Best chocolates to use for after-dinner drinks
After-dinner drinks are usually rich, sweet and creamy cocktails. Many recipes include melted chocolate or cocoa powder for flavoring. However, the type of chocolate you choose will make a difference in the way your cocktail tastes.
Choosing the perfect chocolate
You want to consider the cacao content when choosing chocolate to add to your beverage recipe. The higher the cacao content, the less sweet and more bitter it will taste. Cacao in its purest form is unsweetened chocolate, also known as chocolate liquor. It's made by grinding up the center (nib) of the cocoa bean into a smooth liquid form. Chocolate liquor does not contain any actual liquor.
Chocolate that has a high quantity of chocolate liquor tastes best for mixing with alcohol. These chocolates include bittersweet, semi-sweet, dark and intense dark chocolate. In some instances, milk chocolate can be infused with vodka for a light, sweet taste to add to other after-dinner drink recipes.
Adding chocolate to after-dinner drinks
Melting the chocolate before adding to your favorite drink recipe is the best way to mix it easily into the drink. If the drink is hot, like an Irish Coffee, you can place small chunks of chocolate in to melt. An unsweetened cocoa powder can also be used for drinks with a hot chocolate base. Different drinks call for different styles of chocolate. A Café Brasileiro and a Dulce de Leche taste best when dark chocolate is added, while a Chocolatini is better with bittersweet chocolate.
Garnishing with chocolate
Garnishing an after-dinner drink with chocolate makes it extra sweet and tasty. Grating or shaving pieces of bittersweet, unsweetened or semi-sweet chocolate, and sprinkling on top of a drink, increases presentation and flavor. You can also choose to finely crush bittersweet, dark or intense dark chocolate and dip a glass in to garnish the rim. White chocolate also makes a delicious garnish on a drink that already contains chocolate as an ingredient.