When it was first created in the 1950s, allegedly by the owner of Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the Pink Squirrel — a frothy dessert cocktail in the distinctive hue of flamingo feathers — was all the rage. Regrettably, it fell out of fashion around the same time disco did, but revival house supreme, the Golden Ox, has brought it back to life.
“I had never heard of a Pink Squirrel, even though it was pretty popular in the ’80s and ’90s,” says Katy Wade, bar manager at the Golden Ox. “We have all these old drink menus at the Ox, though, and I knew I wanted to bring the classics back so we could stay true to the vintage vibe of the restaurant. The Pink Squirrel was listed, and I knew we needed it.”
Traditionally, the Pink Squirrel is made with heavy cream, creme de noyaux (a red-colored almond liqueur) and creme de cacao, though several variations of this recipe have turned it into a blended drink with ice cream and topped with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. Wade’s recipe holds true to the original version, with the ingredients shaken over ice, served in a vintage cocktail glass and garnished with freshly grated nutmeg.
“You know those chocolate cherry mash candies?” Wade says. “It tastes exactly like that. It’s definitely a dessert drink.” The Pink Squirrel and similar cocktails — such as its green-colored cousin, the Grasshopper — have faced unfair scorn as bartenders have favored stronger-spirited cocktails, Wade says, but there’s no reason to not like this dreamy drink. “We use really high-quality ingredients,” she says, “and when you do it well, it’s really delightful.”
▷1½ ounces heavy cream
▷¾ ounce Tempus Fugit creme de noyaux
▷¾ ounce Tempus Fugit creme de cacao
▷Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake thoroughly.
▷Strain into coupe or Nick & Nora glass.
▷Garnish with grated nutmeg.