It may seem an oxymoron: a liquid dessert occupying the same title as that most sophisticated of drinks. Plenty of cocktail enthusiasts think it sacrilegious when a bartender approaches a martini glass with Hershey's syrup. And they are right. The ubiquitous alcoholic mousse is empty calories and ultimately an empty experience. Besides — it's a girlie drink! Wouldn't you feel a little foolish ordering up one of these? I've done it so you don't have to.
The drink above comes from The Olde Stone Mill (Tuckahoe, New York), which has the dubious distinction of starring in Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. Under new management, the bar has expanded its lounge menu to include many dessert drinks — even the venerable Manhattan has raspberry in it. Talk about a nightmare.
It is possible, though, to have your (chocolate) cake and drink it too, without the inanity of sipping on a fermented devil dog. Some time ago, during Restaurant Week on Cape Cod, I ducked into one of my favorite haunts and surreptitiously asked for a chocolate martini. Now mind you, this bar is the one that taught me how to make the true chocolate martini. Once, standing in front of the vodka display in a New York City liquor store, I called the proprietor and asked him for his drink recipe. Chris Wilson graciously walked me through it, step by step. Imagine my surprise, then, when the bartender served me up something that looked like a tootsie roll. My raised eyebrow must have been obvious because the bartender immediately asked me what was wrong. I told her it wasn't what I had expected.
"Oh, you want a Classic Chocolate Martini. I'm so sorry. Most of the people who order the chocolate martini want one of these. I'll make you another drink."