Chocolate Week is nearly upon us, which means there are all sorts of chocolate related events going on up and down the country. Many restaurants & bars will be having special chocolate themed menus for the week, and last night we were invited along for a preview of a very chocolatey addition to the menu at The Botanist in Sloane Square.
The mixologists at The Botanist and their sister venue Chiswell Street Dining Rooms, have come up with four special hot chocolate cocktails, all made with Hotel Chocolat’s ‘liquid chocolate’ range of drinking chocolates.
We were lucky enough to sample all of them….
The Ultimate Hotel Chocolat (£4.00)
This is a non alcoholic hot chocolate cocktail. So really it’s just a hot chocolate. It’s made with Hotel Chocolat’s caramel liquid chocolate with hazelnut syrup and mint. I’m not the biggest fan of chocolate and mint, and while this is quite refreshing, it was just a bit too sweet and creamy for my tastes. This was particularly evident after having tasted the other cocktails, which are all richer. If you can’t have alcohol, it’s a reasonable hot chocolate, but it’s only really going to have appeal to serious mint-choc fans.
Chocolate Orange Melt (£8.00)
Made with dark chocolate and orange pieces, Cointreau, double cream, orange bitters and decorated with orange zest. This one was much more like it. The aroma of the fresh orange zest immediately draws you in, and there’s just the right balance of orange flavour and alcohol to warm you up nicely on an Autumn evening. Orange and chocolate is another of those combinations that people tend to love or hate, but this one is definitely worth trying.
Naughty but Spice (£8.00)
This one is our favourite. Made with Aztec Chilli Chocolate and spiced rum, and decorated with a sprig of Rosemary. This is a deliciously warming hot chocolate with just the right level of alcohol and a very slight chilli kick for that little bit of extra warmth. The Botanist have apparently tweaked the recipe on this one, and it was originally much more alcoholic. They seem to have got it right now. This is the one you have to try.
Nutty Divine (£8.00)
This cocktail is made with Hotel Chocolat’s classic Liquid Chocolate, Jamaican Rum, Creme De Cacao and hazelnut syrup. It’s the one that has the strongest alcohol flavour, and if you love the flavour of rum, you’ll like this one. For us, it wasn’t quite up to the ‘Naughty But Spice’ cocktail, but this is the one you should go for if you want a little more of an alcoholic kick.
These hot chocolate cocktails are available at The Botanist and Chiswell Street Dining Rooms from 8th – 14th October. Thanks to The Botanist for allowing us to preview them, and to Judith for the invitation.