Variations on a Theme: Branca Menta Grasshopper

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This isn’t just any Grasshopper, it’s a Branca Menta Grasshopper. This fancy, complex, multileveled Grasshopper went on holiday. He left his tiny apartment on E6th street, got on a plane at LGA and headed south for some adventures. On his adventures, he took some friends with him. Since he isn’t just any Grasshopper, he doesn’t have the usual friends.

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This Branca Menta Grasshopper likes to hang with Coconut Milk and Scrappy’s Chocolate Bitters. This Grasshopper Trio had the BEST OF TIMES on their holiday. Such good times that they even wrote down some notes about their travels.

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Grasshopper in Kentucky

  • 1 oz Branca Menta
  • 3/4 oz Bourbon
  • 1/2 oz Scrappy’s Chocolate Bitters
  • 1 oz Coconut Milk
  • Garnish: Mint Leaf

Combine ingredients in tin with ice and shake until ingredients have combined and incorporated. You may have to shake very hard to get the Coconut Milk to play along. Strain into coupe, spank the Mint and garnish.

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Grasshopper in NOLA

  • 1 1/4 oz Branca Menta
  • 1/2 oz Scrappy’s Choco Bitters
  • 1/2 oz St George NOLA Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 Coconut Milk
  • Garnish: Grated dark Chocolate

Combine ingredients in tin with ice and shake until ingredients have combined and incorporated. You may have to shake very hard to get the Coconut Milk to get with the program. Grate dark Chocolate on top.

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Grasshopper in the Gulf

  • 1 oz Branca Menta
  • 1 oz Flor de Caña 7
  • 1/2 oz Scrappy’s Choco Bitters
  • 1 oz Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 oz Orgeat
  • Garnish: Mint Bouquet

Combine ingredients in tin with ice and shake until ingredients have combined and incorporated. You may have to shake very hard to get the Coconut Milk to get in line. Spank the Mint Bouquet and garnish.

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Let’s just look at this again, shall we? This fancy Branca Menta Grasshopper in the Gulf has such a nice hat.

Thanks again to the Baddish Group and Branca Menta for making this tasteful Grasshopper journey possible.

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Branca Menta & National Chocolate Mint Day

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Hello Minty fresh and decadently fabulous people! Let’s talk about Branca Menta.

For Valenspoons I did a post on Fernet Branca and the Hanky Panky, an excellent amaro in an excellent cocktail. Well, have you heard of and/or tasted Fernet Branca’s little brother? Branca Menta has the flavour profile of Fernet Branca but with the added power of Mint. It is lower proof, sweeter yet still bitter, has a greater viscosity and is just perfect as a digestivo. I’ve been drinking it frequently after dinner or with dessert.

What goes better with a Mint Amaro than Dark Chocolate? Nothing. Absolutely Nothing. National Chocolate Mint Day is 19 February, so let’s get going! I’ve got two tasty cocktails for us to celebrate.

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I wanted to make a Mint Chocolate drink which was neither very sweet nor anything like a “mint chocolate Martini” (hint, not a Martini, quit calling it a Martini). I turned to my fave aged rum, Flor de Caña 7, added the totally awesome St George NOLA Coffee Liqueur and Scrappy’s Chocolate Bitters instead of Crème de Cacao. The result is a bitterly chocolate mint cocktail, powerful enough to get us through the frigid winter, yet tasty enough to ask for another.

A.C.M. (Amaro Ciccolata alla Menta)

  • 1 3/4 oz Flor de Caña 7 Year Aged Rum
  • 1/2 oz Branca Menta
  • 1/2 oz St George NOLA Coffee Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz Scrappy’s Chocolate Bitters
  • Garnish: grated 70% Dark Chocolate

Combine ingredients and stir over ice until proper dilution has been achieved. Strain into chilled coupe. Grate Dark Chocolate on top. Santé!

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Secondly, I JUST WANTED SOME CIOCCOLATA DENSA WITH BRANCA MENTA! This is where we can all just shout “WOOOOOO”! Yes y’all, it’s my fabulously thick Hot Chocolate with aged rum and Branca Menta.

I have a bit of a history with Cioccolata Densa and Chocolat Chaud. Back in 1999, I went to Italy for the first time where I experienced the awesomeness which is Italian Cuisine. Nothing compares to real Italian food and it is definitely my favourite type of cuisine to cook. I also had Cioccolata Densa and it blew my notions of “Hot Chocolate” out of the water. Soon after that, I tried the French version, Chocolat Chaud and have never turned back. I always make my drinking chocolate very dense and not very sweet. Cheers to THAT!

Branca Menta Cioccolata Densa

  • 10 oz Whole Milk (do not use reduced fat Milk, ever, just don’t do it)
  • 4 heaping tbsp Dark Chocolate Chips (70% or above)
  • 2 tbsp Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix (70% or above)
  • 2 oz Flor de Caña 7 Aged Rum
  • 1 oz Branca Menta
  1. In pot, combine Mlik and Dark Chocolate Chips over very low heat stirring constantly.
  2. When the Chips start to melt and mix with the Milk, gradually add the Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix until everything is smooth and fabulous.
  3. Turn the heat off, add Rum and Branca Menta. If you don’t find the above amounts to be enough Rum and Branca Menta, add some more until you like it.

*Recipe should create approx 4 servings in Espresso cups.

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Where you at? You sexy thang. 

Thanks again to Branca Menta and the Baddish Group for giving me the opportunity to participate in this totally delicious Chocolate Mint experience! Tasty times, happy minds.

Devil’s Pie

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This drink was fully inspired by the Vosges Black Salt Caramel Chocolate Bar. My girlfriend and I ate it, then we thought, “How close can we get to this in a drink?” Well, with the ingredients on hand, this was as close as I could get. It’s pretty fabulous. Not terribly sweet, nice and dark, and the two Amari make things interesting.

Bonus: Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt is always the best.

Yesterday, the new D’Angelo record Black Messiah came out and oh my god, CANNOT STOP LISTENING. It’s so damn funky and D’Angelo just totally rules on vocals. I mean, he always rules, but the Lordt knoweth, he totally owns. Fabulous. We named this drink after one of his songs, Devil’s Pie.

Devil’s Pie

  • 2 oz Flor de Caña 7 Year Aged Rum
  • 3/4 oz Averna Amaro
  • 1/2 oz Green Mountain Maple Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz Santa Maria al Monte Amaro
  • 1/4 oz Scrappy’s Chocolate Bitters
  • 1 pinch Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt
  • Shaved dark Chocolate

Combine ingredients over ice and stir. Strain into coupe, shave dark Chocolate on top.

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