‘Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive’ – Joanne Harris, Chocolat
Does it feel like every time you look at a cocktail menu there’s a new unpronounceable and mysterious ingredient? Well relax, because the latest mixology craze is for a much more familiar flavour: chocolate.
If the thought sets your teeth on edge, wait to be proved wrong. Try these chocolate cocktails at some of the country’s hottest bars – then recreate a few at home.
Oddfellows: Banana split cocktail
Image source: Oddfellows
An eclectic hotel in historic Chester, Oddfellows has quirky decor, a whimsical garden restaurant and an imaginative cocktail menu to suit. With several chocolate creations on the menu, the banana split cocktail stole our heart.
Food and beverage director Carlo Iulianelli said: “Chocolate is a wonderful versatile ingredient – one of our favourites – and depending on how you use it, can add a sweetness or a bitterness. Our banana split cocktail uses chocolate to balance the sweetness and cream of the banana and white chocolate liqueur.”
Elevate with: The beautiful Mixology range’s mismatched coupes for a modern feel.
Roast & Conch/ Rabot 1745: Cocoa gin martini
Image source: Hotel Chocolat
Our pick is the cocoa gin martini. Using the brand’s own cocoa gin, it’s blended with orange liqueur and cocoa bitters, served straight up with an orange twist.
Want to DIY? Hotel Chocolat reveals all in this video, so you can recreate the cocktail at home.
Elevate with: Waterford’s Rebel martini glasses for a chic touch.
The Botanist: The chocolate rose
Image source: Adventures in tea and cake
Currently boasting eight venues throughout England, The Botanist is part of the burgeoning Living Ventures group (stablemates include Blackhouse and The Alchemist). Its strong visual brand is matched with an extensive cocktail menu featuring a list of botanical ingredients Kew Gardens would be proud of.
The Chocolate Rose cocktail blends Ketel One vodka, liquid chocolate, milk and cream with rose liqueur and syrup; the taste is rather like an alcoholic Turkish Delight.
Bring the flavours home with you with this version of the recipe.
Elevate with: The Lismore brandy glass, for elegance and weight.
Pollen Street Social: PBJ
Image source: Pollen Street Social/Instagram
Jason Atherton’s award-winning restaurant Pollen Street Social doesn’t just serve up fine food – the sweet cocktails (or desserts in disguise) are a must-try too. The PBJ is a permanent feature on the menu, blending Mount Gay XO (rum), salted peanuts, sour cherry, vanilla, egg white & cacao rim.
Elevate with: The Lismore cocktail glass for a luxurious feel.
Dishoom: Chai paanch
Image source: Bar Magazine/Twitter
Popular mini-chain Dishoom has its roots in historic Bombay culture. All four of its locations across London serve chai paanch, a complex concoction of lemon shrub with Johnnie Walker Black Label, Ceylon arrack (coconut liqueur), house chai, Gosling’s dark rum and two liqueurs: one ginger, one 80% cocoa. It packs a heady punch.
Elevate with: Lismore Connoisseur heritage tumblers, for chic styling.
Rivington Grill: Controsentido
Image source: Rivington Grill/Instagram
A must-visit destination in the heart of Shoreditch, Rivington Grill offers a sugar rush in the form of the Controsentido cocktail.
Can you resist Zacapa 23 (rum), chocolate-infused Campari, Chinotto liqueur, Kummel (a herbal liqueur), mezcal (that naughty cousin of tequila) and Guinness spray? We certainly can’t. A cocktail so good, it even made it to the World Class Cocktail competition finals.
Elevate with: Lismore Diamond martini glasses, to let that wonderful colour shine.
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Bring the indulgence of chocolate cocktails home, with Waterford’s luxury range of barware.