Don’t think this martini is going to be syrupy-sweet! It’s off-dry — intensely flavorful, luscious, and only sweet enough to be impossibly decadent.
The dark chocolate cayenne-spiked rim brings a touch of spicy heat, making you want to take each sip from a new spot on the rim (at least that’s what my husband, Marc, does eagerly every time I hand him one of these!) — and the ginger liqueur and lemon bitters make this cocktail taste as exotic as it looks.
To complete the experience, serve them with these chocolate madeleines. They too are sweetened with restraint, so the pair could even be served before dinner.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler over gently simmering water, stirring constantly until smooth. Add cayenne and stir until well incorporated. Pour chocolate on a flat surface (the back of a plate or baking tray works well) and spread into an 8-inch circle, about a 1/8-inch thick. Let chocolate cool for 5 minutes, so that it is warm, but not hot. Press the rim of martini glass into the warm chocolate. Place glass in the freezer until set, about 10 minutes.
Cook’s note: When pressing the glass into the warm chocolate, tip and rotate the rim so as not to create a suction-cup effect. This recipe makes enough melted chocolate for two dozen chocolate-rimmed glasses. The glasses can be prepared and kept in the freezer of refrigerator up to 12 hours ahead.
Shake vodka, liqueurs, and bitters with large ice cubes until shaker is frosted, and strain into the chocolate-rimmed chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with twist of lemon and serve immediately.