aztecElixirS.jpgLast year Katrina Markoff, founder of Vosges chocolate,, and a woman who'd like to "bring peace to the world through chocolate, was named one of Inc. magazine's 26 most fascinating entrepeneurs. Tuesday night, she spoke at the W Tuscany as part of the W Happenings series and served a very new kind of chocolate martini as she spoke about chocolate.

After studying at the Cordon Bleu in France, Markoff worked for Feran Adria who showed her that silver leaf could not just make things pretty it could aid in digestion and her horizons were sufficently expanded. She traveled extensively, especially in Southeast Asian and Australia and after settling on the chocolate buisness, incorporated wasabi, Mexican ancho chili, paprika, dolce du leche and taleggio cheese. We tried chicken mole (amazing), a crusty chocolate and taleggio pannini (more expansive and savory than the Nutella panini at 'ino we're used to) and their amazing paprika chocolates which draw your attention to the quality of the chocolate and literally warm up your tastebuds. Then we drank. The specialty cocktail was made with their Red Fire chocolate bar ($6) and is Mexican ancho y chipotle chili peppers, Ceylon cinnamon and dark chocolate. Serve one to your Valentine or make yourself a pitcher to forget Valentine's Day all together.

Aztec Elixir

I part Vanilla Rum (or vanila vodka, though, for this, we prefer rum)
1.5 parts Red Fire Syrup (see below)
1 part Whole Milk

Add two parts rum to one part syrup, a dash of milk, shake vigorously and pour.

Red Fire Syrup-use a ratio of 10 oz. chocolate for every 16 oz. (1 cup) of simple syrup.

shave Red Fire Bar ($6 for the 3.3 oz bar)
make simple syrup (here is a very easy recipe)
stir shaved chocolate into syrup

Serve in a cocktail glass rimmed with a mixture of shaved dark chocolate, cinnamon and chili pepper in a 2:1:1 ratio or shave another Red Fire Bar.

132 Spring Street, near Varick
(212) 625-2929