Cocktail of the week: Jack Adair Bevan’s amaro hot chocolate – recipe
This is a hot chocolate inspired by Sicily. If you haven’t tried amaro before, imagine a flavour profile featuring the spices you find in hot cross buns, making it a perfect Easter warmer. These notes are combined with a little sweetness and bitterness, from which the drink receives its name (amaro means “bitter”). Sicily’s most famous amaro is Averna, and it’s the natural choice for today’s recipe, especially because it has a leading chocolate note along with liquorice, cinnamon and bitter orange. I’ve added some bay leaves to the mix, too, because I love the sweet aroma they bring to all sorts.
Amaro hot chocolate
450ml whole milk
50g 70% cocoa dark chocolate, grated
50g milk chocolate, grated
2 bay leaves
75ml single cream
50ml amaro – I use Averna, but you could try a UK alternative such as Asterly Bros’ Dispense
Flaky sea salt, to finish (optional) – a smoked one works well here, too (I use Halen Môn)
Gently warm 200ml milk in a pan on a medium heat. Add all the chocolate and the bay leaves, and stir until the chocolate melts into the milk. Whisk in the remaining milk and the cream.
Once the hot chocolate is piping hot, but before it begins to simmer, stir in the amaro, then pour the mix into two mugs. I like to finish with a little pinch of salt on top.
Jack Adair Bevan, author of A Spirited Guide to Vermouth (£16.99, Headline Home)