The second attempt went better. This time I used vodka, cocoa nibs and vanilla beans and sweetened it with a simple syrup made with vanilla sugar. I recently tasted some chocolate vodka made by a guy in Red Hook, Brooklyn which had a remarkable flavor; the effect was the moment of biting into a perfect bar of chocolate. I don't think mine is as complex as that one, but it is certainly interesting and tasty.
As for the first round "disaster" liqueur, I didn't toss it. My friend Anne suggested I could make a sort of bitters out of it so I added orange peel, star anise, cardamom, and cinnamon bark. After adding a deep caramel to it, it should be usable, I hope. We'll see.