Review: Thornton’s Chocolate Liqueur
Thornton’s is one high street brand that I must admit to not having paid a great deal of attention to in recent years. This is largely a result of having been lured by the quite simply amazing delicacies created by some of the increasingly well-known boutique chocolatiers. Given that I am unlikely alone in such behaviour, perhaps it is unsurprising that Thornton’s have chosen to diversify with their first alcoholic offering. A blend of chocolate, cream and vodka, this liqueur was created to celebrate Thornton’s 100th anniversary by Master Chocolatier Keith Hurdman.
Neat: Plenty of sweet chocolate with a pleasant warmth from the alcohol that is neither too much, nor too little. It has a good body to it and although the alcohol does offer a spicy note, there is no burn as can often happen in cream liqueurs. The chocolate continues for a reasonable length on the finish and whilst at room temperature it is a little cloying, a few ice cubes result in my glass disappearing somewhat rapidly!
Cream liqueurs are somewhat limited in their mixing on account of the fact that they are not easily/successfully paired with citrus, bitter ingredients, or diluents such as soda or tonic water. They are however, just perfect for creamy libations, and Thornton’s Chocolate Liqueur is no exception. This liqueur is not attempting to be, and nor is it, the most complex and palate-challenging of ingredients but this does not mean it cannot be enjoyed in the right drink. Various combinations of Thornton’s, flavoured vodka and other liqueurs are recommended serves and, although all are a little on the sweet side for my palate, there is certainly something of the guilty pleasure about them. A Thornton’s Chocolatini (see below) was rather tasty, as was a Thornton’s Chocolate Russian (Thornton’s liqueur, milk, sugar and cocao powder). A personal favourite however, was simply adding a healthy slug to hot chocolate; perfect for a cold winters evening.
Signature Cocktail – Thornton’s Chocolatini
30ml Thornton’s Chocolate Liqueur
30ml vanilla schnapps
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with grated chocolate.
Thornton’s Chocolate Liqueur is an easy-drinking and rather moreish spirit that will appeal to many. A ‘serious’ cocktail ingredient it is not, but those who enjoy creamy, chocolatey libations will be rather pleased; and let’s face it, who doesn’t from time to time.