Mast chocolate and Rivington Grill have teamed up to create a series of cocoa-licious cocktails and intoxicating tipsy truffles.
While the mere idea of chocolate cocktails may conjure childlike dreams of spirituous milkshakes, the reality of the sophistication of the menu is a refreshing surprise. Kicking things off with a Chocolate Gin & Tonic, it was clear that this was not the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory like experience I had imagined, but more Johnny Depp in Chocolat — dark, velvety finesse.
The cocktail list continued this theme and refused to disappoint even the most sceptical members of our table. As every new beverage appeared, dubious expressions turned to delight as we worked through the Hipster X, Dark Lady and Champurrado concoctions, each with a subtle chocolatey personality.
The Manhattan to Brooklyn was a personal favourite, highlighting the transatlantic combination of Shoreditch based Rivington and the New York connoisseurs Mast, who only touched down on British soil last February. But Bar Manager Francesco Lombardi’s favoured choice, the Bitter-Sweet Negroni, is an equal companion, a classically Italian favourite with a twist — unsurprisingly the Campari is chocolate infused.
While the cocoa nibs imbedded in each spirit were distinctive, the cocktails themselves are exact and refined, a perfect way to either start or round off an evening. The tipsy truffles were an added bonus and the perfect complement to the drinks. Using Mast’s Dominican Republic chocolate, each was then combined with the gin-centric flavours of juniper, orange or cinnamon.
Leaving Rivington Grill I was left marvelling at the tact of the collaboration – neither drinks nor nibbles were obvious, but instead each an understated interpretation of fine spirits and handmade chocolate. I will be dreaming of cocoa beans for months, and will be fighting to keep myself away from the superb cocktail list.