How to Make Peppermint Vodka

Get in the holiday spirit by making Peppermint Vodka. This homemade infused alcohol creates so many unique cocktails for the season and is sure to add good cheer when shared! All you need are two ingredients: candy canes and vodka.

Love peppermint at the holidays? Don’t miss Peppermint Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, Mason Jar Peppermint Hot Cocoa Mix and Peppermint Milkshakes!

A jar of infused Peppermint Vodka sits on a holiday cloth with candy canes surrounding it

The Candy Cane Vodka recipe was originally published on December 2, 2013. The photographs, along with the text of this blog post, were updated and republished in December 2020.

Now that it’s December, it is perfectly acceptable to listen to Christmas music at full blast. It’s also acceptable to start baking cookies for your co-workers, friends and neighbors to share some holiday cheer.

And it’s totally acceptable to steep some holiday-flavored vodka, like this Peppermint Vodka, to spice up a party… or your regular liquor cabinet just because.

Also? This infused vodka is really delicious in hot chocolate.

Why I love this recipe:

This candy cane-infused vodka recipe literally calls for just two ingredients: vodka and candy canes.

And since you’re flavoring the vodka, you don’t need to go all-out and purchase a fancier brand. Anything you’ve got on hand will work.

This Peppermint Vodka recipe is also super fun for gifting, so if you’ve got people in your life who would love a minty vodka, now is the time to infuse a mason jar for them in preparation!

Other holiday sippers you might enjoy: Framboise Champagne Cocktail | Strawberry White Hot Chocolate | Citrus Cranberry Sangria | Pomegranate Hot Buttered Rum | Peppermint White Russian

Looking for a drink? Head on over to my Drink Recipe Index for all the recipe inspiration.

Two shot glasses of peppermint vodka on a marble surface next to a mason jar full of the candy cane-infused vodka

What do I need to make Peppermint Vodka?

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Let’s talk ingredients!

In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.

Here’s what you need:

  • Candy canes
  • Vodka—whatever you’ve got on hand. Since you’re infusing this vodka with peppermint flavor, you don’t necessarily need to have the nice stuff you’d use in a vodka-forward cocktail, like a Classic Moscow Mule.

How to make Peppermint Vodka

First and foremost, unwrap the candy canes and break them in half. Breaking them in half will make it easier to fit them all into your jar. 😉

Place the candy canes in a 16 oz. mason jar, and pour the vodka on top of them.

Allow the vodka and candy canes a few hours to steep. This timeline will be different for everyone because it will depend on the candy canes themselves, as well as the temperature of your house. If it’s warmer in your home, the candy canes should dissolve faster into the vodka.

Once they are completely dissolved, it’ll be good to drink after you shake it up!

Store in a cool, dry place in the mason jar for as long as it takes to drink this up. (Seriously. This stuff won’t go bad.)

peppermint vodka in a glass jar with ornaments

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I add this Candy Cane Vodka to?

You can sip this vodka because it’s nice and sweet, but if you want to add it to a cocktail, I suggest adding it to the following because these flavors taste good with peppermint.

What kind of soda is good with peppermint vodka?

I would go with a classic cola, like Coca-Cola or Pepsi.

How long does this infused vodka last?

In all honesty, I don’t think this goes bad. You might notice that candy cane sediment settles at the bottom of your jar if you don’t touch it for a long time, but it can easily be stirred right back in using a cocktail spoon or even giving the sealed mason jar a good shake.

What’s the easiest way to peel a candy cane?

I’ve struggled with those wrappers and have discovered that using scissors to snip off the end of the wrapper at the bottom of the candy cane works best. Gently peel the plastic wrap back to free the candy cane! (I included a photo below to assist!)

Close up of a half-peeled candy cane on marble

Sound good?

Now, let’s make some Christmas-flavored homemade infused vodka!

A jar of infused Peppermint Vodka sits on a holiday cloth with candy canes surrounding it
Yield: 6 (2 oz.) servings

Candy Cane Vodka

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Infusion Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes

Get in the holiday spirit by making homemade Peppermint Vodka. It's easier than you think! Candy canes dissolve in a jar of vodka to create this simple infused alcohol. Mix Candy Cane Vodka into seasonal mixed drinks at holiday parties or add a shot to your hot chocolate for even more festive flavor. This infused alcohol creates so many unique cocktails for the season and is sure to add good cheer when shared with friends and family!


  • 8 candy canes, regular-sized
  • 1 ½ cups vodka


  1. Unwrap the candy canes and break in half.
  2. Place the candy canes in a 16 oz. mason jar.
  3. Pour the vodka on top of the candy canes.
  4. Allow the vodka and candy canes a few hours to steep. The candy canes will dissolve in the vodka, and then it'll be good to drink after you shake it up!
  5. Store in a cool, dry place in the mason jar for as long as it takes to drink this up.


Adapted from Shutterbean.

If the jar sits for a while, silt will gathering at the bottom of it. Shake the jar well to mix back in the candy cane pieces before pouring.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

2 oz. serving

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 203Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 8mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 0gSugar: 12gProtein: 0g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

How much did you love this recipe?

