Happy almost-New Year! I hope that everyone who celebrated Christmas had a wonderful holiday! I myself enjoyed a few days away from the computer and spent some much-needed time with family here in Toronto. We cooked, we saw a few movies, and we wandered the city 'til our ears and noses were red with cold! It's been wonderful.
Of course the holiday's aren't quite officially over—there's still New Year's Eve to think about! In recent years I've usually taken a pass on this celebration (I get sleepy well before midnight!) but this year I'll be joining friends for a potluck feast. Amongst the libations I'll be bringing to the party are the ingredients to make this brilliant and beautiful champagne cocktail.
It's called a Black Velvet, and with its elegant layers of chocolate, bubbly, and beer, it's the perfect New Year's Eve cocktail to please every taste! It lends itself nicely to serving in a flute but looks beautiful in a champagne coupe too. I prefer the latter because it feels so Jazz Age fabulous! If you don't have an ice bucket you can use a pretty pitcher to similar effect, and don't forget a full complement of bar tools to complete the set-up. As a bonus, this recipe makes extra chocolate syrup; save it for breakfast the next day and start 2015 on a sweet note! (Then make my New Year's Day detox soup for dinner!)
Chocolate Black Velvet Champagne Cocktail
Recipe Courtesy of Mast Brothers Chocolate: A Family Cookbook. Thank you to Crate and Barrel for providing the bar accessories for this shoot, and Chandon for kindly sending this pretty bottle of champagne.
1/2 ounce chocolate syrup (recipe below)
1 ounce stout beer
3 ounces champagne or sparkling wine
1 dash orange bitters
1 twist orange zest
Chocolate syrup (makes 2 cups):
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 ounce chopped dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa solids
seeds from 1 vanilla bean
To make the chocolate syrup, combine water, sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate, and vanilla seeds in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, strain, and let cool. For the cocktail, pour chocolate syrup into a champagne glass. Add stout. Pour champagne slowly into glass over the back of a metal spoon to "float" it on top of the stout. Add bitters and garnish with orange zest. Cheers!