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Cocoa Old-Fashioned and a Good Book

I love to read.  I love the smell of  the library and book stores.  When the boys were little and I could get a sitter for a few hours, sometimes I would go to the library to hang out and read and relax.  I was one of those people who had their library card number memorized.  Then came the kindle, and my boys gave me one for my birthday.  I was reluctant with my new gift because it would take away those trips to the bookstore and the library, but they were SO excited that they found me the perfect gift, so I reluctantly logged onto to Amazon and started buying books.  Needless to say I fell for a new love, how freaking easy to get my book in seconds, not to mention not having to pack all those books for vacations.  Then last Christmas Jim upgraded me to the Kindle Fire then it was all over. I hadn’t looked back, I was totally smitten.  That was until some  friends gave me books as gifts.  I opened my mailbox last week to a brown paper wrapped package filled with books that my friend Leslie says is “to save you from yourself during the holiday rush”.  She was referring to my confession of reading zombie books in my post Oct. 20th during the Halloween holiday.:)   So, I am enjoying having the feel of book in my hands again and dare I say, yes, I have sniffed them.  There is nothing better than the smell of a book…. well, except cookies baking. 🙂  So thank you dear Leslie for you very thoughtful gift!

So, with my books in hand I wanted to come up with a cocktail that symbolized the holidays sitting by the fire reading a good book.  My thoughts went to a hot cup of coca…..

So why not a cocoa Old Fashioned!  I just couldn’t figure out how to incorporate the marshmallows????


  • 2.5 oz Cocoa Nib Infused Rye Whiskey (directions below)
  • .5 oz Demerara syrup (directions below)
  • 1 Brandied cherry (directions below)
  • 1 Orange slice
  • 3 dashes of Chocolate Bitters


Cocoa Infused Whiskey:

I took 1/2 cup of raw cocoa nibs and added it to 2 cups of Whiskey, added 1″ piece of vanilla bean sliced open in a Mason jar and let it sit for 3 days to 3 weeks.  Strain through a mesh sleeve removing cocoa and vanilla.  Drink and enjoy

Demerara Syrup:

1/2 cup of Natural Cane Turbinado Sugar and 1/2 cup of water.   Add water and sugar to a small saucepan bring to a boil, stir until sugar dissolves and remove from heat.

Brandied Cherries: Note this would be a great gift for the mixologist on your list

6 ounce jar of Maraschino cherries, drain liquid and add brandy.  Let sit for a few days before using.

Now for the beverage:

In an old fashioned glass muddle together 1 half wheel of orange, 1 brandied cherry, .5 oz demerara syrup, and 3 dashes Chocolate bitters.

Fill glass with ice, add 2.5 oz  Cocoa Whiskey, lightly stir and serve.

Muddling is a bartending/mixology term for crushing fruits or herbs to release their full flavour into a cocktail ­ in the same way a chef would use a pestle and mortar to prepare food ingredients. A muddler is not dissimilar to a rolling pin in that it has a flat end and is usually made of wood. Only use the muddling technique is the base of a shaker or sturdy glass ­ pushing down with a slight twist.

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3 comments on “Cocoa Old-Fashioned and a Good Book”

  1. Avatar photo
    Sarah | Shine Food

    The beginning of your post reminded me of trips to the library and cracking a book open that had long been closed…you know that wonderful smell? Then I got to the cocoa-infused old fashioned and let’s just say I was a goner. Books and cocktails–two of my favorite things!

    We’re celebrating holiday recipes this month on the Shine Supper Club. A recipe like this would be a great contribution. I hope you’ll join us!

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