Winter Fun with Chocolate, Gin, and Whipped Cream

Snow is coming and the temperatures are dropping, so I thought it was time for some more sweet and wintry cocktails (see my Snowzilla-themed blizzard drinks). I was inspired to work on new seasonal drinks upon reading Washington Post spirits writers M. Carrie Allan’s fun broadside against the Chocolatini. But Ms. Allan doesn’t just trash the tacky dessert drink without offering a chocolate alternative that sounded so good I just had to give it a whirl. Oh, and I have a bottle of Godiva white chocolate liqueur burning a hole in my refrigerator. The scene was set for magic!

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The “Chocantonic” seeks to redress this poor state of chocolate cocktails and does so with flying colors. This was wild, the orange juice is a stronger influence than I expected but pairs wonderfully with the gin and chocolate, which is powerful enough to lend the drink a nice, earthy tone at the end. I liked it a lot, very complex and intriguing, refreshing, with a dessert-ish kick.

Chocantonic

  • Ice
  • 1 ounce creme de cacao or Godiva chocolate liqueur (I used white chocolate because I have a lot of it on hand)
  • 1 ounce Old Tom gin
  • 1 ounce brewed, cooled Earl Grey tea
  • 1/2 ounce fresh orange juice
  • Tonic water

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The wintry fun might have ended there were it not for the nice folks at Fix.com who ginned up a snazzy little graphic featuring eight cocktails “to get toasty on cold nights.” Sign me up! My first attempt was the “Whiskey Hot Cocoa” which was straight up amazing, a potent, relaxing, creamy chocolate drink weaponized in the background by the Jameson. Give it a few minutes and the whipped creams melts a bit, adding even more sweetness. Loved this, and made a note to make some the next time I’m near a roaring fire. I had to mess with the apportionments a bit to fit my glass (the original recipe yields 5 cocktails), so give these measurements a try. They worked for me!

Whiskey Hot Cocoa

  • 1.5 cup of half and half or milk
  • .3 cup sugar
  • 2.50 oz of Jameson Irish whiskey
  • 2 table spoons of cocoa
  • Healthy dollop of whipped cream

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My last drink was “The Blizzard,” which has a pretty good, strong coffee taste. The hazelnut and the Bailey’s are there but not too vivid – the Jameson and the coffee are the true players here. A nice drink for an morning stuck in the snow or a chilly Saturday morning with a good book.

The Blizzard

  • 1.5 oz Jameson Irish whiskey
  • .5 oz hazelnut liqueur
  • .5 oz Bailey’s
  • 1 cup of coffee
  • Healthy dollop

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