Today is Boxing Day in England, a public holiday dating back to the Middle Ages. The tradition of giving a ‘Christmas box’ or tip to one’s servants, the poor, or a few peasants has now somewhat subsided and is instead replaced with general laziness, TV soap opera specials, and recuperation from the excesses of Christmas day.
The contemporary observance of Boxing Day generally involves relaxing at home consuming leftover turkey, that luxury mixed nuts selection that a guest always brings and the quintessentially British confection, the Terry’s Chocolate Orange. The Chocolate Orange – a spherical ball of chocolate made with orange oil, divided into segments, and wrapped in orange-colored foil – is a pillar of British seasonal culture. The segments, when packaged, are stuck together firmly, and the traditional method of preparing them for consumption is, prior to unwrapping the ball, tapping it lightly on a hard surface causing the segments to separate from each other.
Today Midweek Libations attempts to emulate the rich sweet flavors of the Chocolate Orange in a luxurious dark cocktail, the Chocolate Orange Martini. A perfect concoction to impress your ex-pat chums.
Fill a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Add a measure each of quality vodka (e.g. Absolut) , vanilla flavored vodka (Absolut and Stoli both make good versions), and chocolate liquor. Godiva makes a great chocolate liquor and you can choose either dark or milk chocolate flavor (I would avoid the white chocolate variety for this recipe). Add one half measure of Cointreau (or other quality orange liquor) and shake well. A dash of heavy cream may be added if you wish but I prefer this drink neat. Rim a chilled martini glass with a piece of orange rind and then dip the rim into a mixture of grated orange zest and chocolate shavings. Strain the shaker into the glass and enjoy.
The rim is a sufficient garnish. Those wishing to go all out can add a twist of orange peel, or even a spiral straw of shaved chocolate.
Thank you RJH! If you have missed any of the past Midweek Libations, you can catch them all HERE .