Cocktail Crafty Original

Chocolate Chili Mezcal Recipe

Ever since my Mezcal Hot Chocolate, my mind has been preoccupied with the holy trinity of flavor – sweet, hot and smoky. My every thought consumed with ideas of how to take my new obsession to another level. I experimented with chocolate chili cupcakes. A great idea, poorly executed by me.

Finally I decided to create a syrup. I started with a brown sugar syrup. Combined it with cocoa powder and chili flavored chocolate. Then added some mezcal. And then more mezcal. And even more mezcal. By the time I was done it was like a deliciously boozy yoohoo.

After a few days of shaking the bottle due to separation, it dawned on me. Had I just taken the long route to an idea so simple it should have been the obvious one.

Instead of shaking my concoction to prevent separation I welcomed it. I strained of the mezcal top layer and squealed with joy. I had managed to successfully infuse one of my favorite spirits with my favorite chocolate. And I had no clue I was doing it.

Choco-Chili Mezcal

1.5 cups Filtered Water

1.5 cups Brown Sugar

1 cup cocoa powder

4 ounces Lindt Chili flavored Chocolate (chopped)

1 dash salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium pot, bring water to boil. Reduce heat to medium. Slowly stir in brown sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Add salt and vanilla. Stir in cocoa power. Keep stirring until it is well dissolved. Reduce heat to medium low. Stir in chocolate a little at a time, allowing for the chocolate to fully melt. Once the chocolate has completely melted remove from heat. After cooling, add to equal parts mezcal. (Any extra can be bottled and used as ice cream topping or added to milk.)

Allow your CCM to sit in the fridge for 3-5 days, shake daily. Then strain 2 to 3 times using cheese cloth and a mesh strainer.

It’s a bit of a process. But totally worth it in the end.

So what now? Let's make a cocktail!

It's Chocolate I'm In Love-pour

It’s Chocolate. I’m In Love

1 ounce Choco-Chili Mezcal

1.5 ounces 1800 Tequila

.75 ounces Sweet Vermouth

Dash (or two) Orange Bitters

Stir. Strain. Enjoy!

Have fun and imbibe happily!

- Nikki

Aviation with a Layover

It’s my birthday weekend! Four days (starting Friday, ending Monday) of celebrating Nikki. It’s time to don the birthday girl tiara, with its pinching pain that can only be cured with booze, and live it up.

As I’ve gotten older my birthday has become less about quantity and more about quality. It’s the quality of family and friends that surround me. The quality of birthday cake (and certainly not the quantity of candles.) Its the quality of drinks I choose to imbibe.

Hubby I recently restocked our home bar. On the bar are now various aperitifs and digestifs. I did however forget to restock the sweet vermouth. Which of course meant that every drink I’ve considered trying this past week involved sweet vermouth, driving me to scream out in frustration every time. Don’t know if its a matter of being lazy or cheap because I can’t bring myself to travel 30 minutes to the discount liquor warehouse to save $5-$10 but don’t want to spend more than I think I should at the store downstairs. First world problems, I know. And yes, I’m lucky enough to live in an apartment building with a spirits store (and food court) attached. I’m also married to a produce broker. What more could a cocktailian ask for?

As I stocked my bar this past week, I couldn’t help but notice how my tastes have changed as I’ve gotten older. My late twenties were during the height of the flavored vodka craze, thus my bar contained every flavor from apple pie to pumpkin, from froot loops to s’mores. My bar is now more diverse, though there’s still a bottle of butterscotch schnapps cause a girl likes to get her sweet on every now and then.

When people ask me what my favorite drink is it’s hard for me to answer. Its constantly changing. When I was 28 it was the Espresso Martini. When I hit 30 it was the Dirty Martini. Today its the Aviation.





2 oz Gin

.75 oz Lemon Juice

.5 oz Maraschino Liqueur

.24 oz Creme de Violette

Recipe from The PDT Cocktail Book



I can not effectively try to express to you as to why I love an Aviation. Believe me I have tried. It’s difficult to explain and only becomes more difficult after a few Aviations. It’s the soft muted violet-grey color. It’s the dry tartness of the gin and lemon. It’s the faint sweetness or the maraschino liqueur and creme de violette. It’s...everything.

No doubt an Aviation will make its debut during my birthday festivities. And when it does, it will be a very happy birthday indeed.

Don't like gin? Check out my variation with rum.

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2 oz Rum

.75 oz Lime Juice

.5 oz Maraschino Liqueur

.5 oz Creme de Violette