It’s Friday, and this post is running at 5:30 p.m. in my time zone, so feel free to use the excuse “it’s happy hour somewhere.” Screw Valentine’s Day, seriously, let’s get drunk on chocolate, poodles.
Way back in the day, before smartphones or Twitters or Google, Auntie Selena used to tend bar. The bar I tended was a tiny, dirty, hole in the wall with a 3D topless mermaid sculpture on the wall, among the neon ads for domestic beer and the Heineken mirrors. It was a magical, wonderful place. Solid wood bar, colorful regulars, and the best jukebox in my city took this bar from being merely a dive to the place where a good part of the Selena you know today was formed.
Becoming a bartender is easier than you might think. In my case, I paid $20 to excise for a license and bought a copy of The Bartender’s Bible, which got me my gig at $5/hour + tips. As a 22-year-old lady college student in a neighborhood bar, tips aren’t so hard to bring in, so I was living pretty large, relatively speaking.
Every Friday night, a group of delightful ladies from a now-defunct bank’s corporate office would come in, and they fast became my favorite customers. One Valentine’s Day, the ladies wanted to get drunk on chocolate and play all the Johnny Cash in the jukebox (named Molly) until closing time. That night, we invented some drinks, we sassed up some old recipes, and we created chocolate magic. These are some (sadly, some recipes will go with me to the grave, for oath reasons) of our favorites from that night.
The Pop Your Cherry Cordial (shot)
Pour half a shot of cherry brandy into the bottom of a decent sized shot glass. Add half a shot of Creme de Cacao, or any fancy chocolate liqueur. Pro tip: The airplane sized Godiva liquors you can get at the cash register of the liquor store are great for this. Top off with a shot and a half of Irish cream, poured over the back of a metal spoon, so it floats on top of the chocolate/cherry blend. If you’re feeling fancy, swoosh on a swirl of whipped cream.
The Thick or Thin Mint (shot)
This is going to take some old lady liqueur, namely, Creme de Menthe. Use the leftovers to make Grasshoppers, the frou frou drink your grandma loved. Start with a scant half shot of Creme de Menthe. You can use a peppermint schnapps, but CdM gives a better flavor, as long as you don’t overdo. Top that with a chocolate liqueur and swish to mix. Add half a shot of whole milk, half and half, or heavy cream, whatever you’ve got, and swish again. Top with Irish cream, whipped cream, and crumbled Thin Mints, or that cheap Keebler knock off.
The Chocolate Martini (cocktail)
First, we need to establish that martinis do not, under any circumstances, have vodka in them. [Amen. ~PoM] Martinis are made of ice cold gin, a tiny whisper of Vermouth, and a garnish. The current version of the chocolate martini is wrong, and you shouldn’t drink it. What you should drink instead is a real martini, with three chocolate-covered espresso beans as garnish. You’re welcome.
The “I Wanna Get Drunk On A Milkshake”
(for Karen, from the bank)
Start with a really good vanilla ice cream. Put 2.5 scoops in a blender. Top with one full shot each of Galliano (vanilla liqueur), Amaretto (almond liqueur), and Kahlua (coffee liqueur). You want it thick. If it’s a little soft, pop it in the freezer until it’s set up, or add more ice cream. Blend. Layer in a beer stein with hot fudge. Top with whipped cream and crumbled chocolate cookies or other tasty thing you’ve got on hand. Serve with a big spoon and a straw.
The Alternative to Jello Shots
Layer ice cream sandwiches in a square baking dish. Spread with softened mocha ice cream. Pour a bottle of Irish cream over it. Freeze. Serve with whipped cream at a screening of your favorite movies about women’s friendships, like Beaches, Imitation of Life, or Bring it On.