Chocolate Lark Cocktail Low Proof
Chocolate Lark Cocktail Low Proof

A chocolaty twist on the classic Adonis cocktail, this drink is made with crème de cacao, sherry and vermouth. This low-proof cocktail feels so special, you won’t know what you’re missing out on. It’s equally perfect for a holiday cocktail party or a Friday movie night!

The Chocolate Lark achieves the almost impossible: surprising complexity and body for a low-alcohol cocktail, encased in a deliciousness that doesn’t shy away from being a dessert. Every host should have this cocktail up their sleeve.

The spirits for this cocktail

Shy with alcohol, sociable with taste: the chocolate lark understands sherry supplemented by a deep, rich vermouthand a dark crème de cacao. Each is a character in their own right, but together they practically sing.

  • Amontillado sherry is an aromatic, fascinatingly dry fortified wine. Aged in oak casks and under a layer of Flor (yeast), this sherry’s concentrated aroma and dynamic flavor is rich on the nose but light on the feet. Amontillado is the rosé of the sherry world: darker, less dry than Fino Sherry, but lighter than Oloroso. Lustau Los Arcos Amontillado Sherry goes best, but this recipe also works well with light, dry sherries such as manzanilla or fine.
  • Carpano Antica formula (a vermouth) has a strong body, dark complexity and aplomb that has made it a standard in bars around the world. Its strong notes of vanilla are joined by cacao nibs, orange peel and dried cherries. If you want something more than a simple sweet vermouth but can’t find Carpano, give it a try Coccchi Vermouth di Torino, Cinzano Rossocchi vermouth from Torinoor Cinzano Rosso.
  • A dark cocoa cream provides the chocolate wheels this cocktail rolls on. Too often misappropriated and abused, crème de cacao is best when used with some restraint (no more than 3/4 ounce). This will add just enough richness, sweetness, and depth. Tempus Fugit crême de cocoa a la vanillaa recipe recreation from the heyday of the liqueur is also a good choice Marie Brizard Brown Cocoa Liqueur.

Other ingredients for this chocolate cocktail

  • chocolate bitters enhance not only the chocolate of the crème de cacao, but also the deep body of the vermouth. You can make your own, go with it Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bittersor be really interesting and try it Bittermen’s Xocolatl Mole Bitters.
  • Fresh Lime Juice goes wonderfully with chocolate and brightens up the cocktail. Reserve a single lime wedge to cover the rim of the coupe glass if you wish to garnish the cocktail.
  • Black Sugar is a useful, if not necessary, garnish. (I’ll admit I often leave out the sugar.) It’s an unrefined brown sugar (which turns black from its molasses content) and adds a sweet, gritty ring to the rim of your glass. It’s best to find it in local specialty stores or on Amazon.

We get some special feature out of this drink precisely because its chocolate must not be overpowering; It’s like a genius taking a surprising turn as a character actor: definitely noticed in every frame, but held back enough to capture your attention rather than compel it.

We get balance (not easy to come by without a stronger base spirit and the risk of over-sweetening the brew) from the surprising combination of sherry and lime juice, as together they bring a welcome acidity and brightness alongside the rich spiciness of the vermouth and the sweetness of the creamy cocoa .

The history of the cocktail

This cocktail is a twist on the Adonis cocktail, a sherry, vermouth, and bitter number that dates back to the late 1880s and is named after the first Broadway musical. (The Adonis was itself a variation of the Bamboo, paired with a dry, “French” vermouth.) So why do we call it “lark”? For that you can thank Shakespeare, whose poem “Venus and Adonis” refers to a “gentle lark”, which is perhaps the best description of this cocktail.

Today, cocktails and sherry have a long history – once sherry was as common a staple as gin or whiskey. And for a good reason: The fortified wine offers both body and acidity, lightness and complexity and leaves room for a wide range of other flavors to play their part.

Any variations or ways to toggle it?

  • Port of Adonis: Add 1 ounce of Tawny Port and reduce the vermouth to 3/4 ounce to introduce a dark fruit compote flavor versus the salty minerality of a drier sherry.
  • Stronger Adonis: You would sacrifice the coveted status of the low ABV drink, but replace the sherry with cognac, and a tawny port in place of the carpano will be very well received indeed.
  • Coronation of chocolate: Substitute Maraschino for the plain syrup and Marie Brizard’s Cacao Blanc for the dark cream, and you’ve got a chocolaty note in Coronation, a flavorful, delicately fruity cocktail from Harry Craddock’s 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book.

More low-alcohol or non-alcoholic drinks

  • Virgin pomegranate citrus sangria
  • panache
  • Ginger Switchel
  • Wintery spiced orange mocktail
  • Pear Ginger Bush

Chocolate Lark Cocktail (Low-Proof)

preparation time
5 minutes

total time
5 minutes

1 drink


  • 1 ounce amontillado sherry

  • 1 ounce Carpano Antica

  • 3/4 ounce dark crème de cacao

  • 1/4 ounce fresh lime juice

  • 1/4 ounce simple syrup

  • 2 dashes of chocolate bitters

  • Black Sugar (garnish)


  1. Garnish the glass:

    Just before serving, use a lime wedge to mist the outer rim of a chilled coupe glass. Turn the glass on its side, dip the outer rim in a small bowl of black sugar and brush the outer top of the glass.

  2. Make the cocktail:

    In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the sherry, carpano antica (or vermouth), crème de cacao, lime juice and simple syrup. Shake until cold to the touch and strain into a chilled coupe glass.

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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!