With all sincerity, I honestly believe it would require a serious baker to concoct a genuine-tasting premium Red Velvet Cake cocktail.
The idea for a top-shelf Red Velvet Cake Martini Cocktail struck me as a fabulous concept this past holiday season. By mid-January, I had a lock on the ingredients for a vodka martini recipe based on my favorite liqueurs. At the time, I had just discovered my new favorite liqueur, Faretti Biscotti Famosi Liqueur di Italia, at one of my favorite shops in Carmel, Indiana, Vine & Table. (Yes indeed, my friends, you heard right…a biscotti liqueur!) The Faretti Biscotti Liqueur is wonderful for sipping and I love it as much as I do Frangelico®. The luscious flavor notes that danced on my taste buds were anise, caramel, citrus, nuts and vanilla. Love! Honestly, any good baker would swoon over this fantastic liqueur. And, because I am such a stickler in avoiding all of the artificially flavored vodkas found in other Red Velvet Cake cocktail recipes, I just knew I found the perfect main component for my Red Velvet Cake Martini Cocktail—a liqueur that would fulfill the need for the taste of a baked cookie or cake. I was elated!
Faretti Biscotti Liqueur lived up to my expectations to the point of actually surpassing them. That is saying a lot because I am a very tough customer with a demanding palate and, this time, I knew exactly what I was looking for. If you cannot locate Faretti Biscotti Famosi Liqueur di Italia, I encourage you to special order it. In a pinch, you can substitute Frangelico® Hazelnut Liqueur in this recipe for its smooth-caramel and vanilla-nuttiness. However, I would not recommend substituting with Tuaca®, a citrus-vanilla liqueur, as it did not pass my taste bud test (tasted exceedingly artificial) and, in my humble opinion, is far inferior to my favorite biscotti liqueur by Faretti.
Next, my challenge (which, incidentally, I never quite imagined it would be) was to find my favorite crème de cacao locally. I must say, Vine & Table surprised me as I had expected them to have Marie Brizard® White Cacao Liqueur (Crème de Cacao), made in France (since 1755!), in stock. As far as I am concerned, MB is the crème de la crème in the crème de cacao department. The smooth and deep lingering flavor notes of cocoa and vanilla are simply divine. Just conduct your own side-by-side taste test and you will experience crème de cacao nirvana.
Alas, Vine & Table was currently sold out and were having trouble restocking it. And, due to the law here in Indiana, ordering online was impossible for me. Ugh. What’s a girl to do? A few quick phone calls to the distributor by The Big Lug helped. And, as luck would have it, a local sales associate came shining through and The Big Lug came home with the goods. Although it took a few weeks searching and several days for my order to arrive (thus, the delay in getting this post completed), I am thrilled to post the recipe for my Red Velvet Cake Martini Cocktail in the nick of time for Valentine’s Day!
If you are unable to locate Marie Brizard® White Cacao Liqueur, you may certainly substitute another brand of crème de cocoa, such as the widely available DeKuyper® brand. However, I highly recommend and strongly encourage you to discover Marie Brizard® White Cacao Liqueur. You will fall in love.
My recipe also includes a unique liqueur, Grand Marnier® Natural Cherry Liqueur—a special edition. You may have to hunt this one down. However, if you cannot find it locally, or it is unavailable online by your favorite supplier, you can always substitute with another cherry liqueur. I must share this with you, however…I am completely enamored with Grand Marnier® Natural Cherry Liqueur! Honestly, since I am absolutely mad about cherries, I love it just as much as the Orange Cognac by Grand Marnier®. My hope and prayer is that Grand Marnier® will make it a year ‘round spirit and not strictly reserve the availability exclusively during the holidays. I was grateful we could add a bottle to our stash for occasional adult beverages and especially for pastry/dessert making. Yes.
