Tender Tennessee Christmas Martini at Chop House

An Ongoing Tour of Local Cocktails

Tender Tennessee Christmas Martini

Chop House, Franklin Square

9700 Kingston Pike, 531-2467

thechophouse.com

Created by Coby Leach

Ingredients:

Whisper Creek Tennessee Sipping Cream

Stoli Vanil vodka

Patron XO Café Dark

Hershey's milk-chocolate shavings

What makes it special?

If you find yourself enraptured at the thought of a chocolate truffle with a dark, glossy shell that hides a center of creamy, lickable milk chocolate, then you'll understand the seduction of this cocktail. Despite the safely traditional name, this smooth tipple flirts and seduces with nearly sinful decadence. It's smooth and sweet, not sticky and cloying, so it's imminently drinkable. But it goes down so easily that you may find yourself unconsciously swigging.

Each of the well-chosen components adds a layer of flavor that gives this glorified chocolate martini interest and depth. Coffee, toffee, nutmeg, vanilla, Dutch-process cocoa, and even those little gold-wrapped German chocolates called Albert's Ice Cubes haunt this drink like the ghosts of pleasant candy-filled stockings from Christmas past.

It's a simple presentation; there are no sticky swirlings of chocolate syrup or messy coca dusted rims—it's simply garnished with a sprinkle of milk-chocolate shavings that dissolve slowly in the drink or almost instantly on the tongue. Watching them float about the surface of the drink invites comfortable reflection of happy golden days of yore—perhaps that's what inspired the name.