What’s better than a dram or mug of hot cocoa on a chilly winter night? Putting them together. Whisky and chocolate in a cocktail can melt away the chill and satisfy your adult sweet tooth.
“Anyone who ate Cocoa Puffs or Chocolate Cheerios as a kid can attest to the beauty of mixing malt and chocolate flavors together,” explains Nick Stolte, bar manager at Gio’s Pizza and Bocce (now closed) in Berkeley, California. “Cacao adds depth to the nutty sweetness of grain flavors.”
And just as chocolate can vary in sweetness or bitterness, so can whisky, which makes combining the two reasonable and rewarding. “In cocktails, whisky and chocolate either align or contrast with the sweetness of other ingredients for fun and varying results,” says Summer-Jane Bell, beverage director at Hello Stranger in Oakland, California.
A classic whisky cocktail like the Boulevardier, Julep, and Vieux Carré can be the perfect canvas for adding in cocoa flavors. Try these three easy recipes to feel toasty on even the coldest winter nights.
Chocolate Boulevardier: Electric Avenue
Created by Summer-Jane Bell, this take on the Boulevardier is ideal for anyone with a taste for chocolate oranges.
Hot Chocolate Julep: Snow Bunny
This cocktail blends the nostalgic flavors of mint chocolate with one of winter’s most essential beverages: hot cocoa.
Chocolate Vieux Carré: Centro Citta
A mix of rye whisky, cognac, and more offers an Italian-inspired riff for chocolate and cocktail lovers alike.