This drink was inspired by the gin Flavor Notes research.

I was interested in combining rosemary, orange, bergamot and tea flavors in a with gin.

The creme de cacoa was a late addition. Just a dash. A counterpoint.

I developed it for a restaurant menu. I was stuck on a name so I let them choose. Of course they picked up on the creme de cacao and called it Sapphire and Chocolate. People kept ordering it expecting a chocolate martini.

It is not a chocolate martini.

It is a rosemary gin cocktail mostly.

With orange and vanilla flavors.

…and a vague half remembered taste of chocolate on the swallow.

It is a nuanced balance of flavors that sit side by side waiting their turn at a solo. The sip comes on with aromas of orange and rosemary that give way to juniper and vanilla and tea. Everything resolves on the chocolate at the finish.

People didn’t order it twice.

Except for one woman who kept coming back for it. And telling her friends about it. She was terribly disappointed when I told her it was off the cocktail list. Then I showed her how it was made. I haven’t seen her since.

I still haven’t settled on a better name. I’m not crazy about naming things.

I find it difficult to settle on names for things that go on menus. Ideally it inspires a blend of curiosity and desire that makes people want to try it. Sapphire and Chocolate was perfect in that sense. It failed as a name because the people who order chocolate martinis want rich chocolaty flavor.

I like song lyrics, literary, geographic or historical references. These kind of names are often too obscure to hold meaning for anyone but the bartender who created them.

Maybe I should just call this drink Disappointment. That is, after all, what it yielded for most people who have tried it.

Anyway, I’m open to suggestions.

Sapphire and Chocolate


  • 1 1/2 oz Bombay Sapphire
  • 1/2 Tuaca or other vanilla liqueur
  • 1 tsp creme de cacao
  • 1 oz chilled Earl Grey tea.
  • Orange bitters
  • Rosemary sprig for garnish.


  1. Rub rosemary on rim of chilled cocktail glass.
  2. Add all ingredients to mixing glass filled with ice.
  3. Stir for 15 -20 seconds until well chilled.
  4. Strain into prepared cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish with rosemary.

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