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Restaurant Chains' Holiday-Themed Menu Items: The Naughty & The Nice

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 11/30/11 01:13 PM ET   Updated: 12/01/11 06:13 PM ET


According to some of the country's biggest chain restaurants, the holiday season can be wrapped up in three or four words: gingerbread, peppermint, eggnog and maybe red velvet, too. Yep. Come this time of year, right after Thanksgiving, we are bombarded with overly sweet, overly used -- and sometimes misused -- classic holiday flavors. Sometimes the seasonal items taste quite nice, but other times they are positively naughty.

And yet, for almost all of these holiday products, there is a sort of cult following. Why else would food companies continue to bring back these products year after year, and continue to spend time and money dreaming up new ways to infuse these sugars and spices in whatever edible product they can imagine?

Take Outback Steakhouse's Gingerbread Martini; this seasonal cocktail returns every holiday season. It is made with gingerbread flavor, Kahlua, "salted" with graham crackers and topped with a true gingerbread man cookie -- sounds totally over the top. Yet, there are people out there that just love this cocktail. So much so that they search for the recipe online, or they test and taste and test their own concoction trying in vain to replicate Outback's.

Here is a look at some of the most famous holiday-themed items. Let us know in the comments below which gets your holiday spirit soaring.

Naughty: Outback's Gingerbread Martini
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Made from Monin gingerbread flavor, Absolut vodka, Kahlúa and Baileys Irish Cream, this drink is then "salted" in graham cracker crumbs and topped with a gingerbread cookie. Yep. That's a lot of gingerbread in one cocktail glass.

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