Happy Valentine’s Day! This year, my friends, Leila and Yuyu, hosted a chocolate and cocktail party. I convinced them to add a Valentine’s Day twist to the party. I prepared chocolate truffles, while my friend, Eric, mixed complementary Hellisoy cocktails. I am excited to share our Valentine’s Day celebration with you.
Chocolate and cocktails are perfect individually, but did you know they can make an excellent pairing too? Like last year, I wanted to make red heart shaped truffles. Variety is key to making chocolate truffles – think color, flavor and shape. I made red hearts, milk chocolate circles/squares and white chocolate circles/squares. I filled the truffles with caramel or chocolate ganache. The chocolates were a big hit with the guests. And trust me they are easy to DIY and the recipe is at the end of the post!
Leila’s welcome cocktail was a spiked hot chocolate. She asked her guests to bring their favorite mug, so of course I brought my “Make Today Amazing” mug. The spiked hot chocolate was delicious. Funny how it just melted away the chill in the air and satisfied my sweet tooth.
Leila also served cheese, cookies and more chocolate. She also had mugs on hand for the hot chocolate.
Chocolate is rich, sweet, and bitter, all of which can be elements of great cocktails. With a cocktail pairing, the key is to balance acidity and sweetness. We suggest keeping the cocktails simple, allowing the guests to enjoy the chocolate. Eric created two vodka cocktails, featuring his habanero infused vodka and his botanical vodka. We started with the Blood Orange Habanero cocktail and then moved to the Hellisoy Cava Cocktail. Of course the cocktails were red in honor of Valentine’s Day.
Chocolate Making Tips:
- Use high quality chocolate and spirits (skip the cheap candy melts or chocolate chips and opt for the good stuff). I used Guittard Chocolate.
- Use deep molds when making chocolates with fillings.
- Consider the flavors and aromas of your alcohol, and research what chocolate would compliment them.
- When in doubt, opt for contrasting flavors (i.e. sweet and bitter).
“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”― Linda Grayson
Recipes From This Post
Hellisoy Cava Cocktail
1.5 oz Botanical Vodka
3 oz Cava
Combine ingredients. Garnish with raspberries.
Hellisoy Blood Orange Cocktail
1.5 oz Habanero Vodka
2 oz San Pellegrino Blood Orange Soda
Combine ingredients on the rock. Garnish with raspberries.
Melt your favorite chocolate (milk, dark, white, red, etc). Fill molds and then hold over bowl and let excess drip. Freeze shells and then add fillings and then finish with another layer of melted chocolate. Cristina Valencia of Jordan winery has a great tutorial on this.
Chocolate Ganache Filling
6 oz milk chocolate discs
4 oz heavy cream
1 Tbsp butter, softened
In a sauce pan over high heat, bring cream to a boil then pour over the milk chocolate. Cover for 2 minutes to let the chocolate melt and then stir smooth. Mix in softened butter.
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp water
1/3 cup heavy cream
1.5 tsp vanilla
In a small saucepan, stir together sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color. Add cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth.