When I was penning The Big Book of Martinis for Moms -- because that's how one writes a book; one pens them ever so eloquently; one doesn't thrash at one's laptop until the "c" key gets permanently stuck or try to organize one's writer-blocked thoughts by haphazardly slapping a bajillion Post-Its on the wall like a mental patient -- I had an idea for a chocolate-cherry cocktail.
If you've readskimmed why haven't you bought this book yet please buy this seen the book, you know that the cocktail recipes therein each correspond to a particular feat of motherhood that deserves a potent, potable reward. So like babyproofing the house is an accomplishment that calls for a Rusty Nail, while helping with homework earns Mom a Brainstorm. The chocolate-cherry cocktail, I thought, would be a mother's just desserts on those blessed afternoons or evenings when she gets to do nothing at all, fluffy-slippered feet resting atop the coffee table. In other words, like drinking a bonbon.
Unfortunately, I knew that actually inventing said cocktail would not be so easy-breezy. Chocolate and cherry are two very forceful flavors. I find that sometimes when I try to combine two big, bold tastes like that, I wind up with a flavor profile that's somehow less than, or even worse than, the sum of its parts. It can taste entirely like one flavor and none like the other, or two two can meld into something downright blech-y.
Anyway, one way I snuck around those problems was by relying on cranberry juice, which provided a lovely hue (seriously, cranberry juice really does pretty up a drink) as well as an easygoing companion, palate-wise, to my white creme de cacao.
The Bonne Bonne (which I've given a French feminine spelling) wound up not making it into the book. Quel mal-mal for the book but goody for us!
The Bonne Bonne
1 1/4 ounces vodka
3/4 ounce white creme de cacao
2 ounces cranberry juice cocktail
2 dashes chocolate bitters
Combine all four ingredients into an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for about 20 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail or martini glass.
I didn't have any Three Olives Cherry vodka on hand while testing out this recipe, but I'd bet it's an ever better ingredient to use in this instance that straight-up vodka.
An even bigger cheat: You can make a drink with equal parts chocolate vodka and cranberry juice. Not bad at all. (Ghetto Bonne Bonne, anyone?)