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In the new year, I am going to continue with Toast Tuesday, but with a twist. I am going to be toasting life. I will be trying new spirits, new cocktails, new recipes, new restaurants, meeting new people, and in short, trying all sorts of new stuff.

It’s not like I have really ever had trouble getting out of my shell, but I am going to make myself try things I would not otherwise.  In the past year, I have spent a lot of money on booze in the pursuit of drinking adventurously.  I normally read a lot of food and cocktail recipes.  I buy herbs, spices, and chiles with the intent of making some dish that ultimately never gets made.  Those days are over.

One of the things I bought last year, with no real plans, was creme de cacao.  This is a chocolate liqueur and since I don’t really like sweet drinks, I can’t recall why I bought it.  I am working on a new series of workshops focusing on cocktails and crafts.  The first will be in February and I am focusing on chocolate.

In the name of research, I have been making cocktails with the creme de cacao.  Most of the recipes I have found, have focused on the sweet chocolate aspect of the liqueur, of which I abhor.  I’m more interested in cocktails that make you wonder what’s in there.

The two I have found most interesting so far pair tequila and aged rum with the creme de cacao.  Both are rich and decadent, but with the addition of interesting tinctures and bitters, balance into something really enjoyable.

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This is Occam’s Razor with cold brewed coffee, chile tincture, and a mint garnish.  I didn’t have a chance to make the chile tincture this weekend, but instead used Elemakule Tiki Bitters.  I think with the flavors in this drink, it could also be made with bourbon or an aged rum.  I’ll be making the chile tincture very shortly.

 

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This is the Coctel de Chocolate that calls for a chocolate sauce made with Mexican chocolate.  Mexican chocolate has spices and depth you don’t normally find in good ole hersheys, but one of the things I’m trying to do in my workshop is get folks to make interesting cocktails with regular ingredients they have in their cabinet.  So, I did use good ole hershey syrup and Scrappy’s Orleans Bitters.  Without the bitters, the drink was too sweet, one most of the Memphis girls will love.  The addition of bitters, gives it more balance and depth, making it something I found much more interesting.

Here’s to toasting you a sweet and extraordinary new year!

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