4 or 5 years back, the idea of a ‘Hump Day’ would have made me both laugh and cry at the same time. For those of you who have worked in retail, i’m sure you understand that odd combination of feelings all too well. Fast forward to now, and I’ve officially joined the office based work force who proclaim ‘HUMP DAY!’ as soon as Wednesday rolls around – and yes, I know how annoying we are for it but trust me when I say we need this bit of motivation to make it through the work week without scratching out someone’s eyeballs.
That’s where the Chocolate Mandarin Cocktail comes in. Part of HUMP DAY! for a lot of people – myself included – is being able to unwind with a drink at the end of the day as we celebrate being officially Half Way There and, especially when you’re in an sedentary office job and find yourself having to watch your calorie intake, being able to combine that with the godsend that is chocolate is simply marvelous.
Ergo, every drink that has the mere hint of the taste or use of chocolate is going to get sampled by us here at Geek & Tonic HQ.
You’ll have to excuse the appalling scruffiness of the drink – apparently the cocoa powder I used took offence the idea of being rimmed neatly on the edge of the glass and instead went everywhere. Appearances aside, however, this is a good drink. It’s not O-M-G AMAZING, but it is satisfying especially after a hard day at work. The classic combination of chocolate and orange comes through remarkably well, especially immediately after you sip it, but it does end up fading away into more of a harsh alcoholic taste. If you’re looking for a luscious and stupidly decadent drink this may not be the one for you, but if you like being reminded that you’re drinking a cocktail and not just a milkshake then I would recommend trying this one. It leaves a slight tingle in your throat as it is a purely alcoholic drink, but this isn’t off-putting; indeed, it feels more like an accompaniment to the drink as a whole rather than a detraction from it.
I personally used Cointreau Blood Orange instead of Mandarin Napoléon as we currently don’t have it but I imagine the cognac in the latter liqueur would work brilliantly at rounding out the flavour palate, and would potentially subtract some of the harshness. If you don’t have Mandarin Napoléon available though I would still suggest substituting another orange based liqueur and seeing how you go from there.
♦ 1 ½ ounces vodka
♦ 1 ounce chocolate liqueur
♦ ¼ Mandarin Napoléon or other orange liqueur
Orange juice or orange wedge
Rub the edge of a chilled martini glass with either the orange juice or the orange wedge and then rim with the cocoa powder. Shake the liquid ingredients together and strain into the glass. Shave some chocolate onto the top of the drink and serve promptly to maintain style.