So I was intrigued when I came across Mozart Dry chocolate liqueur*. The Mozart brands adorns a range of chocolate-flavoured beverages, in which the Mozart Distillerie has been specialising for 30 years (distributed here by Mangrove), but this one in interesting in that it is very chocolatey indeed, but completely unsweetened: raw cacao and vanilla are macerated in alcohol then distilled and bottled at 40% ABV. It immediately occurred to me that here was a chance to make a Chocolatini that was still essentially a Dry Martini.
|A lot of gift pack for a small bottle of liqueur
Incidentally, the connection with Mozart is simply that the manufacturers are based in Salzburg, Wolfgang Amadeus’ home town.
Anyway, back to the cocktail.
4 (or, if you prefer, 5) parts gin
1 part Mozart Dry chocolate liqueur
Shake or stir with ice, strain into a Martini glass and garnish with a strip of lemon peel.
No.3 Gin and Beefeater gin, and compared them directly alongside SW4 as a control. But to my surprise, they didn’t really work: I asked Mrs H. (a considerable fan of the cocoa bean’s work) what she thought and she wrinkled her nose at the No.3 variant, declaring it to have a strange and unpleasant herbal thing going on. Her clear favourite was the SW4.
I also experimented with using orange peel, rather than lemon, as a garnish, but I can report that it also doesn’t really work. Although orange is a traditional garnish in, say, a Negroni, I think the Dry Chocolatini doesn’t have the rich, sweet, spicy qualities to work with orange. It is still, at heart, a Dry Martini, and benefits more from the sharp, fresh zest of the noble lemon.
One final experiment was to try using DH Krahn gin. This Amerian boutique gin is distributed over here by Eaux De Vie, which was where I encountered it. To me it has a slightly chocolatey taste so I thought I’d give it a go. In fact the only botanicals are Italian juniper, Moroccan coriander, Florida orange peel, Californian lemon peel and grapefruit peel, and Thai ginger. But the company uses a secret maceration technique, a single distillation and a three-month resting period in steel barrels to get the most out of their carefully chosen plants. To me the gin is smooth and, as I say, for some reason has a hint of chocolate.
And I can report that it makes an excellent Dry Chocolatini. You can’t miss the chocolate—you smell it immediately—but the citrus and coriander also rise up in the bouquet. And the chocolate taste slots right in naturally with the gin botanicals as if it were just another part of the mix. Mind you, SW4 works pretty well too.
There you have it, a chocolate Martini that is dry and still essentially about the gin.
Of course there are plenty of other things you can do with Mozart Dry: it’s Mrs H.’s birthday today, so I think I may work through some of the recipes in the high-tech recipe book and I’ll let you know how we get on…
* Technically I guess it is not a liqueur precisely because it is unsweetened. So it is more accurately a chocolate spirit. I think they may also make a chocolate bitters.