Arctic Cordillera Cocktail

December 19, 2017

♫ On the 19th day of Decembeerrr … I proudly bring to youuu … An Arctic mountain range to drink your way through! ♪

Arctic Cordillera Cocktail

Although I’ve never been lucky enough to visit myself, magnificent photographs of the Arctic Cordillera (and other similarly gorgeous snowy vistas) fill my Facebook feed at this time of year. There’s something so serene and beautiful about great sedimentary rocks and ice caps erupting from flowing valleys of snow.

Photograph found here.

So what I’ve attempted to reproduce in this festive, winter drink is both the majesty of a mountain range, the textured deep colours from blacks, dark to white, and the delicious flavours of boozy hot chocolate enjoyed on winter skiing holidays. Serve this as a rich alternative to dessert, to be eaten with a spoon – or as an evening tipple to warm up by the fire with.

See below the ‘quick’ recipe, or keep reading for more details!

Arctic Cordillera Cocktail

An at-a-glance version of this full recipe which combines deep colours, majesty snowy peaks, with boozy chocolate flavours.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 Drink


  • 150 g Dark Chocolate Lindt 70% has a great colour and smooth texture
  • 120 ml Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
  • 120 ml Baileys Irish Cream
  • 150 ml Double Cream Whipped till it holds its shape


  1. Prepare the chocolate shard garnish. Break some of the chocolate few rough shards. With a further 75g, melt down in a small ramekin. With a dollop on the side of your glass, press the chocolate shards until the chocolate solidifies and they hold their place.

  2. With the remaining melted chocolate, mix 20ml of Kahlua thoroughly. This will form the base of the layered cocktail.

  3. For the next layer, top with 100ml of Kahlua making sure to pour gently over a spoon to disperse the liquid and keep the bottom two layers separate.

  4. The third layer is Baileys. Again pour gently over a spoon as if preparing a B-52 Cocktail so the layers remain separate.

  5. For the final layer, whisk 150ml of double cream with a splash of 20ml of Baileys thoroughly until the whipped cream holds its shape solid. Carefully spoon the whipped cream on top of the drink to create several whipped cream 'peaks'.

  6. Top with the remainder of the dark chocolate, finely grated.

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This cocktail should be served at room temperature, however chilling the glass first is recommended as the ‘chocolate shards’ garnish will set quicker.

 For a more in-depth, thorough version of the above recipe (or lets be honest you’re still here for the bad jokes and GIFs), keep reading.


Step 1 –

Ignore the above measurements because you’re going to want extra chocolate to nibble on and maybe a swig of Baileys because this one takes a bit longer than all the other recipes I’ve come up with so far. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to go. Start breaking down chocolate chunks to melt them.

Step 2 –

Apply a small blob of melted chocolate to the edge of your glass.


This is where chilling the glass in advance comes in handy because you then want to press your ‘chocolate shards’ against your blobs (wow I use technical terms!) till they set in place. See below.

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Step 3 –

You’ll have a little melted chocolate left. No – don’t eat it!

Mix a splash – or about 20ml of Kahlua – into the chocolate. This’ll make your base of the drink. A less visible layer than the other ones, but a welcome delight when drinkers reach this far.

Step 4 –

Layer your drinks! This part is way, way easier than expected. Probably easier than most bartenders want you to believe. I’ve done 100ml of Kahlua then 100ml of Baileys in that order. You can play around with those quantities quite a little, depending on the size of your glass.

In order to achieve that sharp layered effect, you need to pour over an upside down spoon quite close to the drink. This drink isn’t half as impressive as a B-52, which layers Kahlua and Baileys with a third (usually Orange Cognac), but the theory is exactly the same! We pour over a spoon so the alcohol isn’t hitting the layer below it with too much force, and this way spreads out the surface area. They should settle very nicely.

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 Step 5 –

Put 150ml of double cream, and a splash of Baileys into a bowl. We’re going to whip it. Its really important to whip the cream to the rhythm of the below tune, else the cream will not aerate properly and may not hold its shape.

Once the song has finished, your cream should be thoroughly whipped, hold its shape well and stick to the spoon. It is now ready to be crafted into dolloped onto the top of your cocktail in rough shapes that resemble mountain peaks. The cream should be light and fluffy enough to float on top of the cocktail so far, but just in case, take extra care.

If your cream doesn’t look mountain-y enough, you can take a knife to it and shape it a little.

Step 6 –

If you didn’t eat all the chocolate already, you should have a little left for grating over the top. This is the final part and in my opinion the most important aesthetically.

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Voila! Your drinkable Arctic Cordillera is now ready to serve! Please enjoy the below photograph of it with a polar bear – a natural denizen of the Arctic. The person who gifted me this little fur baby said I should use it in a photo for a cocktail, so here he is! I would love for him to be a running joke, but I worry to take him out of his natural cocktail-habitat, the Arctic.



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