Since our recipe for Red Velvet Cake Martini Cocktail is not a true martini but a vodka martini, I knew immediately what my choice would be in vodka. I went with SKYY® Vodka because they followed me back at Twitter. (Ha! Just kidding!) However, I thought, why not try SKYY®? The selection of SKYY® Vodka proved to be ideal for this concoction of mine as it was crisp yet smooth and didn’t overpower the cocktail. And, it provided nice warmth. I am by no means an expert on vodka, but I really enjoyed SKYY® Vodka and will definitely purchase it again without hesitation and highly recommend it. SKYY® truly is premium vodka and I adore the snazzy cobalt blue bottle!
As for the red coloring for our cocktail, I like to keep it natural with the addition of the Grand Marnier® Natural Cherry Liqueur. However, if you want to go for the deeper red color, not unlike adding a whole bottle of red food coloring to red velvet cake batter, feel free to add the optional grenadine syrup. There are natural grenadine syrups on the market. However, none of them come close to the deep ruby-red color that Rose’s® Grenadine Syrup provides. If you don’t mind artificial coloring, and the addition of the pomegranate flavor notes, I say go for it.
Lastly, for the “icing on the cake”, I would need something special (read: creamy and sweet) for the rim garnish. After all, what would a Red Velvet Cake Martini Cocktail be without the flavors of traditional creamy red velvet cake frosting? Definitely not a very good red velvet cake cocktail, that’s for sure! Immediately Godiva® White Chocolate Liqueur came to mind. Of course, you could certainly use RumChata® as well if it is your favorite. As I mentioned, I try my best to avoid artificial flavorings. And, I am still uncertain of the ingredients in Godiva® White Chocolate Liqueur. However, RumChata® does state right on their bottles that they incorporate both natural and artificial flavorings. Therefore, I call for Godiva® in my recipe until I do more research.
As for the additional rim garnish ingredients, I decided to go with organic granulated cane sugar (you could use regular granulated sugar, of course) and a whisper of unsweetened cocoa powder. Truly divine! For the cocoa powder, I use my favorite–Pernigotti® available at Williams-Sonoma stores. If, however, you’d rather have the look of a white rim to match red velvet cake frosting, you may certainly omit the cocoa powder and just use granulated sugar. I tested the cocktail both ways and I preferred the addition of the cocoa because it truly made our premium cocktail taste just like genuine red velvet cake. But, decide for yourself which you prefer.
What makes our Red Velvet Cake Martini Cocktail wicked good? We cover all the bases. You’ve got your “red” with the Grand Marnier® Natural Cherry Liqueur (as well as the optional grenadine), your “velvet” with both the Godiva® White Chocolate Liqueur (or RumChata®) and Marie Brizard® White Cacao Liqueur and your “cake” with the Faretti Biscotti Famosi Liqueur di Italia (or Frangelico® Hazelnut Liqueur) as well as a rim garnish for the “icing on the cake” to send you soaring “over the moon” with this unique cocktail. In our recipe, we use all premium and fine-quality ingredients (striving for only all-natural flavorings) to achieve an authentic Red Velvet Cake flavor profile for our exquisite cocktail beverage. Here at Wicked Good Kitchen, we are very confident that you simply will not find a better recipe than ours!
- For the Rim Garnish
- 4 tablespoons organic granulated cane sugar (or granulated sugar)
- 1 teaspoon premium unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Pernigotti®
- ½ ounce Godiva® White Chocolate Liqueur (or RumChata®)
- For the Red Velvet Cake Martini
- Ice for cocktail shaker
- 1½ ounces Faretti Biscotti Famosi Liqueur di Italia (or Frangelico® Hazelnut Liqueur)
- 1 ounces Marie Brizard® White Cacao Liqueur (Crème de Cacao)
- 1 ounce SKYY® Vodka
- 1 ounce Grand Marnier® Natural Cherry Liqueur
- 1½ teaspoons grenadine syrup, such as Rose’s®, optional
- Special Equipment
- Cocktail shaker with strainer
- Chilled martini glass
- Rimmed shallow plates for rim garnish
Pernigotti® Cocoa is available at Williams-Sonoma stores.