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ICONIC SPIRITS, Chocolate Martinis and Mark Spivak


Chocolate Martinis

There’s a theory that you should always begin a meal with dessert, just to make sure you have room for it. If you’re a fan of cocktails as well as desserts, there’s a drink with you name on it: the chocolate martini.

As the author of Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History, I was asked to do some research on chocolate martinis for a major women’s magazine. The publication wanted to expand on the idea that a chocolate martini was a relaxing and pampering indulgence that a woman could give to herself at the end of a long, hard day. I began by looking at recipes for the classics (basic chocolate, white chocolate, Godiva, chocolate mint). Not surprisingly, there were numerous recipes for each drink, and they were all radically different from one another. Seeking inspiration, I then looked at creations from “famous” mixologists.

The recipes from the experts were unnecessarily complex—it was unlikely that the average hobbyist would attempt them, much less a working mother at the end of a long day. They also contained a number of exotic ingredients that would be difficult to find and expensive to buy. To make a chocolate martini, most people would already have to purchase a few items not likely stocked in their home bar (chocolate and vanilla vodka, Godiva liqueur, etc.). Why scour the neighborhood looking for Peychaud’s bitters, orgeat syrup and Luxardo Maraschino liqueur?

I decided to collate different recipes for each drink, and fiddle with them until I got them right. I settled on Van Gogh Dark Chocolate vodka, because I had it in the house and I believe it’s the gold standard in chocolate vodka anyway. I purchased vanilla vodka, white crème de cacao, white crème de menthe, miniatures of regular and white Godiva liqueur, dusted off the cocktail shaker, and had a fun afternoon:

Basic Chocolate Martini

3 parts Van Gogh Dark Chocolate Vodka, 1 part Crème de Cacao (white)

Coat the rim of a martini glass with chocolate syrup or bittersweet powdered chocolate. Chill the glass. Combine the vodka and crème de cacao in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake vigorously, and strain into the glass.

 

White Chocolate Martini

1 oz. StoliVanil

1 oz. Godiva White Chocolate liqueur

.5 oz. Crème de Cacao (white)

1 oz. half and Half

Drizzle the sides of a martini glass with chocolate syrup. Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake well, and strain into the glass. Garnish with white chocolate shavings and fresh raspberries (optional).

 

Milk Chocolate Martini

1 oz. Van Gogh Dark Chocolate Vodka

1 oz. Godiva Chocolate liqueur

.5 oz. Crème de Cacao (white)

1 oz. Half and Half

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake well, and strain into a frosted martini glass. Garnish with a Hershey’s Kiss. (Note: I’m specifically calling this Milk Chocolate, because it differs from most versions of the Godiva Chocolate Martini).

 

Chocolate Mint Martini

2 oz. Van Gogh Dark Chocolate Vodka

.5 oz. Crème de Cacao (white)

.5 oz Crème de Menthe (white)

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake well, and strain into a frosted martini glass. Garnish with a candy cane.

 

 

Iconic Spirits Tour Page 

Mark Spivak is an award-winning writer specializing in wine, spirits, food, restaurants and culinary travel. He was the wine writer for the Palm Beach Post from 1994-1999, and since 2001 has been the Wine and Spirits Editor for the Palm Beach Media Group, as well as the restaurant critic for Palm Beach Illustrated. His work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Robb Report, Ritz-Carlton, Continental, Art & Antiques, Newsmax, Dream of Italy and Arizona Highways. From 1999-2011 he hosted Uncorked! Radio, a highly successful wine talk show on the Palm Beach affiliate of National Public Radio.

Mark began writing Iconic Spirits after becoming fascinated with the untold stories behind the world’s greatest liquors. As a writer, he’s always searching for the unknown details that make his subjects compelling and unique. His latest book is Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History.

Visit Mark’s website

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Pick up your copy of Iconic Spirits at Amazon:

 

Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History (Lyons Press; hardcover, $16.95), by Mark Spivak, is a compelling portrait of twelve spirits that changed the world and forged the cocktail culture. Some are categories and others are specific brands, but they are all amazing, resonant and untold stories. Each chapter closes with recipes for the most popular and important cocktails.

What’s the relationship between moonshine and NASCAR?  Why was absinthe considered to be the most dangerous substance on earth? What was the cause of the Gin Craze in 18th century London, an epidemic of mass drunkenness that continued for fifty years?  How did a homeless man become the 165th wealthiest person in America?

“These are the best types of stories,” says Spivak. “They are the kind a writer could never make up.” 


 

 

 

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