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GIFT: Chocolate Chanukah Gelt For Kids…& Cocktails For Adults

[1] Chocolate gelt for Chanukah (photos #1 and #2 © See’s Candies).

[2] Chocolate Chanukah gelt is traditionally sold in mesh bags.

[3] Goldschläger liqueur contains flecks of real gold (photo © Diageo).

[4] Pinnacle Vodka makes numerous fun flavors, including chocolate (photo © Beam Suntory).


In 2020, the Jewish holiday of Chanukah is celebrated from December 10th through December 18th*.

Once a year, See’s Candies turns its gold-foil-wrapped chocolate coins into Chanukah gelt, with Chanukah motifs embossed on the foil.

You can get them here.

Chanukah gelt means “Chanukah money.” It refers to real money, originally given as gifts to teachers during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.

The custom had its origin in the 17th-century practice, by Polish Jewry: Money was given to children to gift to their teachers.

In time, children also demanded some money for themselves, so the custom expanded.

In the 1920s, Loft’s—an American candy company that was the world’s largest maker and seller of candy at the time—produced the first chocolate gelt.

Chocolate in the shape of coins was wrapped in gold or silver foil (photo #1). The coins were sold in mesh pouches resembling money bags (photo #2).

The chocolate gelt was given to children as a substitute or supplement to real money gifts [source].

Why should only kids get Chanukah goodies?

This cocktail combines the elements of chocolate gelt into a holiday drink: chocolate vodka and gold-flecked Goldschläger, a cinnamon schnapps.

A Martini glass is most festive for this cocktail.

Tip: Keep the vodka in the freezer; then you won’t have to shake it with ice to chill it.

Ingredients Per Drink

  • 3 ounces chocolate vodka
  • 1 ounce Goldschläger
  • Optional garnish: instant cocoa mix
  • Ice cubes

    1. PREPARE the rim garnish. Place the cocoa mix in a shallow bowl or on a plate. Moisten the rim of the Martini glass with water; dip into the cocoa mix. Set aside.

    2. PLACE the ice in a cocktail shaker with the chocolate vodka. Shake well and strain into the glass. Add the Goldschläger and gently stir.


    Is it Chanukah or Hanukkah?

    The word for the holiday was first written in Hebrew alphabet.

    For languages that use other alphabets, the Hebrew characters must be transliterated (converted); in the case of English, into Latin letters.

    However, the Hebrew word uses sounds that aren’t found in the Latin alphabet. Hence, different spellings.

    Both spellings are considered correct. While Chanukah is more traditional, Hanukkah has become the most widely used spelling in the U.S.

    Here’s more about it.


    *The dates of Chanukah are dictated by the Hebrew calendar, so the dates vary each year. The U.S. and most of the world use the Gregorian Calendar.


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