Tag Archive for cocktail

Frosty’s Chocolate Orange Martini

Last week, I stumbled across this old familiar Christmas friend at the Trader Joe’s checkout line.


And it reminded me that I’d made a prize-winning cocktail inspired by the chocolate orange just two holiday seasons ago.

Me and my Frosty at the cocktail winner reveal.

That was me enjoying the spoils of my victory. Frankly, I’m sure anyone could have won with this as their inspiration:


Such a beautiful sight! My welcomed re-acquaintance with the chocolate orange inspired me to post the recipe again for those of you new to the blog in the past couple of years. It takes a bit of effort in that you’ll need to prepare a cardamom simple syrup and acquire a chocolate orange of your own, but that’s not much of a hardship, is it?

Frosty’s Chocolate Orange Martini

2 shots orange juice
1 shot Stoli Vanil
2/3 shot white crème de cacao
1/3 shot Grand Marnier
1 shot cardamom-infused simple syrup
Finely grated Terry’s White Chocolate Orange
Granulated sugar
Slices of Terry’s Milk Chocolate Orange

Chill a martini glass. Rim the glass with extra cardamom syrup, then duck it in a mixture of the ground chocolate orange and sugar. Shake up the first 5 ingredients. Pour into the martini glass. Garnish with a slice of chocolate orange on the side.

For tips on making the cardamom syrup, check out the Washington Duke Inn’s bar manager, Chris Thomas, mixing up the concoction back in 2012.

For the rim, the white chocolate oranges were ultimately chosen because they stuck to the rim a little better than the milk or dark chocolate and because they add festivity by mimicking a snow dusting. But white chocolate isn’t my preference, so I think it’s worthwhile to grate millk or dark chocolate instead, even if you sacrifice a bit of finesse on the final product. The choice is yours.

Enjoy! And tell me what you think.

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The Orchard Manhattan at Bijou

The Orchard Manhattan
Bijou, Hayward

The Orchard Manhattan is an original twist on the classic manhattan cocktail, though I’d say it’s closer to an old-fashioned, actually. It’s made with bourbon, apricot and walnut liqueurs, and black walnut and autumn-spiced bitters. I can’t tell you what the autumn spices are, but I can tell you that I like this drink right from the presentation.


The cherry garnish divides it into visually pleasing segments. The drink maintains the dryness of a manhattan, although it is sweeter than the standard. The walnut presence makes me think of praline candies, and I enjoy the floral note that probably rides in with the apricot liqueur. However, I miss the little hint of citrus that comes with an orange twist or wheel in an old-fashioned. Somehow, the apricot liqueur doesn’t capture it. Add the citrus back in, and this drink is near perfection.


Reviewed 11 Jan 14.

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The Wildfire at Firehouse 37

The Wildfire
Firehouse 37, San Ramon


This cocktail’s made with Templeton rye, Giffard vanilla liqueur, and bitters, a pretty straightforward combination. Cocktail shaking provides a lovely top layer of icy foam. The vanilla liqueur takes the edge off the rye whiskey, yet the cocktail avoids being overly sweet, which is a good thing. The bitters lend the drink some depth, but I’d prefer that the character of the rye shined more. Perhaps a citrus or floral mixer would liven it up?

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t expect more kick from a drink named the Wildfire. It’s more about making rye palatable to the average drinker, which is a worthy cause but one that doesn’t let the Wildfire live up to its name.


Reviewed 11 Jan 14.


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