Special guest Chocablogger Willie Harcourt-Cooze has been kind enough to share some of the amazing chocolate cocktail recipes from Willie’s Chocolate Bible with us. We’ve tried these cocktails and they all come highly recommended!
This is a variation on the Italian liqueur Nocino. In Italy, the under-ripe green walnuts used are traditionally picked on midsummer’s day. But in the cooler British climate, you’re unlikely to find any available until at least the middle of July. As well as being a superb drink, this liqueur can be used as an ice-cream topping or for flavouring desserts. You can also make it with grappa or brandy instead of vodka.
Makes 2 litres
- 25–30 green walnuts
- 125g cacao nibs
- 175g granulated sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ vanilla pod
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 litre vodka
Quarter the walnuts and place with all the other ingredients, except the vodka, in a sterilized 2-litre glass jar. Pour in the vodka, seal the jar and leave to stand in a cool place for at least 2 months, shaking from time to time, until the liqueur has turned from yellow to a rich dark brown. It is now ready to drink. Strain, preferably through muslin to remove all trace of the spices and other flavourings. Pour into sterilized bottles and seal. It will keep well for 2–3 years – in fact, the flavours become richer and deeper with age.
For the cacao vodka
- 100g cacao nibs, roasted
- 1 bottle of vodka
For a Bloody Mary
- 45ml cacao vodka
- 90ml tomato juice
- 15ml lemon juice
- Worcestershire sauce, to taste
- Tabasco, to taste
- Cacao, finely grated, to taste
- Lemon wedge and stick of celery, to garnish
Prepare the cacao-infused vodka by adding the cacao nibs to the bottle of vodka. (You may have to discard or drink some of the vodka to get the nibs in comfortably.) Replace the lid and leave to infuse for at least 48 hours.
Make the Bloody Mary by placing a couple of ice cubes in the base of a highball glass. Strain the vodka into the glass. Stir in the tomato juice and lemon juice. Add Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, cacao and salt and black pepper to taste. Garnish with a lemon wedge and celery stick.
This is a truly sumptuous, sweet liqueur. Because of the high alcohol and sugar content, it will keep well for at least a year. A small glass of it, served with a biscuit, makes an instant – if rather alcoholic – pudding. It is also a wonderful topping for homemade ice cream.
Makes 1 litre
- 160g Indonesian Javan Light Breaking 69% chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 vanilla pod
- 4 large egg yolks
- 300g caster sugar
- 400g unsweetened evaporated milk
- 300ml cognac
- 75ml 80% pure alcohol (ask a wine merchant or pharmacist to get it for you)
Melt the chocolate by placing it in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl is not in contact with the water. Leave to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, split the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds and place them in a blender or food processor with the egg yolks and sugar. Blitz to combine, then, while the blender or processor is running, add the evaporated milk in a slow steady stream.
Next, with the blender or processor still running, first add the melted chocolate, then the cognac and alcohol. When everything is well combined, pour the mixture through a sterilized funnel into a sterilized 1-litre jar or bottle and cork or seal. Leave to stand for at least 2 hours, ideally longer, before drinking. To serve, pour the quantity required into a saucepan and heat gently until warm.
All recipes © Willie’s Chocolate Bible, by William Harcourt Cooze, published by Hodder & Stoughton. Photos by Emma Lee. Reproduced with permission.