It used to be that I associated Elizabeth Shaw with Christmastime boxes of gold foil wrapped mint crisp chocolates, somewhat traditional in style and beloved of the older chocolate lover.
Well it would seem that the old girl has had a new lease of life. These days Elizabeth Shaw make these – chocolates filled with three flavours of vodka.
It’s strange. I felt a little like Deanna did recently – I wasn’t really looking forward to trying these, but I can’t really say why. (The obvious punchline now being that after a handful I felt much better about them.)
So what do we get in the shiny tube? Shiny chocolates of course, filled with one of three different vodkas – ‘plain’, lemon, and raspberry.
I discovered two ways of attacking these. The first involves a little patience and a gentle tongue, and I allowed the shell to slowly melt before the vodka flooded out and mingled with the melting shell. The second method involved cracking the base off and necking the shot before enjoying the shell on it’s own. I’m delighted to report a complete lack of any sugar shell, by the way. Great news!
Since all three have the same chocolate shell, I thought it best to look at that before going into the different vodka flavours. It’s ‘borderline’ dark (we still need that percentage-darkness chart!) and has a good sheen to it. It’s a little sweeter than I expected but I suspect that is in some part to counter some of the tang of the vodka. As a precursor to the vodka it’s very pleasant, melting just slowly enough to allow you to savour some of the deeper flavours. Once the vodka is released though, you won’t taste much else for a few seconds. It’s a good sized hit as well!
A thick base means that once the vodka has gone there’s more chocolate to enjoy as a finish.
So what about the three flavoured vodkas?
The neat vodka is of course just that. Like it or don’t like it, simple as.
The lemon vodka is a little sweeter, but does add a satisfyingly zesty citrus burst. A quite pleasant surprise, and one that won me over quite quickly. The raspberry vodka also added a lively fruity note to the proceedings.
However, of the three I found myself liking thew lemon the most. Lemon and chocolate aren’t often found in the same mouthful, and I rather like them. As for the vodka/chocolate pairing – well, you either like vodka or you don’t, and if you don’t then these aren’t going to appeal at all.
If you do like the idea of vodka and chocolate you could do a lot worse than these. They’re strangely moreish, particularly the two fruit flavours.