For February, we like to think of something a little sexy and suggestive, so I wanted flavors of foods that are considered aphrodisiac. I put them together into a Chocolate Manhattan. And what better way to top off a Chocolate Manhattan that to take the flavors into overdrive with an actual bourbon-infused truffle from ArtEatables.
Let me take a side note to tell you how wonderful the chocolates are from ArtEatables. Kelly Ramsey was the first Chocolatier and Executive Bourbon Steward and she combines those two culinary skills to perfection in making bourbon infused truffles matched meticulously with chocolates that will bring out subtle flavors. She’s not sponsoring this post at all. I just want to share how wonderful and unique her products are.
Apricot’s sexy shape, and chocolate’s history with the Aztecs both put them into that sexy category. Add a little bourbon and you’ve got a balanced cocktail where the apricots and bourbon marry together while the chocolate and spice has a little fun on the side. There’s both beauty and danger, especially if you have more than one and you crank up the bitters.
I made this cocktail several times to get the right balance, and I settled on using a clear creme de cacao for the chocolate liqueur because it deepened the flavors of the chocolate. Some of my other chocolate liqueurs had a butter taste and mouthfeel to them that distracted from the apricot.
For the apricot I had to use Giffard’s Abricot de Roussillon liqueur. It has this intense apricot flavoring that’s a combination of the dried and fresh taste of the fruit. It’s a bottle I’ll be replacing once it’s empty.
If you’re looking for a little more heat in this Chocolate Manhattan, up the bitters. The Bitterman’s Xocoltl Mole bitters are fabulously earthy and rich dark chocolate, but they’ve got a pepper heat to them that can overwhelm. When I test cocktails with these bitters I sometimes use them for enhancing the chocolate or earthy notes in a cocktail and sometimes for the heat.
The Courtesan’s Whisper
- 2 oz bourbon
- 1 oz Giffard’s Abricot du Roussillon – apricot liqueur
- 0.5 oz chocolate liqueur
- 2-3 squeezes of Bitterman’s Xocoltl Mole Bitters
- Garnish: an Arteatables chocolate truffle
- Combine all cocktail ingredients in a mixing glass, fill with ice and stir until well-chilled. Taste test to make sure you’ve got the right amount of bitters. You want to taste just a tiny bit of heat from the bitters and to have some of those notes of deep, dark chocolate from them. Once to your taste, strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with dried apricots or chocolate truffles.