Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit; or so they say. A bunch of you nod knowingly, and the rest are all “what’s he on about this time?” It is the first day of a new month so we honor it with this odd tradition of saying rabbit three times, to ensure good luck for the rest of the month. Since this the first day of February and St. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, I am going to shoehorn in something sweet and elegant. So, in the spirit of mysterious and unexpected treats, won’t you please join me now as we stand and make the Chocolate Orange Martini.
There are a couple of pieces of business we need to address right off the bat. One, this is not a martini. It is just a drink served in a cocktail glass. I have already ranted about this class of drinks, when we made the Explorer Martini, so I won’t waste space rehashing it here. Secondly, my partner is not going to like this drink. She has a strong opinion about never mixing citrus with her chocolate. Obviously, she is wrong, but it is what it is. I hold out little hope, although, she used to believe that fruit and chocolate should not be mixed, till she discovered Chukar Dark Chocolate Cherries, so there is some hope of conversion and eventual redemption; just don’t hold your breath. Thirdly, there are a bunch of recipes sharing this name and some of them are incredibly terrible. Do not put chocolate milk in your faux martini, even if Sally from Pinterest says it is “divine”. This one comes to us from Colleen Graham at The Spruce Eats and has the obvious advantage of credibility, being elegantly presented and truly tasty. Plus, it is totally SWAK.
Before we start grab a cocktail glass, it’s the triangular one you think of as a martini glass, and rub an orange slice around the rim to moisten it, then dip that edge in a dark cocoa and powdered sugar mix. Place a single Hershey’s kiss in the bottom of the glass and set it to the side, grab your mixing pitcher and pop in 1 1/2 ounces of Vodka, I went with Monkey Head; 3/4 of an ounce of white creme de cacao, a splash of Cointreau and 2 drops of Crude Bitter Co. Sycophant Orange and Fig Bitters. Add some ice and stir to the sounds of Stevie’s wonderfully stripped down piano and voice version of “Gypsy“. Sure, it makes for a slow stir, but take your time and enjoy the moment, don’t rush so much. When well chilled, strain into your prepared glass and express on orange peel over the top.
Orange and chocolate works so well together. This drink is as lovely as it is not a martini. That’s not quite fair in this case, at least this one has a heavy vodka base, which is more than we can say for many of these faux martinis. Like a proper martini, this one is best served like Klingon revenge. Even a few minutes left at room temperature and the vodka begins to open up, and not in a good way. Make this one well, serve it ice cold and drink promptly.
It is snowing here today, so an ice cold drink was not the obvious choice, but I had a bit of luck this morning and I wanted something sweet to celebrate. I’d tell you all about it, but I was recently cautioned about sharing the stories of when I get lucky. So, I guess that tale will have to wait for the comfort of a campfire and a world where we can congregate again. When that day comes, remind me to share the story, I am sure you will find it educational, if not alluring. Till then, have a drink, cuddle up against the cold with a willing partner, crank up some Stevie and see where things go. Just remember to stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.