Cocoa Smoke

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Cocktail History

The Cocoa Smoke is a modern cocktail that was created in 2016 by M. Carrie Allan, a spirits and cocktail writer for the Washington Post. The recipe, which came to be during R&D for one of her columns, is made using the stirred format with smoky mezcal as the base spirit, white chocolate liqueur and chocolate for sweetness, and ancho chile pepper for spice.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Mezcal: This is a spirit made in Mexico with agave, sugar, and alcohol that is aged in an underground pit lined with wood. We used Del Maguey Vida Mezcal because it has a palatable mezcal flavor with notes of ginger, cinnamon, and tangerine. For a mocktail version of this drink, try MONDAY Zero Alcohol Mezcal in place of the mezcal.

White Crème De Cacao: This is a liqueur made with cacao, citrus extract, sugar, and alcohol. We used Bols Cacao White Liqueur because it has a delicous white chocolate flavor. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Monin Premium White Chocolate Syrup in place of the white chocolate liqueur.

Ancho Chile Liqueur: This is a liqueur made with ancho chile peppers, spices, sugar, and alcohol. This recipe specifically calls for Ancho Reyes Original Ancho Chile Liqueur. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Monin Spicy Agave Sweetener in place of the ancho chile liqueur.

Chocolate Bitters: This is a food product made with chocolate, botanicals, herbs, and alcohol. We used Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters.

Orange Twist: This is the peel of an orange that has been twisted into a corkscrew shape.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Mixing Glass: This is used to hold the ingredients while they’re being stirred. We used the Viski 17 oz Cocktail Mixing Glass.

Bar Spoon: This is used to stir ingredients. We used the Barfly Stainless Steel Teardrop Bar Spoon.

Julep Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is stirred. We used the A Bar Above Julep Strainer.

Peeler: This is used to remove the garnish peel from the citrus. We used the OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set.

Cocktail Pick: This is used to hold the garnish. We used one from the I-MART Stainless Steel Cocktail Pick Set.

Tasting Notes

The Cocoa Smoke starts with sweet aromas of orange and chocolate along with earthy mezcal followed by a taste that has soft hints of chocolate and agave at first and a deep earthiness on the finish, all of which is complemented with a noticeable spiciness left in the throat.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: Although a little too smoky for Kendall to drink regularly, she gave credit where it’s due and rated this one more highly than she usually would a mezcal recipe because it was somehow still really palatable. Meanwhile, Alex thought the combination of such unique flavors worked really well together; you’ll probably find him drinking this on summer nights when he wants something a little sweet but still serious and seasonal.

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“This dessert-style stirred drink is very delicious, with the trifecta of smoky agave, chocolate, and orange being complemented by the wildcard ancho spice. Most of the drink’s journey is sweet and smoky, two things that go shockingly well together, and the rough edges of mezcal are well-tamed by the other two ingredients. The recipe isn’t inherently spicy at all, but the bit of heat left in the throat is noticeable after you take a swallow, inviting another sip just to experience it again.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“I don’t know that I would’ve come to the conclusion that mezcal would mix well with chocolate and hot pepper, but this recipe made me a believer in the trio. I’m not one to reach for mezcal as it is, but the chocolate liqueur and bitters both mute the smokiness of the agave spirit to the point where someone with a more undeveloped palate like mine gets to just enjoy the flavor without the usual wince and cough that might accompany a mezcal-foward drink. The pepper liqueur also isn’t overly spicy either. I thoroughly enjoyed this cocktail and could see myself asking for it again when I’m feeling bold!”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Mezcal + Tequila Cocktails: Mixed Drinks for the Golden Age of Agave by Robert Simonson.

Sale
Mezcal and Tequila Cocktails: Mixed Drinks for the Golden Age of Agave [A Cocktail Recipe Book]
Mezcal and Tequila Cocktails: Mixed Drinks for the Golden Age of Agave [A Cocktail Recipe Book]
Hardcover Book; Simonson, Robert (Author); English (Publication Language); 176 Pages – 04/06/2021 (Publication Date) – Ten Speed Press (Publisher)
$13.26 Amazon Prime

AuthorMezcal + Tequila Cocktails

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz Mezcal
 ½ oz White Crème De Cacao
 ½ oz Ancho Chile Liqueur
 3 dashes Chocolate Bitters
 1 Orange Twist

Method
1

Add mezcal, white crème de cacao, ancho chile liqueur, chocolate bitters, and cubed ice to a mixing glass.

2

Stir for 30-45 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with orange twist.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz Mezcal
 ½ oz White Crème De Cacao
 ½ oz Ancho Chile Liqueur
 3 dashes Chocolate Bitters
 1 Orange Twist

Directions

Method
1

Add mezcal, white crème de cacao, ancho chile liqueur, chocolate bitters, and cubed ice to a mixing glass.

2

Stir for 30-45 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with orange twist.

Cocoa Smoke

Make It a Mocktail: Use MONDAY Zero Alcohol Mezcal in place of the mezcal, Monin Premium White Chocolate Syrup in place of the white chocolate liqueur, and Monin Spicy Agave Sweetener in place of the ancho chile liqueur to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

Sale
Godinger Champagne Glasses, Champagne Glass Set, Coupes Barware Glasses - Set of 4, 6oz., Dublin Crystal Collection
Godinger Champagne Glasses, Champagne Glass Set, Coupes Barware Glasses – Set of 4, 6oz., Dublin Crystal Collection
Lead Free Crystal. Set of 4; Capacity 6oz. Dimensions 4.25 x 5 x 2.5. Dishwasher Safe
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Waterford Wedgewood'Lismore' Set Of 2 Champagne Saucers
Waterford Wedgewood”Lismore” Set Of 2 Champagne Saucers
Handcrafted full lead crystal stemware; Intricate detailing of Lismore’s signature diamond and wedge cuts
$209.99 Amazon Prime
Sale
OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set - Swivel and Julienne
OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set – Swivel and Julienne
Sharp, durable, Japanese stainless steel blades won’t rust; Straight Peeler all-purpose design for effortless prep
$16.95 Amazon Prime
I-MART Stainless Steel Cocktail Picks Martini Picks Set (Pack of 15)
I-MART Stainless Steel Cocktail Picks Martini Picks Set (Pack of 15)
Measure: 4.25″; Material: stainless steel 304, color: silver; Reusable martini olive skewers, stainless steel olive stuffer.
$6.99 Amazon Prime

More Mezcal Cocktails

If you like this mezcal-based cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

The Marriage of Maguey Cocktail Recipe

The Marriage of Maguey: A mezcal and tequila cocktail made with coffee chocolate liqueur, orange curaçao, and agave syrup

Mezcal Mule Cocktail Recipe

Mezcal Mule: A mezcal cocktail made with ginger wort, lime juice, passion fruit purée, agave syrup, cucumber slices, candied ginger, and Tajín

Sforzando Cocktail Recipe

Sforzando: A rye and mezcal cocktail made with Bénédictine, xocolatl mole bitters, and an orange twist

Old Grampian Cocktail Recipe

Old Grampian: A Scotch cocktail made with honey syrup, Angostura aromatic bitters, orange bitters, and an orange peel

This post contains affiliate links, meaning we make a small commission each time you purchase a product using our links. Product images sourced from Amazon Product Advertising API. Amazon affiliate links last updated on 2024-02-26.

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