Chocolate week! People love chocolate. When it come to booze about the chocolate drink you hear about is the dreaded chocolate martini. Which can be a bold slap in the face and downright crass if you ask me. So I came up with something else. CHARTREUSE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
Still, CHARTREUSE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY is certainly not shy. Its rich, strong flavors are layered with bitter chocolate notes, herbaceous tones of Chartreuse, and a distinctive peat-smudged smokiness. The alcohol forward notes of the cocktail speaks to those who prefer a more assertive drink. It’s also just one of the savory creations in my new book Savory Cocktails, available for pre-order on Amazon. Which might surprise you. Chocolate may not be the very first flavor you think of when you hear savory. However, chocolate wasn’t always candy. Ancient Aztecs ground cocao beans with spices to make a special drink reserved for royalty and the gods. This beverage, known as xocoatl, was a little spicy and not at all sweet. I can’t help but be reminded of this ancient combination when I taste this darkly rich, slightly bitter modern cocktail from David Wolowidnyk, Bar Manager at West Restaurant + Bar in Vancouver, Canada.
David starts the preparation with a cocao nib infused bourbon. Cocao is naturally bitter. When infused into the sweet spice of bourbon you’ve really got something going on– sippable all on its own. The process is easy, so try it yourself. Though I can also recommend Benjamin Prichard’s Double Chocolate Bourbon Whiskey, a small batch producer in Tennessee. GREG
Chartreuse & the Chocolate Factory
- ¼ pony shot / 7 ½ ml / ¼ fl oz Ardbeg 10yr Islay single malt Scotch whisky, as rinse
- 1 shot / 45 ml / 1½ fl oz Makers Mark Bourbon, infused with cocao nibs*
- ½ pony shot / 15 ml / ½ fl oz Green Chartreuse
- ½ pony shot / 15 ml / ½ fl oz Cynar
- 1 dash Fee Brothers Walnut Bitters
Pour Scotch into a old fashioned glass and “turn” the glass rolling the liquid along the the inside until well-coated; pour out the excess. This in known as “rinsing” the glass. Fill the glass with one large or several medium ice cubes. Set aside.
Combine the infused bourbon, Chartreuse, Cynar & walnut bitters in a mixing glass half-filled with ice. Gently until chilled and properly diluted, about 20 seconds. Julep strain into the prepared glass. Makes 1.
*Add 1 (750ml) bottle of bourbon and ½ cup cocao nibs to a large jar. Cover and let infuse for 3 days then, working in batches, strain the liquor through a coffee filter to remove any particulates. Cocao nibs are pieces of cacao beans that have been roasted and hulled. They’re used in making chocolate and may be purchased in specialty markets and online. Look for the plain ingredient as opposed to the chocolate covered snack style.