Raspberries and Smoke: Make Alex Ott's Despacho Cocktail for Valentine's Day

[Photographs: Jessica Leibowitz]

Alex Ott gets around. He's designing the drinks for Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic flights to space, and has created cocktails for bars in Bangkok, Paris, Sydney, and his native Germany. We caught up with him at Nuela in New York, where he's crafted a cocktail menu that includes the Despacho, a red wine based concoction that's perfect for Valentine's Day.


Though it's meant for dessert, this drink isn't too sweet; bittersweet chocolate is balanced with red wine and tart raspberry puree. Smoke-infused cream adds a pleasant marshmallow-like flavor (and a bit of theatrical flourish) but the Despacho is still tasty without it.


What You'll Need

  • 1/2 ounce raspberry puree, strained to remove seeds
  • 4 drops melted semisweet chocolate
  • 2 1/2 ounces Cabernet Sauvignon
  • ice
  • 2 1/2 ounces heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • semisweet chocolate for grating
  • 1 hickory wood chip
  • cocktail glass, wine glass, and tray for serving
  • Optional: organic rose petal for garnish

Follow along in the slideshow for complete instructions on how to make this vivid Valentine's Day cocktail.