Chocolate and alcohol. The king and queen of the "edible stress relief" category, the two most beloved, time-honored methods of celebration and relaxation. They work so well as a side-by-side pairing (seriously, try some bourbon with your next brownies) that it only makes sense to try and combine them into one epic means of taking the edge off. But while the idea is noble, the resulting cocktails are too often syrupy, cloying gimmicks that bring out the worst in both ingredients.
If you've long sought a cocoa-based buzz but have only found distressingly gloopy "choco-tinis" on your quest, don't give up hope -- we've gathered five great ways to infuse your booze with just the right amount of candy.
Classic Chocolate Martini
The key to a good chocolate cocktail is to steer clear of sticky chocolate liqueurs or flavored vodkas, and keep it simple. For a chocolate martini, use white (clear) creme de cacao, and don't overdo it with Hershey kiss garnishes or glasses rimmed in cocoa powder.
1.5 oz Vodka
1 oz White creme de cacao
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
When creating his signature frozen version, molecular mixologist Mike Yen noticed that the classic Grasshopper cocktail "recalls childhood memories of mint chocolate chip ice cream." Those who crave more chocolate than mint can ratchet up the ratio to favor the creme de cacao.
3/4 oz Cream
3/4 oz White creme de cacao
3/4 oz Green creme de menthe
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. (Non-purists, take note -- using an immersion blender for a few seconds gives this concoction a luxurious texture. And don't be afraid to take Mike Yen's lead and just add ice cream and have an adult milkshake.)
Spiked Hot Chocolate
Whether you prefer to lace your cocoa with Peppermint Schnapps or rum -- or your Mexican hot chocolate with tequila -- spiked cocoa is the highest calling of the alcohol-chocolate combination.
5 oz Hot cocoa
1 oz Dark rum
1/2 Tsp superfine sugar (adjust to taste)
Pour hot cocoa into a mug and add rum and sugar to taste, stir and top with whipped cream as desired.
adapted from Emeril Lagasse
The key here is to go easy on the chocolate liqueur; let the flavors bolster the the kahlua and hazlenut, not overpower them.
2 oz Vodka
1 oz Kahlua
1 oz Hazlenut liqueur
.5 oz Godiva Chocolate liqueur
1 tablespoon grated bittersweet chocolate
Combine the vodka and liquers in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Serve in highball glasses over cracked ice.