Although the pairing of chocolate and drinks might sound a bit alien, several drinks make a spectacular pair with chocolate if they complement each other. The pairing of drinks and chocolate is often a puzzle, and the question of what drink goes best with chocolate seems to come up fairly often. Chocolate is heavenly on its own and with so many companies selling online chocolate, it’s easy to get it at your doorstep. The first concern while pairing is the balance. While pairing drinks with chocolate, don’t match, complement. Try “mix and match” approach and find your own personal palate preference. Keep experimenting to find out which drinks really complement which chocolate combinations.
Here are a few tips which can be used as guidelines for successfully pairing drinks with chocolate.
1) Know your drink
One needs to understand a particular drink’s properties beyond the basics to create a magical pairing. Like wines, there’s so much more to consider than just the color of the drink. Before making any pairing decisions, you should first determine both the intensity and key characteristics of the drink. Also, people sometimes prefer a healthier option like Grecobe- the Green Coffee while considering their drinks. In either case, the key rule is to know the key ingredients of the drink and make sure that your pairing reflects that. Because you don’t want the chocolate to overpower the drink or vice versa.
2) Match flavors and textures
Pair drinks with chocolate that have similar or complementary- flavors and textures. Always opt for similar weight and style. An easy way to do this is to match lighter, more elegant flavored chocolate with mildly flavored drinks and strong chocolate with intensely flavored drinks. Similarly, rich chocolate should be matched with rich drinks. Chocolate and drinks with similar qualities complement each other and enhance the flavors/textures they have in common. For example, white chocolate tends to pair well with Pennsylvania Dutch Egg Nog– they are both buttery in flavor and share a rich creamy texture. Dark chocolate full of intense flavors goes with denser, bolder, and full-bodied wines like vintage Tawny Port and Cabernet Sauvignon.
3) Sweet with sweet
Pair chocolate with a drink that is at least as sweet as the chocolate itself, if not sweeter. With their own intense flavor, both chocolate and the drink can often end up vying for dominance and immediate attention. Drinks like Twenty Grand Vodka and Harvest White Wine with sweet rich taste showcase the sweet flavors in chocolate, but if the chocolate is sweeter than the drink, the drink will just taste flabby. That’s why it’s important to get an amiable balance by combining the best of both worlds.
4) Save dark chocolate for last
Just because studies say that the darker the chocolate, the better it is for you doesn’t mean you should start the pairings with dark chocolate. Because if you do so, you will have palate fatigue as the dark chocolate will ruin your palate for light chocolate samples. Hence, it’s important to follow the wine rule of tasting from light to dark. Start with the light milk chocolate, and move to the medium flavored chocolate, ending finally with the dark or strong chocolate.
5) Drinks with milk chocolate
Milk chocolate is higher in sugar content but has a somewhat smaller percentage of cocoa. It has smooth character and mild flavor as it is made up of half cream and half chocolate. Riesling wine tends to hold up quite well with the integrated profile of milk chocolate. Spice and berry flavored, Ruby Port will work well with cocoa butter component of milk chocolate. When in doubt, go with the classic.
6) What grows together goes together
It is also a good idea to pair chocolate with spirit origin. For instance, tequila would be a nice fit for any Mexican inspired chocolate and brandy would be ideal for any French chocolate. Ethnic or regional pairings are typically a match made in heaven as they naturally have flavors that complement each other.
7) Keep on exploring
There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to pairing drinks with chocolate. An essential tip is to never stop exploring. Start on a small scale first, learn from experience, and savor the adventure. That said, tastes are subjective, each person has unique palate and preference. What works best for one may not be favorable for the other. Ultimately, the key pairing rule to follow is to drink what you like with the chocolate that suits you the best!
To keep your senses invigorated, it is important to focus on complements and contrasts while you’re pairing. The drink shouldn’t overwhelm the chocolate and the chocolate shouldn’t be too much for the drink, Perfect pairing is all about harmony. So have fun, think through your taste buds and explore!
“Jessica Smith has been writing for a few years now. She is a writer by day and reader by night. She was a very quiet child but writing always inspired her and that is why she began writing in her free time. She loves reading, be it a newspaper, a book or anything. She also loves cooking, traveling and dancing. She wants to be a successful writer as writing is her passion.”