Frosty’s Chocolate Orange Martini

Last week, I stumbled across this old familiar Christmas friend at the Trader Joe’s checkout line.

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And it reminded me that I’d made a prize-winning cocktail inspired by the chocolate orange just two holiday seasons ago.

Me and my Frosty at the cocktail winner reveal.

That was me enjoying the spoils of my victory. Frankly, I’m sure anyone could have won with this as their inspiration:

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Such a beautiful sight! My welcomed re-acquaintance with the chocolate orange inspired me to post the recipe again for those of you new to the blog in the past couple of years. It takes a bit of effort in that you’ll need to prepare a cardamom simple syrup and acquire a chocolate orange of your own, but that’s not much of a hardship, is it?

Frosty’s Chocolate Orange Martini

2 shots orange juice
1 shot Stoli Vanil
2/3 shot white crème de cacao
1/3 shot Grand Marnier
1 shot cardamom-infused simple syrup
Finely grated Terry’s White Chocolate Orange
Granulated sugar
Slices of Terry’s Milk Chocolate Orange

Directions:
Chill a martini glass. Rim the glass with extra cardamom syrup, then duck it in a mixture of the ground chocolate orange and sugar. Shake up the first 5 ingredients. Pour into the martini glass. Garnish with a slice of chocolate orange on the side.

For tips on making the cardamom syrup, check out the Washington Duke Inn’s bar manager, Chris Thomas, mixing up the concoction back in 2012.

For the rim, the white chocolate oranges were ultimately chosen because they stuck to the rim a little better than the milk or dark chocolate and because they add festivity by mimicking a snow dusting. But white chocolate isn’t my preference, so I think it’s worthwhile to grate millk or dark chocolate instead, even if you sacrifice a bit of finesse on the final product. The choice is yours.

Enjoy! And tell me what you think.

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Goody Good Stuff Product Review

What’s about an inch in diameter, full of gumdrop memories, and free of all animal products? If you answered Goody Good Stuff jelly candies then you answered correctly! But chances are you haven’t heard of these tasty discs as yet.

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That’s right, I have another product review for you, something sweet for stuffing those stockings hanging from the mantle. Goody Good Stuff is a UK-based company that launched in 2010 after years of research deriving a way to make gummy candies without using gelatin. As most of you know, gelatin comes from animal peptides and proteins, making it absolutely, positively non-vegetarian. What a shame for vegetarians to have to forgo all the gummy treats out there, though, am I right? That’s what Goody Good Stuff thought too, so they introduced gelatin-free gummy products without sacrificing any flavor or quality. In fact, Goody Good Stuff jellies are now allergen-, gluten-, fat-, soy-, dairy-, egg-, alcohol-, GMO-, and nut-free. They are also Halal and Kosher, so unless you have a fruit or sugar allergy, you’re going to be pretty safe with these.

For the holidays, Goody Good Stuff has introduced a special flavor that comes in their new sharing bucket: Christmas Sugar Plum. That’s what I got to sample. Which, obligatory disclaimer, means I received that tub of gummies for free.

And I love them. I haven’t had this type of candy in a long time. They bring back fond memories of the candy store and sneaking those large gummy froggies into a movie theater. Each disc is hefty; being satisfied with one at a time is not out of the range of possibility. They are super soft, closer to melt in your mouth than chew, chew, chew. The jellies are coated in extra-fine sugar, which pushes them over that fruit snack edge fully into candy. Does it taste like a plum? Not at all, but sugar plum was historically applied to any number of dried fruit candies, so the company gets a pass on that. I’d call it close to white grape in flavor with a boost of berry. I’d also call it delicious.

Being a UK company, Goody Good Stuff isn’t all over the US, but it is available at a number of large US retailers including Toys R Us and 7-11. Get the full list here. What are your options once the elves take all the sugar plums away? How about tropical fruit, strawberry cream, sour fruit salad, summer peach, cola, and cherry? Sounds good to me, and the regular treats come in the more familiar gummy shapes of bears, fruits, and bottles. Let me know if you try them! I’m keeping my eyes open for my next road trip run.

Reviewed 3 December 2014.

 

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Intertwine Merlot 2013

Intertwine Merlot 2013
Oakville, CA
Intertwine

This red wine blend from Bridget Raymond uses mostly merlot from Napa Valley. It needs aeration to come to its full potential. Running it through an oxidizer worked well enough for me, but a few hours out in the decanter would also be fine.

After that initial step, take a sip. It’s like biting into your first piece of dark chocolate. It’s so very different from milk chocolate that you’re not sure you like it….but you keep nibbling. Eventually, you’ll recognize bright cherry undertones and wonder what you did with your life before that first bite.

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It just barely eked out that rating with 61/100 on the Quini scale.

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Most notably, the coloring is not that appealing and without aeration, texture is grainy and pulpy. Let it breathe, and that mellows out with an intriguing finish. It’s worth drinking—I’m pretty sure I’m ordering more if it’s still available. If it is, you can pick it up at NakedWines.Com for $35.50. That’ll be only $15.00 if you sign up to become an Angel through that ad on the right side of this page. Click right here just to buy the bottle: Buy me!

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