Drink of The Week: Chocolate Cake

Letherman’s Chocolate Cake

by Troy Letherman

“Let them eat cake!” Or so we’re told Marie Antoinette exclaimed, having been informed the French peasantry had no bread. They fired up a revolution instead, cut off a few heads and apparently stuck with the brioche.

I, on the other hand, have no famine to worry about, just a holiday season filled with family, friends and way too much free time. As with most of America, particularly those of us who live in places frozen over for six months each year, I plan to cope in the traditional manner—by using liquor as a substitute for oxygen.


The holiday bender—as time-honored a custom as red suits, white beards and talking reindeer—takes some planning. There is the array of season-inspired drinks to choose from, of course, but caution is the name of the game here: Basically everywhere you go someone will shove a Christmas cocktail at you, and to avoid saturation, you’ll want to keep other options at hand. Likewise, beer, wine and your favorite whiskeys may be the preferred staples of the Yuletide get-together, but there will be occasion to liven things up with a blitz of shooters. In this case, aiming for wider participation, you’ll want to favor an easy-to-drink taste rather than dive directly into the absinthe or tequila. Like Queen Marie, I suggest cake.

Chocolate Cake

½-ounce Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur

½-ounce Stoli Vanil vanilla-flavored vodka

Lemon, sliced to serve


Frost the rim of an old-fashioned glass with sugar and lemon juice. Add the vanilla vodka and the Frangelico hazelnut liqueur (pre-mixed in a shaker preferably). Lick the sugar rim, shoot the drink and follow with a bite of lemon.

The result is a taste that’s astoundingly close to a bite of rich, German-chocolate cake. Knock a few back to get the party going, and keep your neck out of the guillotine this holiday season.

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