Like the inescapable sounds of Michel Bublé, the multitude of Christmas themed hot drinks and the John Lewis Christmas advert, the arrival of the chocolate selection box signifies the start of Christmas for millions of us.
So, with Cadbury’s recently announcing the release of their newest selection box ‘The Double Deck’, we have enlisted the help of drinks expert, Rudi Carraro, to offer his take on the best luxury alcohol pairings to enjoy alongside – offering a touch of indulgent class to elevate this range of Christmas confections.
1. Dairy Milk with Amaro Montenegro
Amaro Montenegro is a delicious authentic Italian liqueur that has been a staple in the bars, restaurants, and cafes of Italy since it was created in 1885 in Bologna. The heady blend of incredibly complex sweet, citrus, and bitter flavoursome from the blending of 40 different botanicals make it wildly versatile and the perfect match for the iconic Daily Milk. A deceptively simple sweet, served at room temperature the creamy smoothness of the milk chocolate matches up well against the sweetness of the amaro, whilst blending harmoniously on the palette as the addition of spice from the glass adds new dimensions to both the drink and confectionery alike. A match made in chocolate heaven.
2. Curly Wurly with Vecchia Romagna, Riserva Tre Botti
Vecchia Romagna Tre Botti is an elegant and complex liquid made from three different barrels of the French oak Barriques, the large Slavonian oak barrels and the tonneaux which contain Italian red wine – giving the liquid an extraordinary bouquet of aromas and soft vanilla, honey and apricot jam. Similarly, the classic Curly Wurly blends milk chocolate with a sweet caramel centre in which a complex mix of vanilla notes and smooth chocolate sweetness come together to accentuate the flavours found in the glass.
3. Crunchie with Hemisphere Session IPA
Combining Mosaic, Simcoe, Cascade and Centennial hops with a crisp malt body results in an incredibly citrusy, easy-drinking IPA that is best enjoyed with an intense match. The honeyed crumbly centre of a Crunchie blends elegantly with a lighter IPA, allowing the hoppy notes to cut through the intense sweetness to balance the flavours and provide a delicious match.
4. Dairy Milk Caramel with Green Chartreuse
With its distinctive natural green colour, Green Chartreuse gives off powerful and unique flavours with every sip. This unique spirit is made up of around 130 plants, of which only two chartreuse monks know the identity of. Ordinarily, one you would have after a heavy meal, decadent unctuous chocolate like the Dairy Milk Caramel is a perfect bedfellow. Cutting through the intensity of the gooey caramel centre, whilst accentuating deep flavours akin to honeyed nuttiness whilst helping your digestion without feeling overly full.
5. Wispa with Courvoisier VSOP
Adored for its peach, dry, fruity, and woody notes, Courvoisier VSOP is an elegant liquid that is easy to mix into many types of cocktail as a base. Paired with a Cadbury’s Wispa, the sleek smoothness of the chocolatey bubbles and smooth cognac blend perfectly whilst balancing nicely against the deep cacao notes that run through every bite.
6. Whole Nut with Patron XO Cafe
A heavenly combination of booze and coffee – this premium tequila perfectly blends the bold, smooth, and sweet taste of the coffee, with the fresh, grassy, and smoky flavours of the tequila. Best kept in the freezer and served super-chilled as a digestif alongside something equally as nutty – such as a Picnic. The nuttiness of the chocolate combined with the punctuated sweetness of raisins works perfectly with the bold coffee taste.
7. Flake with Fuller’s London Porter
An award-winning rich, dark, and complex ale, Fuller’s London Porter swerves between deep savoury bitterness and deceptively delicate Chocolate melts. Similarly, the subtle sweetness of a flake mirrors this blend perfectly and offers a complimentary style of chocolate to the beer. Both enjoyed at room temperature or, in the case of the Flake just above and slightly melting, the buttery richness of the chocolate is elevated into a truly savouring and long-lasting flavourful experience.
8. Double Decker with Cockburn’s Special Reserve
Cockburn’s Special Reserve offers oodles of character that brings together a range of vintage, fully matured ports together before bottling – and can be enjoyed easily without the need for cellaring or decanting. A gentle nose and lightly fruity and balanced, the flavour combinations are just enough to sit alongside the mix of lightly-whipped nougat, cereal ‘crispies’ and milk chocolate. Never overpowering and always offering a rounded and balanced mouthfeel. Perfect for enthusiasts or casual drinkers alike.
9. Twirl and Brugal 1888
A super-premium double-aged Dominican sipping rum Brugal 1888 sophisticated flavour profile offers a creamy and beautifully balanced flavour blends vanilla, red fruits and toffee with cocoa and spice. Enjoyed slightly warmed with a Twirl, the shape of the bar lends itself to a melting effect on the tongue that coats the palate and combines expertly with the sweet base notes of 1888. Outstandingly delicious.
10. Chocolate Buttons and Pressure Drop Choice of Dessert Choco Banana Stout
Almost an entire dessert in a glass, this luxury stout from Pressure Drop is silky smooth, creamy, and rich and offers flavours of banana and cacao nibs for a truly decadent, grown-up flavour profile. Matched with something like Chocolate Buttons, acting almost as a garnish atop this fully formed dessert – is the perfect addition and should be enjoyed slowly next to a roaring fire.
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