Cocktails are very, very close to our hearts. Very, very close indeed. But there are other things that also do it for us. Amongst them is chocolate. So imagine how we felt when we arrived at the launch of Thorntons Chocolate Liqueur? A cocktail ingredient and chocolate – together. It’s the future…
100 years of Thorntons is farily fabulous but throw in the fact the brand is launching a chocolate liqueur and our ears definitely pricked up. Produced in collaboration between drinks experts Global Brands and Thorntons Master Chocolatier Keith Hurdman, it’s a combination of luxury cocoa, vodka and cream, and comes in at 17% ABV.
At the launch we tried the new liqueur over ice and in a couple of cocktails, too.
Over ice Thorntons Chocolate Liqueur is a well balanced piece of work. Up front it tastes 100% of proper chocolate. The pleasant surprise is the way the alcohol comes through slowly and gently in the finish. So far so interesting, next we moved on to the cocktails. First we tried the Chocolatini. It looked inviting enough, particularly with the cocoa powdered rim on the martini glass. Yes it was sweet, yes it was rich, but we liked the depth of flavour and the gentle alcohol in the finish. We could see it working well as an alternative to a pudding.
Next came the Chocolate Russian. This was a bizarre delight. It felt like a cold, alcoholic and grown-up bedtime drink. We might not be about to drink gallons of the stuff but it had an appealing guilty pleasure feel about it.
If this wasn’t enough for a Monday lunchtime we also got to see celebrity chef Gino D’Acampo in action making up a Chocolate Liqueur Trifle. A damn good pudding and a recipe we will definitely be knocking up at home.
1 part Thorntons Chocolate Liqueur
1 part Sobieski Estate Vodka
1 part Vanilla Teichenné.
Rim a martini glass with lemon and dip in baker’s cocoa. Combine all ingredients together with ice, shake and fine strain into the martini glass.
Thorntons Chocolate Russian
50ml Thorntons Chocolate Liqueur
250ml cold milk
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cocoa powder.
Shake or blend ingredients and pour into a tall glass over ice. Sprinkle with grated Thorntons chocolate.
Thorntons Chocolate Liqueur trifle with crushed pistachio nuts
4 tbsp of drinking chocolate powder
200ml semi-skimmed milk
10 tbsp of Thorntons chocolate liqueur
60g pistachio nuts, shelled and roughly chopped
300ml double cream
250g tub of mascarpone cheese
2 tbsp of caster sugar
1 tsp of vanilla extract
20 Savoiardi (sponge fingers)
Cocoa powder for decoration
Melt the chocolate in a medium size saucepan with the milk. Stir occasionally; pour into a bowl, add in 6 tablespoons of chocolate liqueur and leave to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk the cream until soft peaks form.
Add in the mascarpone, sugar and vanilla extract and whisk for a further 10 seconds until all combined.
Finally gently fold in the remaining chocolate liqueur and the pistachio nuts.
Make sure you have 4 dessert glasses, approx 8cm diameter and 6cm deep.
Dip 8 sponge fingers into the chocolate milk for 2 seconds on each side and place 2 fingers on the base of each dessert glasses.
(Break the biscuits to make sure that the bottom of the glass is covered.)
Divide half of the mascarpone cream between the glasses over the chocolate biscuits.
Dip the remaining biscuits in the chocolate and this time place 3 fingers over the cream in each glass.
Finish by smothering the remaining cream over the sponge fingers.
Cover each glass with cling film and chill for 1 hour.
Before serving, remove the cling film and sprinkle the top with cocoa powder.
Thorntons Chocolate Liquer
Available in Asda, other major retailers and many bars across the UK.