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Welcome to Wonkette Happy Hour, With This Week's Cocktail, The S'mores Martini!
Sometimes, we deserve a fancy-pants dessert cocktail.
Greetings, Wonketeers! I’m Hooper, your bartender. After Wednesday’s excitement, I wanted to indulge myself and make a fiddly dessert cocktail. It’s selfish of me. These kinds of cocktails can become ridiculous, over-the-top productions. But a phrase popped into my head, and I just could not shake the notion of making it real: “S’mores Martini.” The end result is a hella thing, but it is supremely yummy. Here’s the recipe.
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½ oz Hershey’s Special Dark Syrup
2 oz Absolut Vanilla Vodka
4 oz Old Smokey Bourbon Ball Creme Liquor
3 shakes cocoa bitters
2 graham crackers, crushed into fine crumbs
3-4 T marshmallow fluff
2-3 T simple syrup
To prepare the glass: Roll the rim of the martini glass in marshmallow fluff. Lightly toast the rim of the glass with a kitchen torch. Paint the outside of the glass with simple syrup. Sprinkle the exterior of the glass with crushed graham crackers. Place the martini glass in the fridge to set for at least 5 minutes.
To make the drink: Add all ingredients to a tumbler, beginning with the chocolate syrup. Shake well and pour into the prepared glass.
This is such overkill. I could have just toasted a marshmallow, put it on a cocktail skewer, and called it good. But I wanted to get a taste, or at least an aroma, of graham, toasted marshmallow, and chocolate into every sip of the drink. It’s not too hard to make a chocolate dessert martini, but the graham and marshmallow were a challenge.
Of course, even getting good chocolate liquor is a problem these days. Godiva chocolate liqueur was my standby for chocolate martinis for years. The bottle screamed “luxury” on the shelves, and the chocolate flavor was utterly decadent. Regrettably, the liqueur was discontinued in September. It had disappeared off grocery shelves in Winter 2022, but Godiva kept making excuses about demand outstripping supply until they finally threw in the towel. The company’s been deep in the red after COVID killed their retail stores, as far as I can tell. You can’t even find Godiva chocolate bars on the shelves anymore.
After months of scrambling for a substitute, Bailey’s has finally stepped up to the plate and provided us with a “Belgian Chocolate Liqueur” that seems pretty good. Per Bailey’s website, the product uses “real Belgian chocolate,” so it’s clearly meant as a Godiva substitute. It does use Bailey’s as a base, however, and sometimes I like a chocolate flavor without Irish whiskey in the mix. I’m still exploring options.
I’m going to start this recipe by walking you through the glass prep. You can skip all of this and make a really good chocolate martini, honest. If you’d like a project for the weekend, though, let’s dive in:
Graham Cracker Coating: This looks pretty impressive, and it’s not hard to apply. A martini glass is necessary for this confection, particularly for the stem so you can hold the drink. Don’t skip putting the glass in the fridge to set, otherwise it will be sticky. You won’t get graham flavor into the glass, but you will get the aroma of graham crackers with every sip, which goes a long way.
Marshmallow Fluff: This stuff is remarkably well-behaved as a martini rim coating. A cheap cigar lighter will work just fine as a kitchen torch in a pinch. Be careful as you toast the fluff — just like a real marshmallow, the fluff will catch on fire if you don’t pay attention.
Now, on to the cocktail itself:
Old Smokey Tennessee Bourbon Ball Cream Liqueur: Normally I wouldn’t give a bottle like this the time of day. It’s usually sold in Mason jars or cheap shots at the liquor store counter. But Jake at my liquor store recommended it, so I decided to give it a try. The chocolate flavors are on point, and I wanted a little hint of bourbon in this glass. I know that the flavors are artificial, but for a drink like this I decided to swallow my pride and try it. It’s really tasty, I’m glad I used it, and I might give the entire brand a second look.
Absolut Vanilla: Vanilla vodka helps to cut the sweetness of all the other sugary ingredients in the glass. As it stands, this drink tastes a bit like melted ice cream, but if you don’t watch the sugar content, the glass becomes completely unmanageable.
Hershey’s Special Dark Syrup: For extra chocolate flavor and body in the drink. In an “ordinary” chocolate martini, I run a ribbon of chocolate syrup around the inside of the glass and draw a toothpick through it to make it look sexy. Doing that to this absurd s’mores glass would be hopelessly over the top, and in retrospect I wish I’d done it.
Cocoa Bitters: A definite secret ingredient. Does a lot to tamp down the sweetness of the drink and provide depth to the chocolate notes. Cocoa bitters are also awesome in bourbon and tequila drinks. Well worth the investment.
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