Once again, it’s time for another fabulous chocolate orange themed cocktail. Seriously, I’m starting to think that I should give it it’s own category. Maybe I have an issue, I don’t know, you tell me.
I think that chocolate orange may be one of the great unifying flavours of modern gastronomy; the majority of people I know at least like, if not love the taste of chocolate orange. I mean, who doesn’t want a Terry’s Chocolate Orange (or 6, in my case) at Christmas? It’s a winning combination of fruit and cocoa; sure, maybe the chocolate isn’t good for you but hey, there’s still fruit in there! It’s practically a health food!
And if you agree with that sentiment then fasten your seat belt, ’cause this cocktail is for you.
The Chocolate Orange Bellini is a relatively simple recipe with a mere 3 ingredients: white crème de cacao, triple sec and your choice of bubbly. However, a simple recipe does not a simple cocktail make in terms of the flavour profile – yes, if you boil down each ingredient to its basic flavouring you can understand why I chose them to make a chocolate orange cocktail, but it’s the little extras that they bring to the table which mean that it isn’t just a ‘chocolate orange cocktail’. There is a surprising complexity and depth to the recipe that I can only attribute to the use of triple sec and crème de cacao as opposed to, say, orange juice and chocolate liqueur. Yes, the latter would have also successfully made a chocolate orange cocktail, but it would have been a stereotypical and decidedly one note drink. It’s the bitter edge of the triple sec and the subtle milky sweetness of the white crème de cacao that make all the difference and help the Chocolate Orange Bellini feel more authentic.
You can clearly taste the orange from the triple sec, but it isn’t too sweet or too tangy which I am personally thankful for; orange, for all of its positives, can overpower other flavours when it’s in a more concentrated form. Furthermore, despite the fizz of the champagne (or prosecco), there is a distinct creaminess from the white crème de cacao that gives the Chocolate Orange Bellini an air of indulgence – not that a champagne based cocktail needs it, but we might as well take it up to eleven whilst we’re trying it out!
If I were to summarise the Chocolate Orange Bellini, I would say that it is a maturer take on a favourite childhood – and maybe adulthood – flavour. However, if you fancy something a bit sweeter and slightly more childish then I would point you in the direction of Terry’s Delight, or alternatively for the real chocolate fiends among us, there is the Chocolate Mandarin Martini. Regardless of what you choose, one thing is clear; chocolate orange is here to stay, henny.
If a cocktail cherry is ever a question, then the answer is always ‘YES’.
♦ 1 ounce white crème de cacao
♦ 1 ounce triple sec
♦ 3 to 5 ounces chilled champagne or prosecco
Pour the white crème de cacao and triple sec into the flute and then slowly top with the champagne or prosecco. Garnish with a cocktail cherry and serve.