Just in case you aren't paying close attention, I am posting my Christmas Eve dinner with my wife. We decided to recreate our culinary journey through restaurant quality meals. So far, you have missed...
- 9 AM - BLUE CHEESE SAUCE over Homemade POTATO CHIPS - Restaurant Quality Appetizer and 7 things about ME!!!
- 10 AM - WELSH RAREBIT - Restaurant Quality Appetizer
- 11 AM - Creole SHRIMP and ARTICHOKE SOUP - Restarant Quality Soup
While you may not believe this, I have a few marketable skills. Among them, I am a trained mixologist, Cocktalian or Bar Chef. A few years ago, I attended (and graduated) from bartenders' school. It only takes a couple weeks 4 hours a day, or a month of night classes. I highly recommend taking a class if you get a chance.
Sadly (actually, fortunately), there is no actual alcohol used during classes. Trainees use colored water to practice mixing. But the basics of how to build a drink, what makes a great drink and finally innovation of new drinks is covered. While it is nearly impossible to really be the first to create a 2 ingredient cocktail (someone must have done it), to my knowledge, I have never seen this recipe printed anywhere in any bartender guide nor, after searching for a bit on the many web based mixology sites could I find this recipe. So, until I am told different, I get to name it and you are the first to hear about how to make ...
1 shot Godiva White Chocolate liqueur
1 shot Vodka
shaved Dark Chocolate for accent
1 Hershey's Chocolate Kiss for garnish
OK, the art of mixing a drink is a beautiful thing when done right, and an embarrassment when done wrong. It is also one of the easiest things to learn. First, you need a cocktail shaker. Personally, I prefer a Boston Shaker. It is a two-piece shaker consisting of a metal bottom and glass or plastic mixing glass. The mixing container and bottom are inserted into each other for shaking or used separately for stirring or muddling. A separate strainer can be used for this type shaker if crushed ice is used. Most professional Bartenders (me) prefer to strain by narrowly separating the two pieces after shaking and pouring the drink through the resulting gap. Many of you have a Cobbler Shaker. This is a three-piece cocktail shaker that has tapers at the top and ends with a built-in strainer and includes a cap. The cap can often be used as a measure for spirits or other liquids. the photo shows both kinds. If you are new to mixing drinks, A cobbler works just fine... But using a Boston shaker makes you look much more debonair.
The most famous MARTINI drinker of our time: Bond, James Bond, has done more for popularizing the martini than any one since The Great Gatsby. Just for fun, here is the ACCURATE version of how Mr. Bond orders his martini in the very first appearance of the character, the novel CASINO ROYALE...
As described by Bond in the novel: ‘A dry martini,’
‘Just a moment...
Three measures of Gordon’s,
one of vodka,
half a measure of Kina Lillet.
Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold,
then add a large thin slice of lemon-peel. Got it?’
He goes on to say: “This drink’s my own invention. I’m going to patent it when I can think of a good name.’
This drink is now known as a Vesper, named for Bond's love interest in the story. Seasoned (experienced... dare I say pickled) martini drinkers would have HATED this drink. The 1950's recipe for kina lillet was very bitter and filled with VERY STRONG citrus flavors. the formula was changed in the 80's, and the Ian Fleming drink is lost to history. While current versions of lillet are much less bitter, the flavoring will still over power the gin. It is not a bad drink, but a "classic" (gin) martini drinker would not like this. James Bond in the movies has caused two more "sins" among classic martini drinkers... First, he popularized vodka martinis to the point that classic martini drinkers must specify a gin martini, or they will receive a vodka martini. Until the late 60's, it was the other way around. A martini was always made of gin, while a vodka martini could be made, it had to be special ordered.
And finally, the famous line, "shaken not stirred". Shaking introduces microscopic air bubbles, which lend a cloudy appearance, which isn't exactly conducive to that gorgeous, crystal clear look that the "classic" gin Martini pulls off so well. I will assume the bartender is at the top of his form and uses the coldest ice possible yes, there are degrees of coldness in ice. Ice fresh from a freezer will be colder than ice at the top of an ice bucket that has started to warm, and is coated with a thin layer of melted water. Should the bartender be going through the motions and uses ice from a bucket, he is in fact watering down the drink, making James Bond a terrible, wimpy drinker. If you want to get really technical, James Bond was ordering a Bradford (which is specifically shaken) and not a martini.
And isn't that more than you ever wanted to know about a fictional character's drinking habits? But, for my drink, know that it is a martini in name and look only. It is not gin, it is shaken and it is flavored with equal parts flavoring (Godiva white chocolate) to the base (vodka).
OK... lets get back to the spotlighted drink...
Have shaved dark chocolate at the ready
Spear a Hershey's kiss like you would an olive for a garnish.
Add 4 LARGE ice cubes fresh from the freezer to your shaker. It is best to NOT use crushed ice, as it melts very fast and will water down your drink ALOT,
Add a shot of vodka (when using a strong flavor (like Godiva White, or cranberry (Cosmopolitan Martini), or Pomegranate (Oprah's favorite cocktail)... i could go on, but I digress)... When using a strong flavor, it is OK to use cheap vodka. Unless you are a real connoisseur, you will not be able to taste the difference.
Add a shot of Godiva White Chocolate
Close up your shaker of choice and...
And strain into your martini glass.
Be careful not to drop an ice cube in, and the drink is done!!!
but, there are ways to make it pretty...
Sprinkle a bit of the shaved Dark Chocolate.
Put your chocolate "olive" where it will be seen. You may want to melt the base just a bit so that it will stick to the side. Or, add a second kiss inside the drink (because it is not see through, it will be a bonus to your loved one), and balance the speared kiss on top of the hidden kiss.
And there you go... Any bar in the country would be thrilled to serve this (and charge you $8 to $12 each). It is a professional bartender quality drink, it tastes wonderful, looks wonderful, has a lot of preparation PANACHE!
And ladies, if you will forgive me for my indelicacies... for the 3 male readers of this... If you surprise your lady fair with one of these, it will get you ... Nah I just can't say it... This has been such a beautiful post, such a beautiful lady-pleasing drink, to say it would "get you laid" is just too vulgar, so I won't say it.
Let's just say that your lady fair would appreciate this drink. Perhaps she will appreciate it so much that she will kiss your cheek.
So, have a drink, come back tomorrow when I start the afternoon cook session for my Christmas Eve dinner!