Thanksgiving is here and with it the beginning of the holiday season. Before you can blink a mascara-ed cat eye, your calendar will be a blur of dinners, office parties, cookie swaps, cocktail fêtes, gala evenings and family gatherings.
Likely you will host at least one of them.
You may already be stressing about wondering how—with work, family obligations and holiday shopping—you’re going to pull off home entertaining while maintaining a mood that’s merry and bright.
Here at The Crest, we keep it simple. Our favorite way to host relaxed at-home affairs? Choose a few super easy hors d’oeuvres or take-out appetizers. And greet guests at the door with a killer holiday cocktail.
To help us concoct drinks that pack punch and panache, we reached out to Hudson Valley chef, mixologist and blogger Viviane Bauquet Farre at Food & Style.
A fashion designer turned professional chef, Bauquet Farre holds a culinary philosophy that can be summarized in two simple sentences: Flavor First! And… Food is Love.
For the next three weeks, she’ll be sharing cocktail love on The Crest with three party-perfect drinks.
Finish Thanksgiving with a Flourish: Chocolate-Ginger Martini
The first Food & Style offering, a Chocolate-Ginger Martini, hits just the right indulgent note as a Thanksgiving after-dinner drink. Yes, it’s chocolatey, but “don’t think this martini is going to be syrupy-sweet!” notes Bauquet Farre. “It’s off-dry—intensely flavorful, luscious and only sweet enough to be impossibly decadent.”
Indeed. The mix of dark chocolate, with its slightly bitter notes, crisp vodka, and the heat of ginger and cayenne, creates a nuanced libation. And the martini’s presentation, in a chocolate-rimmed cocktail glass, is sure to make for a memorable end to a sybaritic feast.
Chocolate-Ginger Martini with Cayenne Spiked Rim
Active time: 15 min
For the chocolate rim
2 oz (55 g) semisweet chocolate—cut in small chunks (preferably Callebaut, Scharffen Berger or Valrhona)
1/8 tsp ground cayenne
For the martini
1 1/2 oz (45 ml) vodka
1 oz (30 ml) Godiva original chocolate liqueur
1/2 oz (15 ml) Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
2 dashes lemon bitters Lemon twist as garnish
1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over gently simmering water, stirring constantly until smooth. Add the cayenne and stir until well incorporated. Pour the chocolate on a flat surface (the back of a plate or baking tray works well) and spread into an 8″ circle, about 1/8″ thick. Let the chocolate cool for 5 minutes, so that it is warm, but not hot. Press the rim of the martini glass into the warm chocolate. Place the glass in the freezer until set, about 10 minutes.
Cook’s note: When pressing the glass into the warm chocolate, tip and rotate the rim so as not to create a suction-cup effect. This recipe makes enough melted chocolate for two dozen chocolate-rimmed glasses. The glasses can be prepared and kept in the freezer or refrigerator up to 12 hours ahead.
2. Shake the vodka, liqueurs and bitters with large ice cubes until shaker is frosted, and strain into the chocolate-rimmed, chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon and serve immediately.