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Have you ever infused alcohol before?

Could I interest you in some Candy Cane Vodka this season?

Candy canes are shown inside a mason jar as they infuse with vodka to make Candy Cane Vodka

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  1. Candy cane. Vodka. I almost didn’t need to read this post because it sounded so good and I knew whatever you wrote about it would be amazing 🙂 I did read it though, and I was right, that does look incredible! I might have to try that this year.

    1. Not gonna lie: It’s incredible, girl. I’ve enjoyed it in my hot chocolate and coffee on weekends… and it’s just the perfect touch of sweet and spice to add to make for some holiday cheer without being too out of control. (That sounds weird, huh? But it’s totally not!)

  2. Oh my!! This sounds amazing! I never would have thought to mix the two, but this would be a great recipe to take to a Christmas party!

    1. Thanks, Kalee! Yes, I think this would be fabulous to take to a Christmas party… and I bet several people would want to know how you did it, too! It’s so simple and delicious that it’s a winner!

      1. What other than coffee or hot chocolate would you put it in. I love to infuse alcohol. Have habanero tequila right now for my bloddy Mary

        1. If you’re super into candy cane flavor goodness, I suggest making a martini! It would also be good in a chocolate martini. And it would be pretty tasty in a White Russian, too!

          I hope that helps! Happy mixing, William. 🙂

  3. This sounds yummy! My boyfriend has made jolly rancher vodka, but it was too sweet and artificial tasting. Candy canes are a much better option 🙂

    1. It IS yummy… and that’s crazy about Jolly Rancher vodka. Don’t know if I would have ever thought of that or wanted to try it, but that’s fascinating that you found it a bit too sweet and artificial tasting. If you try this, I hope you find it a bit more palatable!

    1. *bows* Thank you, ma’am.

      I can’t really take credit for it, as it was adapted from the ever-inspiring Shutterbean, but this vodka a pretty awesome trick to have up your sleeve for this time of year, no?

  4. I’m not much of a drinker, but I’ll pass this one o to my friends. I’d curious to how sweet this would be . . .

    1. Fair enough. 🙂 I’m curious what your friends think and what they think about the sweetness of it. To me, it’s a sweet, but it’s not overpowering, though I could definitely see how it would be cloyingly sweet to someone else. It works really nicely in hot drinks, too, so I’ve added it to black coffee to add a bit of flavor and sweetness, and that seems to work wonderfully for lazy weekend mornings. (Especially last weekend when we were snowed in!)

    1. Teresa, I think making this ahead of time would be super easy. Let it hang out in a cool place (like the pantry or a cupboard) and give it away as a Christmas gift — I bet people would love that!

  5. So I just made some as gifts for family and I used some big jars and some little but my little ones had white on the bottom and when I mixed it up it turned pink, yet the big jars are completely red and look like the pictures. Anyone know why?

    1. Mines done the same, I have done little ones as Christmas pressies but they have turned out pink, could it be too much candy?

    2. That’s so strange, Noel. I have no clue. Did you change the number of candy canes used between the two of them? Maybe there wasn’t enough candy if the smaller ones were pink?

    1. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you, Marisa! I’ve always drank this vodka as a part of a mixed drink. That said, this is a very peppermint-y drink, so if you’re into that thing, I would imagine it would make a good shot.

  6. I made some this weekend for our family Christmas party. Used it as shots in a drinking game. It was a huge hit! Thanks for the great idea. Most definitely going to be making it again!

    1. Hey Brandy,

      I bet you could definitely make a punch with this vodka! As far as what kind… I don’t recommend a fruity one. It would be interesting to make a Hot Chocolate Punch or something along those lines since chocolate pairs really well with peppermint. A milk punch would be good, too…

      If you make a punch, please let me know what you do and how it turns out!

    1. Hey Candy. I didn’t strain my vodka, and I’m unsure why yours is doing that. I’ve made this recipe several times over the years and never dealt with cloudiness, other than when it was in the process. How long ago did you make yours? I find that mine sometimes has a fine peppermint-y silt at the bottom of the jar, and I have to shake it up. Is it possible that this is the case? Sorry I’m not much more help!

    1. Hi Alejandro! You can drink this however you’d like. 😉 My personal favorite way to enjoy it is in some hot cocoa, but it’s delicious as a shot, too, if that’s more your thing. It doesn’t have to sit for very long. It’s ready to drink as soon as the candy canes have dissolved.

  7. How long does it take for the candy canes to dissolve? I want to prepare this ahead of time as a holiday gift for some folks but would want them to see the cute candy canes before they are all dissolved!

    1. Hi Elicea! The candy canes dissolved in about a day’s time. These make such a wonderful holiday gift for friends, and while you can make them well in advance, you can make them 2-3 days before exchanging presents, too, and be fine! Happy infusing!

  8. I make a lot of infused vodkas with candies. The Candy Cane vodka was awesome and great for Christmas giving, but I prefer to keep in for myself. Great with Cocoa and coffee as well.

    1. Aww, YAY! I’m so glad that this vodka changed your tune about candy canes. 🙂 Thank you for leaving a comment and rating–I really appreciate it!

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