Marge’s Bowling Ball

1 1/2 oz Bourbon
3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
1/2 oz dark Creme de Cacao
1/4 oz Cointreau
Few dashes Fee Bros Chocolate bitters

Stir with ice, strain into empty rocks glass


After a year or two of building our home bar, we had a wide variety of bottles to choose from.  We were able to make a nice range of interesting cocktails on any given night.  However, every now and then Mrs. Muddle would drop subtle hints that we should add some chocolate liqueur or creme de cacao to the mix.  Not surprising, since she has the bigger sweet tooth in the house.  After a few trips to the liquor store which resulted in nary a chocolate liqueur, the requests came more frequently.  Conveniently by this point, Valentine’s Day was right around the corner.

I decided to put a spin on the traditional “chocolate for Valentine’s Day” approach and came home with a bottle of dark Creme de Cacao*.  We already had some drinks with Creme de Cacao at various bars around town, so I knew there were more interesting applications than a chocolatini (Brick and Mortar’s Low Rider has always stuck in my mind).  Admittedly, I was excited to have it in the bar as well.  Luckily it was very well received by Mrs. Muddle, so it wasn’t really a Homer-giving-Marge-a-bowling-ball situation.  It’s been a welcome addition to the bar ever since.

Marge’s Bowling Ball started out with the idea of  Andes Mints, which would often make an appearance at various family gatherings when I was younger.  Chocolate and mint is a classic combination, one that is good anytime; especially so around Valentine’s day.  I don’t have any Creme de Menthe in my bar (yet), but I figured Green Chartreuse would be a worthy substitute.  It could provide a little more complexity with all the herbs and spices, in addition to some nice menthol flavors. Bourbon was a good option for the base as it has some sweetness that mingles nicely with the Creme de Cacao.  Finally I added some Cointreau for a slightly citrusy edge, and some chocolate bitters to boost the aroma.  The drink started out with some sweetness from both the Bourbon and Creme de Cacao, but the Cointreau anchored things nicely.  The Green Chartreuse very much brought up the rear, in a good way, on the swallow.  It cooled everything down with a minty, herbal finish.  I found the flavors mingled even better as the drink sat for a bit.


Sexual Chocolate

1 1/2 oz blended Scotch
3/4 oz dark Creme de Cacao
1/2 oz Maraschino Liqueur
1/4 oz St Elizabeth Allspice Dram

Stir with ice, strain into empty rocks glass


With the next drink, I wanted to try my hand at using a recently acquired bottle of Allspice Dram.  Cinnamon and cloves dominate the profile of this liqueur, which seemed like a great fit with the Creme de Cacao.  Having used up the last of my Bourbon with the previous drink, I reached for some blended Scotch as the main component.  Since it has a stronger flavor than the Bourbon, I decided to up the amount of Creme de Cacao this time. There were already some rich flavors in here, so rounding things out with Maraschino Liqueur felt like the right way to go.  The warmth and spices prevalent throughout the sip were very reminiscent of the holiday season.  However, there was a certain sultriness to this drink that fit the Valentine’s Day spirit rather well.

So this weekend, as your scrambling for a present for your significant other, remember that not only can you eat chocolate, you can drink it too.  And if you want to really double down on the chocolate theme, pick up a bottle of chocolate bitters (Scrappy’s and Fee Bros are just two types) to add an extra choco-punch to any drink.

*Creme de Cacao and Chocolate liqueur are not exactly the same.  Chocolate liqueur is darker and more full bodied, along with a more pronounced chocolate flavor.  Creme de Cacao is a bit more subtle and lighter bodied. I find it more versatile as it doesn’t really affect the texture of the drink too much.  It also comes in White and Dark versions, the only difference being the color.  Flavor wise, they are exactly the same and can be interchanged in any recipe.

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