Raise a Glass to the Holidays

24 December 2019 By Laura Dunn

There’s nothing quite as magical as the winter holidays, so we’re running a holiday series to warm you up in the coziest way possible. Tune in as we feature several Christmas holiday beverages that will impress any guest you may wish to share it with. (Or, if you just need a festive breather to drink in some holiday joy.)

In today’s edition, Robert Bowden shares his recipe, Uncle Milton Cocktail, which is a whiskey-based cocktail with creme de cacao and a few other flavors. “Even over the rocks, it puts you in a holiday mood,” says Bowden.

Uncle Milton Cocktail
By Robert Bowden

50 ml Uncle Nearest 1856
25 ml Grand Marnier
20 ml Creme de Cacao
2 tsp Chocolate Sauce
Dried orange slice dipped in chocolate for garnish

Shake all ingredients until combined, pour, and serve with garnish.

Christmas Q&A:
What’s your favorite holiday dish that you look forward to having every year?
Beef Wellington with Yorkshire Pudding because Iʼm not expected to cook it.

What makes this time of year so special for you?
While others may find this time of year stressful, the holidays are a time for me to slow down and reflect on my year, enjoy some “me” time, and make dreams for the coming year.

Any holiday cooking tips for other superyacht chefs?
Don’t overthink it. The most memorable and nostalgic dishes are often simple and well executed.

Any holiday/Christmas provisioning tips or advice for cooking for your guests?
Chocolate! Having dark and white chocolate on hand provides a myriad of options from a luxuriously decadent dessert to chocolate chip cookies for Santa.

What are wishing for Christmas this year as a Christmas gift?
I already got a new pony this year, so Santa and I are on good terms.

What’s the best way to come up with a new recipe?
I start with a single ingredient and brainstorm ways to deliver that flavor to my guests. Inspiration can come from anywhere, so be open to it. Secondly, research how this ingredient has been used in other recipes — this helps with ratios. The rest is a test, taste, and repeat of techniques and ingredient combinations.

About the Chef:
I got involved with superyachts about four years ago through one of my estate clients that asked me to help during the Newport Charter Yacht Show, and the rest is history.

I trained my skills by working directly with some amazing chefs that shared their knowledge with me and lots of trial and error.

The variety of palates to which I get to cater is what I love most about my job. The flavors of chocolate are as diverse as their regions of origin. So I get the chance to surpass clients’ expectations with chocolates they never even knew existed.

The most difficult part of the job is limited space (either for provisioning or preparation)!

Working aboard yachts has taught me a lot about efficiency while provisioning and cooking. There’s so much you take for granted when land-based.

I donʼt think I have a particular style of cooking. Over the years, I’ve found favorite go-to dishes and a number of different cuisines, so I like to mix them up.

My favorite cuisine to eat is West African cuisine, and my favorite cuisine to prepare is Mediterranean. As for my favorite dish to cook, it’s Whole Roasted Sea Bass paired with a Greek Salad.

My ideal guest is someone that’s open to trying new things with a genuine curiosity and a sense of adventure.

The strangest request I’ve ever received: I had a client casually ask during dinner if I could carve a two-foot chocolate Phoenix for a centerpiece during and after dinner drinks.

You can reach Robert Bowden, aka The Fine Chocolate Man, on Instagram @FineChocolateMan.