Cocktails with… Curios Spirit Company’s Cocoa Nib Vodka

When some people think of a flavoured vodka, they turn up their noses, haunted by bad memories of overly-sweetened spirits flavoured with essences such as “Cookies ‘n’ Cream” or “Cinnamon Bun”. Thankfully, there are distillers across the world who are changing things with the introduction of botanically flavoured vodkas, i.e. those where flavours are introduced via distillation instead of compounding, in a method similar to that used to produce gin.

Curio Peruvian Cocoa Gin Botanical Vodka

Today’s spirit is an example of just such a botanical vodka. Curio Cocoa Nib Vodka is made by infusing vodka with Peruvian cocoa nibs; this mix is then distilled to capture the cocoa flavour. The result is a dry and genuine flavour. The spirit, which is bottled at 40% ABV, is produced by Curio Spirits Company at their distillery in Mullion, Cornwall. They also make a rather tasty Rock Samphire Gin.

On its own
Nose: Dry, dusky chocolate that reminds me of pure, powdered cocoa. There is then some light nuttiness and a little zest.
Taste: The fuller character of the cocoa is revealed on the palate: it has an indulgent and silky texture; quite creamy, but with a distinctive, deep chocolate note that is followed by a touch of warmth and a richness on the finish. Clean and smooth, this has evident potential for both drinking neat and mixing.

This has a fantastic, thick and luxurious texture. The complex cocoa notes follow, with a mix of dark bean, creamy vanilla, and a buttery oiliness. The finish is lovely and creamy. Served from the freezer, this really captures the character of cocoa.

Vodka Tonic
This drink works well with a hearty tonic such as Schweppes, but really shines through with something like Fever-Tree, making a long, refreshing drink that is interwoven with nutty cocoa bean notes. The recommended lime garnish complements these chocolatey flavours well.

This makes a full-bodied and silky Martini that is chocolatey, but nonetheless dry enough to be served as a pre-dinner drink.

Curio Cocoa Nib Vodka - Chocolate Soda Float

Chocolate Soda Float
[Combine 25ml Cocoa Vodka, 75ml Chilled Soda/Sparkling Water – Add a Scoop of Ice-cream (we used Cornish Clotted Cream Ice-cream]
A fresh and dry drink that gradually sweetens as the ice-cream melts. The combination of vodka and soda gives the drink crispness, whilst the ice-cream adds balance. For a sweeter version, you could easily add a splash of chocolate sauce or use cola instead of soda.

In Conclusion
Curio Spirits’ Cocoa Nib Vodka captures the delicious and authentic flavour of cocoa nibs and the dry style makes it both very pleasant to sip neat and a versatile mixing ingredient. Although I really enjoyed the Soda Float, this was just pipped to the post by sipping the vodka straight from the freezer.

Curio Cacao Nib Vodka is avaialble for around £24 for 70cl from Master of Malt.

This entry was posted in Product Reviews and tagged , , , , by DTS. Bookmark the permalink.

About DTS

partial to a martini? to a smoke-hazed gin joint & a perfect tipple poured with the style, swank & skill of a true aficionado? …then pull up your stool to the bar, prepare to stock up your cocktail cabinet & get ready to drink it all in as we introduce you to a stitch in times’ resident barman… David T. Smith is a drinks enthusiast currently residing in the U.K. a long-time fan of tasting & exploring various types of alcohol, he has a fascination for vintage spirits and cocktails, in particular their heritage & origins; this was strengthened last year when he presented a talk and accompanying monograph on the Martini. it was as a result of his research of this topic that he was introduced to drinks paraphernalia, & he is now the happy owner of a colourful collection of bottles, books, and gadgets from a wide range of eras… an avid believer in the validity and variety of personal opinion, particularly in the subjective area of tasting, he enjoys hosting tasting sessions for friends, constantly challenging them to find their own favourite tipple. in addition to all of this, he is also interested in economics, three-piece suits, board games & keeping alive the art of engaging in enjoyable conversation with a good glass of port whilst surrounded by pipe smoke… Thanks to Analiebe for writing this rather flattering blurb for me.

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