This is my spiked version of real hot chocolate made in the French style hot chocolate found in cafés like the famous Café Angelina in Paris. If you think of hot chocolate as a powdered cocoa mixture (which is hot cocoa), you are in for a fantastic surprise.

The French serve a true hot chocolate, called chocolate chaud, that is a divine mixture of actual dark chocolate pieces melted down into a drinkable chocolate by stirring in warmed milk and cream and adding either brown sugar or a sweetened whipped cream, usually on the side so you can sweeten to your taste. They also use a very high quality dark chocolate, a minimum of 70% cacao and a combination of whole milk and heavy cream. Then they serve this insanely fantastic mixture to you in a demitasse.

This is the way hot chocolate was originally made before the advent of cocoa powders and it's still the superior hot chocolate. Trust me, it's not yo' mama's hot cocoa!

I took this decadence and added booze. It's the only thing that could make it better.



1 Oz. Bulleit “95” Rye Small Batch Whiskey
1/4 Oz. Grand Marnier
1/2 C. Whole Milk
1/4 C. Heavy Cream
5 Oz. High Quality 80% Dark Chocolate Curls

Garnish: Whiskey Infused Whipped Cream
(Follow my recipe for Homemade Alcohol Infused Whipped Cream), Chocolate Shavings and Grated Orange Peel

Make the whipped cream, set aside in the refrigerator.
Using a vegetable peeler, peel off 5 ounces worth of strips of the dark chocolate.
Add the chopped chocolate to your cup.
Warm the liquors in the microwave for 30 seconds then stir into the chocolate curls.
Gently heat the heavy cream and whole milk to just before boiling.
Pour the heated milk and cream over the warmed chocolate and spirits.
Stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
Top with the boozy whipped cream and the other garnishes.
Be sure to serve it with a spoon.

I have done this several times, often switching out the Grand Marnier for another flavored liqueur. My favorites were:
Kahlua, I replaced the grated orange with a dusting of espresso powder.
Chambord, left the grated orange and added a couple of fresh raspberries.
Wine, used a fruity merlot then served it with dark chocolate, Dark Chocolate Cabernet Truffles*.

I even tried it once with a good quality white chocolate, coconut rum and toasted coconut chips as garnish.

Yes, you can make this vegan using full fat coconut milk, vegan dark chocolate and coconut whipped cream.

* I knew you'd want that recipe:

Dark Chocolate Cabernet TrufflesIngredients
9 Oz. 70% Dark Chocolate, Chopped
1/2 C. Heavy Cream
5 Tbsp. Cabernet Sauvignon
1 C. Dark Cocoa Powder

Add the cocoa powder to a small bowl and set aside.
Warm the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until bubbles just start to form. 
Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until completely smooth and melted.
Stir in the wine.
Chill the ganache mixture in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Scoop out a portion with the large side of a melon baller into your hands and roll into a ball.
Drop the truffle ball into the cocoa powder, roll until well covered.
Refrigerate until 20 minutes before serving, allowing truffles to reach room temperature.



The ROOSEVELT COCKTAIL, aka the Haitian Libation

He served 4 consecutive terms as President, ended the Great Depression with his New Deal, repealed Prohibition and, according to his grandson, Curtis, "made the worst martinis". Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a man who truly appreciated the benefits of a cocktail and indulged daily in happy hour, otherwise known as his “favorite hour of the day".

His infamous martinis were generally heavy on the vermouth, a ratio of 2 parts gin to the very large 1 part vermouth with an added splash of olive brine. His martini mixology could, at times, even include a few creative touches like a bit of absinthe or fruit juice and these mixtures deserved the title of "worst martini". All was not completely lost in the Roosevelt White House however because FDR also enjoyed a good Old Fashioned and even created a really decent (if you keep the ratios right) rum drink he called his "Haitian Libation".

If you want to celebrate our 32nd Commander in Chief, skip his doubtful dirty martini and give this cocktail a try.

aka The Haitian Libation

1-3/4 oz Dark rum
1/2 oz Dry vermouth
1 Egg white
1/4 oz Fresh orange juice
1/4 tsp Brown Sugar

Garnish: Orange twist

Glass: Cocktail

Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker and dry shake for a minute to emulsify the egg white and create a lovely foam.
Add ice then shake again to chill.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with the orange twist and serve.

* Some mistakenly refer to the Roosevelt Martini as the Roosevelt Cocktail. Don't let them confuse you, this recipe just above is the Roosevelt Cocktail!

January 30th, 1882 - April 12th, 1945



The AMARETTO SOUR Cocktail Recipe

Back before the cocktail Revolution of the 90s, we were often subjected to less than stellar bar drinks. The Amaretto Sour, actually quite a decent cocktail when not subjected to inferior spirits and sad pre-bottled sour mix, was one of the recipes that lost its luster as a result.

Thanks to Jeffrey Morgenthaler, who added bourbon and egg white, the Amaretto Sour is now a drink that deserves respect and a second try. Here is his recipe and I simply do not mess with because it's perfect as is. The only thing I'll do is add a garnish of a fresh slice of apricot and my own homemade Bourbon Cherries.


1-1/2 Oz. Amaretto
3/4 Oz. Bourbon
1 Oz. Lemon Juice
1 Teaspoon Simple Syrup*
1/2 Oz. Pasteurized Egg White

Garnish: Apricot Slice and Bourbon Cherry

Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker and dry shake for a good 60 seconds.
Add ice and shake until chilled.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish and serve.

* Jeff has 2 versions floating around online, one with and one without the simple syrup. I like the syrup but you can leave it out if you prefer a cocktail with more tartness. 




Invented by Irish chef Joe Sheridan in 1942 at the now defunct Foynes airbase outside of Limerick, Ireland, Irish Coffee is the granddaddy of coffee cocktails. Stanton Delaplane, a Pulitzer Prize-winning San Francisco Chronicle columnist, brought the recipe to the attention of Jack Koeppler at the Buena Vista Hotel (now the Buena Vista Cafe) in San Francisco in 1952, where it's been served exactly the same way ever since.

I can't even begin to count the number of Buena Vista Irish Coffees I imbibed in the 40 years I lived in the Bay Area or the number of guests I took there over those years. It's also always on my itinerary for every visit to my old stomping grounds. Though I can make an Irish Coffee the proper way, it doesn't taste quite the same without the background sounds of cable cars and the smell of San Francisco Bay.

Buena Vista Cafe's
Irish Coffee Recipe

Fill glass with very hot water to warm, then empty.
Fill glass 3/4 full with hot black coffee.
Add two sugar cubes, stirring until dissolved.
Add 1-1/3 oz Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey.
Top with a collar of whipped heavy whipping cream, pouring over with a spoon.
Serve and enjoy hot.

I also have a chilled version:

The Buena Vista Cafe is located just to the left of the Powell-Hyde Cable Car's last stop in Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco.


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