1.5 oz Stoli Vanilla Vodka
1 oz Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur
Chocolate Covered Strawberry for Garnish
shaken in a cocktail shaker with ice and strained into a decorated martini glass
My sweetheart asked me if I would help him make a bunch of chocolate covered strawberries on Monday, for work. Of course, I said yes, but I was too curious to not ask what they were for. I guess I was a little surprised when he said they were for garnish on a special Valentine's Day cocktail at the restaurant!
Why the heck did I never think of that before?? What a brilliant idea! So I forced him to tell me what was in this special Valentiney drink besides an oversized decadently dipped garnish. He listed off about 5 ingredients, which to me is usually too many. With cocktails, I say the simpler the better. I love interesting and different combinations, like cucumber and tequila or anything crazy like that, but most of the time if there's a bunch of stuff in it it never seems quite right. (Plus...I don't normally keep a fully stocked dream bar at all times...do you?)
So, I decided we could simplify the recipe and still make a delicious drink, because despite never having been a bartender, I can still impress people with my mixological prowess, and do so often. (And if 'mixological' wasn't a word before, it is now!) Instead of the strawberry purée, creme de cacao dark, half & half, Stoli Vanilla and Godiva White Chocolate concoction that the restaurant was serving, we thought we'd give it a shot with the vanilla vodka, Godiva, and strawberry purée. It tasted funny (but I still drank most of it, don't worry).
By this point, we're about halfway through the strawberry dipping process (and a little more than half-buzzed, whoops!), and I got the brilliant idea to use the chocolate candy coating to decorate the inside of the martini glass (directions below), and just go for a simple white chocolate cocktail. It was perfectly delicious!
So, this recipe is the final version we decided was a keeper: about 1.5 ounces of Stoli Vanilla Vodka, 1 ounce of Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur, shaken over ice and strained into the decorated martini glass!
Before you get started, lay out some wax paper on the countertop or on cookie sheets to lay the dipped berries on to set.
I use Make 'N Mold Dark Chocolate Wafers and the White Chocolate version for the drizzle. Of course, vice versa is great too!
A couple of tips:
Make sure you wash the strawberries, but pat them dry completely before you start dipping. Water causes the chocolate candy coating to separate and it looks terrible and won't set smoothly, so beware of reaching over the bowl with dripping wet hands as well.
I use a tall thin microwave safe container, so I don't have to use so many chips at once for chocolate deep enough to be able to dip the strawberries completely into in one smooth motion. A wider bowl means wasted chocolate!
Follow the directions for melting the candy chips; 30 seconds on half power or defrost setting at a time, always shaking or stirring the chips before putting them back in the microwave. Repeat as necessary until your chocolate is smooth when stirred.
A tiny amount of vegetable or canola oil mixed in to the melted chocolate will give it a slightly runnier consistency, which especially helps when you use the chocolate in a squeeze bottle for decorating. The exact amount obviously depends how many chips you are melting at a time, but trust me start very small with barely 1/8th of a teaspoon and add more in small amounts as needed.
Hold the dry clean strawberry by the leaves and dip straight down into the melted chocolate, and back out again. Set each dipped berry on the waxed paper and don't touch them for several minutes!
Keep dipping until all your strawberries are covered, reheating the chocolate or adding more chips as necessary along the way.
Decorating your Strawberries and Martini Glass
If you want to decorate with a white chocolate drizzle, it's good to have a microwave safe plastic squeeze bottle with a small tip. (I bought these from Amazon: Wilton Set of 2 6-Ounce Mini Melting Decorating Squeeze Bottles).
Melt the chips in the bottle with the lid off, using a chopstick or long spoon to stir inside the bottle. I usually only fill mine up about 1/3 at a time. You can always add more chips if you need more!
Again, the vegetable or canola oil trick works well here, you can make this drizzling chocolate a tiny bit more runny so you can use a bit more oil. You don't want the mixture sputtering out like an old empty bottle of mustard!
If you don't have the perfect squeeze bottle, you can always melt the chips in any microwave safe container and transfer carefully to a ziploc bag. Twist the top and snip a tiny bit off one corner with scissors and you've got a makeshift candy decorating squeeze bag!
As long as your dipped strawberries have set completely, you can start drizzling your contrasting chocolate across the top. The higher you hold the bottle, the cleaner your lines will be, provided you zigzag quite quickly. Obviously it doesn't have to be perfect, just have fun and you'll figure it out!
For your martini glass, make sure the glass is clean and dry, and drizzle the melted chocolate all around the inside of the glass. I made a swirly loopy pattern that kind of looked like hearts!
Allow the chocolate to set in the glass for a minute or two, then you're ready to shake and strain your delicious Decadent White Chocolate Martini into it!
Grab one of your beautifully dipped and decorated chocolate covered strawberries and cut a diagonal slit in the bottom. Slide it on to the side of the glass, and enjoy!
Happy Valentine's Day!