What Is Your Special Ingredient? (A CRAVE Restaurant and Catering Minneapolis Signature Drink)

by Tom McLeod

From De Caco dark to Trader Vic's, Kaluha, Bailey's, and Vanilla Flavoured Vodkas, chocolate syrup, nibs, cocoa and Hershey's kisses. All these elements have a home in the Chocolate Martini, but what makes the flavor profile go from average to superb?

I have had the opportunity to try one or two versions of the Chocolate Martini and have my very own tweaks that I've made throughout my time. There are 3 classes that I focus on we creating new cocktails; Appearance, Scent, and Flavour Profile. Incidentally, CRAVE Catering Minneapolis provides this as a signature drink.

The appearance of a drink can always be the first selling point. How frequently have you sat in a bar or a diner and seen a superb drink go by you. The colors, the composition, and the garnish are the visual stimulation, as if the drink beckons your name. Like that special someone eyeing you from across the room, having a hip, distinguished drink in front of you can offer you confidence and a cosy swagger to you appearance. Try adding chocolate chips to add class to your Chocolate Martinis. A cocoa edge not only gives a top to bottom look of the martini while also adding to the flavor profile. A bright coloured fruit like strawberry or an orange wheel will brighten your drink up.

The aroma of a drink can open up your taste buds. Through items such as basil, fresh mint and cucumbers one can change the flavour profiles. Muddling is always a great way to unlock scents with any drinks.

The flavor profile is the final analysis, you can string Yuletide lights on the edge and add a bouquet of flowers as a garnish, but without the proper flavour profiles all of your efforts are squandered. A beginner barkeeper can mix spirits with sodas and juices all day 24x7, but it requires a pro to make a genuine drink. A Pastry Chef must follow the recipe to an ace. When making dough if there's too much flour, if the water is not cooled to the proper temperature, if you skimped on any piece of the recipe your dough will not come out in the correct way. The same goes with a drink recipe, when making a fantastic drink you have to pay attention to the details. Brushing the right quantity of spirits can provide you with a full flavor that flourishes throughout your drink.

So what's the secret ingredient to my Chocolate Martini? It's quite simple really, Hot Cocoa mix. Follow the following recipe for a Double Chocolate Martini and show off your wonderful abilities to your mates at your next gathering.

- 1 oz Baileys
- 1 oz Trader Vics Chocolate Liquor
- 1 oz Stoli Vanilla
- 1 Big spoon Hot Cocoa Mix

Directions: Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake well. Garnish a martini glass with a little chocolate syrup with a cocoa edge. Strain into martini glass and enjoy!

Thanks Everybody!

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