Russell Stover and the Whitman’s sampler are a major source of inspiration for bartenders at this time of year. Thanks to their cleverness and creativity, you can enjoy a heart-shaped box brimming with bonbons in liquid form. Here are eight chocolate cocktails to help you have a sweet Valentine’s Day.
Jackie Brown at La Moderna, Miami Beach, Florida
Garnishes don’t come cuter than this. A small side basket is filled with chocolate covered espresso beans. They’re the perfect complement to the caffeinated cocktail featuring white tequila, espresso liqueur, and spice syrup. Make a reservation at La Moderna.
Lost in Decadence at Bourbon Steak, Washington, D.C.
Filed under the “A Sweet for a Sweet” section of the menu, this confectionary cocktail will delight candy crushers. A chocolaty blend of vodka, fudge, and coffee liqueur comes capped with a cloud of white chocolate espuma and a sprinkling of chocolate and cherry powder. There is no such thing as a guaranteed aphrodisiac, but this comes close. Make a reservation at Bourbon Steak.
Cocoa Smoke at LondonHouse, Tri-Level Rooftop, Chicago, Illinois
Finely balancing sweet and spicy components is an art. This mix of mescal, Averno Amaro, chile liqueur, and simple syrup pulls it off. Curls of dark chocolate float in its ruby depths, adding bittersweet bursts. Make a reservation at LondonHouse.
Chocolate Milk Punch at Waypoint, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Clearly, this is a translucent drink. (See what we did there?) However, the silver rum and green chartreuse powered cocktail evokes the flavor of chocolate milk thanks to the inclusion of cocoa powder and crème de cacao. Make a reservation at Waypoint.
Poor Soil & Low Temps at Filini, Chicago, Illinois
Tropical notes dance amidst the chocolatey tones of this tipple. Pineapple shrub and lemon juice add a beachside sensibility, which found a counterpoint in the cacao nib infused sweet vermouth and chocolate bitters. Rye forms the bracing backbone. Make a reservation at Filini.
Chocolate Truce at Gather, Berkeley, California
When adulting gets hard and you want to feel like a kid again, a steaming mug of boozy hot chocolate is the perfect solution. Powered by green chartreuse, the playful potable features a peak of whipped cream with a snowfall of dark chocolate powder. Spritzed with absinthe, it possesses the faint, alluring scent of star anise. Make a reservation at Gather.
I’ll Never Let Go, Jack at Iron Gate, Washington, D.C.
We still get misty-eyed thinking of the penultimate scene in “Titanic.” Watching it again a moment ago to refresh our memory brought a fresh flood of tears, so now we really need this cocktail made with Greek Metaxa (brandy blended with wine and spices), Mastiha (mastic seasoned liqueur) and hot chocolate, plus a heart-shaped Mastiha marshmallow. Make a reservation at Iron Gate.
Eros Flight at Trace, Austin, Texas
For the couple who has everything – limited edition his ‘n’ hers cocktails. Topped with a slice of chocolate covered bacon, the dudely drink is fueled by cocoa and bacon infused bourbon and port wine. The ladylike libation gets its kick from Malbec and Combier’s red fruit liqueur, and comes garnished with a chocolate dipped orange. Make a reservation at Trace.
Need more Valentine’s Day dining inspiration? Check out restaurants on our 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America for 2017, or the 25 Most Romantic Cities in America for 2017 listicles. And, don’t miss your chance to turn your most delicious food and drink photos into a cool grand in our #ValentinesDishPics giveaway.
Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell and Instagram @nevinmartell.