If you're experimenting with chocolate and booze, think about how opposites attract. What you want is not sweet-on-sweet, but sweet-on-something-else, something that complements and complicates the chocolate: a note of herbs or fruit or spice, something bitter or tart or even salty. We should be using chocolate in drinks, but in a way that takes it beyond the cloying froth it too often settles at. For Valentine's Day, chocolate deserves the spice of rye, the smoke of mezcal, the strange botanical kiss of gin and the bitter-sweet embrace of amaro, a word that is so close to "amore." It deserves to be sipped by dewy, wanting, hungrily parted lips... Stop me. I've seen too many chocolate commercials.
The Chocantonic (Serves 1)
Chocolate and gin is a pairing that could be quite vile, but here the two are drawn together by Earl Grey tea (which is flavoured with bergamot, a citrus fruit) and a splash of orange juice. The combination makes for a surprising and tasty high ball.
Any Chocolate Liqueur will work here. We used Fever Tree tonic.
MAKE AHEAD: The tea can be brewed in advance.
30ml chocolate liqueur
30ml Old Tom gin
30ml brewed, cooled Earl Grey tea
15ml ounce fresh orange juice
Fill a highball or Collins glass with ice.
Stir together the liqueur, gin, tea and orange juice in a mixing glass.
Pour it over the ice, then top with tonic water.
Give a gentle stir before serving.