sweet, perfectly creamy libation has withstood the test of time (via Punch).

What is a Pink Squirrel?

Let's see. How can we best describe the Pink Squirrel to those who have never had the pleasure of enjoying one? Well, for starters, think of it as an adult milkshake. This gorgeous pink ice cream cocktail that was born in Milwaukee started as a mega-popular supper club order in the 1940s. According to Vice, the iconic blush-colored drink had made several pop culture appearances, including the Tom Cruise movie "Cocktail" and the sitcom "The Nanny" starring Fran Drescher.

What do the pro bartenders have to say about it? "It's sort of cream-based drink that sort of has an almond flavor to it. It's a pink color," said John Dye, owner of Bryant's Cocktail Lounge in an interview with Wisconsin Life. And Francis Verrall, the bar manager at the McCarren Hotel in Manhattan, says, "The Pink Squirrel is sort of one of those cocktails that our mothers drank when they were in college. It's one of those late-70s, trendy cocktails that people were drinking in New York especially."

Let's sip our way through the Pink Squirrel's delightfully pink factoids, shall we?

How is the Pink Squirrel made?

It's super easy to whip up a Pink Squirrel cocktail, as it requires only three key ingredients. For a single serving, you'll need equal parts crème de noyaux and white crème de cacao and about 1½ ounces of heavy cream, according to Liquor.com. To ensure a pleasantly chilled libation, be sure to store your liqueurs and cream in the fridge beforehand.

Add the crème de noyaux, white crème de cacao and heavy cream into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Give it a really good shake and carefully strain the mixture into a chilled coupe, martini, or hurricane glass. For an extra dose of festive flavor, top it off a squirt of whipped cream, a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg or ruby chocolate shavings, and a cherry or two. Channel your inner mixologist and concoct as many Pink Squirrels as you'd like!

You can also make this pink beauty into a tasty ice cream dessert drink — the way it was meant to be! Punch offers a recipe that calls for the usual crème de noyaux and white crème de cacao. But instead of heavy cream, use a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream. Blend the ingredients well and enjoy!

What does a Pink Squirrel taste like?

Many drinkers have described the Pink Squirrel's flavor as a candy-like medley of sweet almond and chocolate. These two notes are a match made in cocktail heaven and come from the crème liqueurs when they are lovingly blended together. And of course, the sweet vanilla ice cream or more mellow heavy cream (whichever you have on hand or decide to use) provide a velvety, frothy texture, making the Pink Squirrel a perfect post-dinner potion or ladies' night libation.

One of the star ingredients of the drink, crème de noyaux, is a red-colored, almond-flavored liqueur that gives the Pink Squirrel its iconic bubblegum pink hue. However, it's not even made with almonds! Instead, it's made with the kernels of apricots, peaches, or cherries.

Where can you get a Pink Squirrel?

Pink Squirrels — like actual pink squirrels — are admittedly pretty hard to come by in modern bars. If you can gather all of the ingredients and host your own cocktail party at home, by all means! Otherwise, most vintage-inspired cocktail lounges and supper clubs should know the Pink Squirrel recipe by heart or offer it on their menu.

Since crème de noyaux is a bit harder to find than other liqueurs, it may be a good idea to call the bar ahead of time to see if it's available. You can also check with your nearby liquor stores to see if they carry it. You can substitute crème de noyaux with amaretto, another almond-flavored liqueur that's more common, according to Tastessence.

Similar drinks you'll love

If you have a sweet tooth and are in the mood for something boozy to kick off the weekend, you're in luck as far as ice cream-based cocktails go. Other traditional ice cream drinks that Pink Squirrel lovers tend to also gravitate towards include the Grasshopper (a mint-chocolaty drink made with crème de menthe, crème de cacao, and cream), the Mudslide (vodka, coffee liqueur, Bailey's Irish Cream, and heavy cream), and the Brandy Alexander (cognac, crème de cacao, and ice cream). You can also always take a trip to Milwaukee, too, and pop by Bryant's for an out-of-this-world cocktail creation experience!

The Pink Squirrel's story is one to be cherished with every well-earned sip. Cheers to the sweetest, pinkest drink on the planet!