Cacao Bomb Cocktail
Since making this drink, we have developed a small obsession with cacao juice. It’s made from the fruit of the tropical Theobroma cacao (aka the chocolate tree). Theobromas make giant, football shaped pods full of white pulp — the juice and fruit that swaddles the cacao beans.
The juice is pulpy and has the most surprising flavor. It’s bright and acidic, quite sweet, and a little floral. Imagine drinking an elixir of limes, Japanese plums and lychee fruit. That’s cacao juice.
It’s a bit much by itself, but it makes a fantastic drink base. In this case, lemon juice brings out the cacao juice’s natural acidity, and vanilla simple syrup and a splash of bitters give it more low notes and herbal complexity. And then, of course, there’s booze: We use Hendrick’s gin because it’s nice and dry and full of roses and elderflower. We want to taste more of the cacao’s floral side.
It all comes together beautifully! This is a light, refreshing summer drink. One of our tasters said that it reminded them of a boozy Orange Julius on first sip. It’s definitely one you’ll want to make for the geeky mixologists in your life. Cacao juice is still a relative newcomer on the cocktail scene, so you can have the satisfaction of sharing a fascinating new thing.
For the vanilla simple syrup:
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
1 whole vanilla bean
For the cocktail:
1 ½ oz gin
1 ½ oz cacao juice
½ oz lemon juice
¼ oz vanilla simple syrup
1 to 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Lemon peel, for garnish
To make the simple syrup: Combine the sugar, water, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved. Allow the mixture to cool completely.
To make the cocktail: Combine all of the ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a rocks glass with lots of ice.
Garnish with a twist of lemon rind and enjoy.
Recipe source: Repurposed Pod