A few years ago, I attended a Christmas in July party at a well-known–yet hidden–wine bar in Scottsdale, called Kazimierz, and while we won’t get into much further detail, there were some unique cocktails I tried that night that I haven’t forgotten (well. Most of them). One of the bartenders, a friend of mine named Rich, is a little…er, obsessed with Chartreuse, and trust me, I get the appeal. It’s a little sweet, a little herbal, and has a storied history with a mysterious recipe. What’s not to like?
Today, I was made aware of the fact that today is National Whipped Cream Day. Since there was no way in hell I was about to don a whipped cream bikini, I decided to celebrate with the next best thing: A cocktail topped with whipped cream. I hopped over to Crudo (one of my favorite places to get a cocktail in Phoenix, if you haven’t noticed), to see if we could come up with something, since it would be just PERFECT for an Instagram post, right?
After groaning through a selection of recipes for scary, frothy cocktails (no, take that whipped cream vodka AWAY from me, thank you), I remembered one of Rich’s favorite cocktails: The infamous Chartreuse hot chocolate, made with rich dark chocolate, a bit of green Chartreuse, and a healthy dose of whipped cream. After sorting through a couple recipes, Brenon, one of the bartenders at Crudo, got to work, making the hot chocolate, figuring out how to mix the ingredients together, and making a whipped cream that would work well with a hot cocktail. I know, it sounds WEIRD, but I assure you, it’s delicious–the herbal nature of the Chartreuse pairs beautifully with the rich, earthy qualities of the hot chocolate. Top it with a little whipped cream, and you have the perfect treat for a chilly winter night–it’ll warm you up in more ways than one!
Here’s the recipe we went with, inspired by Fine Cooking–and trust me, it’s EASY. You can make this at home (and possibly enjoy too many, but that’s not my fault!):