Monday, July 18, 2011

Creative Booze: Tim's Chocolate Vodka

Ladies and gentlemen, introducing Tim, the at-least-this-one-time-hopefully-more-often newest contributor to The Trash Salad.  Specializing in cheap and creative booze projects, I think he'll fit in quite well and provide some excellent lifestyle tips to our dear readers. 

Hi.  I'm Tim. 

I'm a friend of Abbey's.  Irrelevantly and specifically, I used to date Abbey's best friend ~5 years ago for ~6 months.  I was a bit of a jerk to her before we broke up.  Sorry!  I'm actively trying to be less of a jerk these days, I hope it shows! (Editor's note: We'll accept this and future guest posts as penance paid).

More relevantly, I fancy myself a bit of a writer, although the finest examples of my writing can be found in my "emails to self" folder.  I'm likely an extremely mediocre writer - I suck at being concise, I avoid commas at all opportunities, I swear unnecessarily and I abuse the fuck out of adverbs and hyphens - I suppose I'll try to be a blogger (Ed: Worked for me!).

Most relevantly, I'm a big fan of The Trash Salad - it resonates strongly with me because it accurately captures the way I cook.  I hate recipes but I love recipe ideas.  I hate grocery lists, so I don't make them - I simply buy whatever looks good to me at the time.  I also don't grocery shop often, because I despise doing it.  As a result I'm faced with a refrigerator that lives in varying states of empty.  I'm currently embarked on a be-less-fat life project, so my challenge is to make delicious, healthy meals from whatever I have lying around.  I manage!  Successfully! (55lbs down in 4 months! Doctor-approved nutrition! </bragging>)

I'm also a bit of a boozebag.  Not as much as I used to be, and not in the bad way, but I enjoy a cocktail or three from time to time.  For the same reason that my refrigerator is often mostly devoid of food, it's also mostly devoid of mixers.  This is part of the reason why I'm such a big fan of scotch - all you need to make a good scotch drink is an ice cube - and most times that's not even necessary - all you need is a glass. Sometimes, even that's not even necessary - all you need is the scotch.  I like that.

I love to play "Invent-a-drink." I try to make the scotch ethos carry over into most other drinks I create.  I jokingly say that I like to make "man-strength girly drinks."  I consider them "girly" drinks because they taste delicious, and I consider them "man" strength because I always aim for a 70+ proof final product.  My drinks are not nearly as sexist as I seem to be in this paragraph, but they are equally enigmatic. 

So I present my latest experiment: Chocolate Vodka.  Being on my stop-being-a-fatass plan, I try to not imbibe anything that's shitty for you.  To clarify: I consider non-alcoholic quantities of vodka good for you.  I also consider non-chocoholic quantities of 90% dark chocolate good for you..  Luckily, with Tim's Chocolate Vodka, you only need a little.  I poured about 750mL of Smirnoff vodka into a 1L flippity top bottle, and finely shaved about 2 tablespoons of really really dark chocolate.  Be sure not to fill the bottle all the way, as this will decrease the effectiveness of the necessary shaking. I put the shavings into the flippity top bottle and flipped the top closed.  I shook the shit out of the bottle every time I remembered for the next few hours and threw it in my liquor cabinet for a week. 

A week later, I had a milky, shit-colored gross-looking brown liquid with visible shavings of chocolate in it.  It was strangely appealing.  I tried it over ice and decided the ice needed to go, so I sent it to the freezer for a night. 

The next night, a Tuesday, my frosty-cold Chocolate Vodka was unveiled to the world, or at least to the five people in my neighbors' apartment.  The reviews were overwhelmingly positive – the result is a delicious, sweet-tooth-satisfying drink that's sipped like a fine scotch.  I also learned that it (unsurprisingly) functions very well as a shot.

In summary: infuse vodka with things other than fruit.  It can be done, since many flavor-molecules are soluble in ethanol. Experiment! Taste! Keep me posted!

Thanks for reading, and double thanks for telling me how great I am or how much I suck.  Both (or anything in between) are equally appreciated.


I'm skeptical, yet whipping up a batch of this tonight in the interest of research.  Feedback forthcoming!

Tim's Chocolate Vodka
Makes ~750mL 
Total time: A few days - 1 week (Active time <5 minutes)

 Shave dark chocolate as fine as you can with a sharp knife or grater - you should have about two tablespoons.  Add to vodka bottle (or a flippity top container), give it an aggressive shaking, and store at room temperature for a few days.  Serve ice-cold, straight-up.

* I want to take a minute to rant about vodka and vodka marketing:  Vodka is simply a chemical - ethanol, mixed with water.  The “goodness” of vodka is determined by the relative lack of impurities.  All vodka above the “plastic bottle grade” is basically the same, and is indistinguishable in blinded taste tests.  When I choose vodka, I choose the cheapest big brand name with industrial-scale manufacturing, because that’s best set up to remove impurities.  If you’re paying $40-$60 for a fancy bottle of vodka, just know that you’re paying for the sandblasted bottle, because the vodka is the same.  I don’t want to hear your “oh I had a worse hangover with cheap vodka” stories, but I certainly do want to hear if you choose to do a blind taste test with some statistical power.  If you had a worse hangover with Svedka than with Grey Goose, that’s because you’re too much of a cheapass to binge drink the good stuff, but are happy to do so with the hooch.  </rant>


  1. Looks good! Just want to add- it's best if you use a bottle that's bigger than the quantity of vodka you are using, so you can get the best ultra-turbulent shaking effect.

    Thanks again Abbey, you're awesome!

  2. "all you need to make a good scotch drink is an ice cube - and most times that's not even necessary - all you need is a glass. Sometimes, even that's not even necessary - all you need is the scotch"