One of my fondest and most clear memories of the holidays during my childhood are those boxes of chocolate-covered cherries.
I’m sure you’ve seen them. They are small cherries, surrounded by chocolate, filled with some sort of thick syrup that sends children into instant sugar-hyper-mode.
As a child, I would eat a box in one sitting and then not sleep for two days.
Now that I’m an adult, I prefer to take in those flavors in a slightly different form: booze. This chocolate-covered cherry martini tastes almost exactly like those childhood chocolates, but it’s also potent enough to lead to a very jolly adult Christmas.
Before we get to the martini, which is pretty straightforward to make, I wanted to also make my own chocolate covered cherries as a garnish.
You could definitely use the store-bought ones, but these aren’t quite as sweet and are slightly more grown up.
Basically, just melt some milk chocolate and a small amount of milk or half and half over a double boiler. You can also zap it in the microwave in 15 second increments until it’s melted.
Next, drizzle your melted chocolate over a few maraschino cherries!
Once the cherries are coated, I like to stick them in the freezer for a few minutes to harden completely.
These are some addictive garnishes!
Now onto the martini.
One of the most important things about making a good martini is ensuring that your glass is nice and cold. A lot of heat can transfer from a warm glass, and your drink will warm up a lot faster if you don’t chill it.
If you have fridge space, you can definitely store the glasses for a bit to chill them down, but I also add some ice water to my martini glass as I make the martini to help chill the glass down really quickly.
To make the martini, add a few handfuls of ice to a shaker and add in all the ingredients!
That means the chocolate vodka.
Followed by the cherry liqueur and crème de cacao (you could also use a cherry vodka if you want).
Followed by a small dose of cherry syrup or grenadine. Watch out! This stuff is sweet. You don’t want to over-do it.
The final ingredient is about an ounce of half and half, which will completely smooth out the drink and make it really rich and delicious.
Shake this all together until it’s really cold and then strain it into your chilled martini glass.
The color on this drink is outstanding, and serving it with a few chocolate covered cherries makes it a real treat.
One thing I probably don’t have to tell you is that this guy, while fun, is pretty potent. Have one or two of these, and you should probably find yourself a designated driver!