In a world where chocolate syrup and whipped cream have found a place in mixology, my curiosity was peaked when I happened upon not one, but two chocolate variations in The Savoy Cocktail Book of 1930—which we have established contains largely no-nonsense, serious libations.
I simply had to investigate.
One called for powdered chocolate and an entire egg. The other for crushed chocolate and an egg yolk.
I used milk chocolate powder for the No. 1 and dark Dove chocolate ground up for the No. 2.
In retrospect I wonder if the former might have been better with dark chocolate. Since these recipes call for very little chocolate in respect to other ingredients, the chocolate flavor becomes just one part of the ensemble, rather than the lead pla yer. In the first cocktail, this meant just the slightest chocolaty hint.
Again, proper straining of egg product was a bit of a problem for me. The No. 1—despite strenuous shaking—was marred by bits of egg floating about. I really need a better strainer. In addition to this texture problem, it also had a unappetizing color to it, which simply had to be ignored. My sister made things worse my saying that it looked like polyjuice potion.
Taste-wise, the No. 1 reminded me of an egg cream, except with a slightly cinnamon flavor. I think the cinnamon taste was the result of the chocolate and Yellow Chartreuse combining to create a spiciness. I liked that one could taste all of the ingredients in the No. 1, yet at the same time a cohesive whole was produced—if that makes sense.
So it looked a bit gross, but taste-wise was not awful. All the same, I probably would not repeat the experience. I cannot imagine serving something that looks like that to people ever again.
No. 2, on the other hand, was pretty delightful. The mixture of port with dark chocolate produced a rosy shade that implied a cherry or raspberry chocolate chip smoothie. The egg yolk added just a bit of thickness and by beating it lightly with the chocolate before shaking, I managed to eliminate any texture issues. In my mind a glass of port and some dark chocolate go great together as accompaniments—so the cocktail combining them was delicious. Again, a distinctive hint of chocolate was present completely unlike a chocotini or some such thing. Tasters were impressed that a chocolate cocktail could be so subtle with the flavor and noted that it was still a very serious tasting adult drink.
One catch: I ground the chocolate in a small food processor and while some of it dissolved smoothly in the Yellow Chartreuse and port, a good amount loitered in the bottom of the glass, so periodically I would stir the cocktail as I drank. Regardless of settling, the ground up chocolate still imbued the No. 1 with flavor.
I would definitely serve the second variation again.
Next week’s assignment is the Clover Club Cocktail and the Club Cocktail (page 48). Largely because I happen to have fresh mint on hand.
Clover Leaf Club
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon or 1 Lime
The White of 1 Egg
2/3 Dry Gin
Shake well and strain into a medium size glass.
Serve with a sprig of Fresh Mint on top (without the mint it is just the Clover Club Cocktail).
2/3 Dry Gin
1/3 Italian Vermouth
1 Dash Yellow Chartreuse
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.