Cocoa Smoke

Solid chocolate – candy bars and the like – is a relatively recent invention; up until the mid-nineteenth century, chocolate was consumed as a spicy beverage, a tradition going all the way back to the Olmec people as long ago as 1900 BC.

The Cocoa Smoke, from The Washington Post Spirits columnist M. Carrie Allan, is the perfect throwback to this ancient tradition. It’s one of our favorite ways to show off Ancho Reyes, a unique liqueur made from ancho chiles, cinnamon, and a bunch of other tasty spices.

A good créme de cacao is the best option here, but you can also substitute a chocolate liqueur like Godiva’s. You can use regular chocolate bitters or a spiced variety, like Fee’s Aztec Chocolate bitters.

We’ve marked the orange twist as a required ingredient, instead of an optional garnish. It’s meant to be expressed over the drink and then rubbed around the edge of the glass; without these touches, the recipe definitely feels like it’s missing something.

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Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist the orange peel over the drink and drop it in as a garnish.

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