Rituals relax the savage beast. At least they relax me! I find that sipping, noshing and cooking are great relievers of tension and help me fully live in the present.
So a present (of the gift variety) is one you can give others who enjoy the full flavors of beer and chocolate together. Yes, Virginia, Beer & Chocolate. These two gustatory goodies are at the ready to offer a veritable explosion of flavor opportunities.
Try this at home by yourself or with some open minded and palated friends:
- Invite a bunch of people, large or small depending on your space and budget. NOTE: don’t worry about how clean your place is – people get together, to get together, not to judge.
- Either supply a variety of beer or a variety of chocolate goodies, and ask the invitees to bring the other. I suggest you supply beer since there’s a much smaller likelihood of guests both bringing the very same chocolate yummies along.
- Have an area set up simply with durables – plates, glasses, utensils and napkins. Never use one use ‘disposables’ since these products can contribute flavors, which is not what you want!
- Once folks are settled in, pour small portions of various beers to sample with the chocolate goods laid out. Encourage people to take small nibbles along with the sipping to experience of mixing drink and food together.
- Talk it up! The magic of pairing beer and food is the marriage of the two in our mouths.
Technique tip for any kind of tasting: Take a bite of food, only chomping down once or twice before introducing the beer into your mouth at the same time. As you start to break down the food and get at the flavors, the beer will mingle providing the “aha!” moments of pleasure.
There are some conventional beer styles to pair with chocolates: Stouts, Porters, Belgians, and Browns. I say go ahead and get some of these ‘classics’ AND get other styles that may seem less likely. You won’t know what works till you put it in your mouth. And I love the surprise of a new combination, which I’ll of course want to share with friends.
It’s all about beer and chocolate together. Now, pass me the beer….
don’t worry about how clean your place is – people get together, to get together, not to judge.
Oatis Oatmeal Stout with chocolate brownie with cherries (the juice packed tart or sour variety)
Oakshire Espresso Stout Ice cream malted milk shake – beer, quality ice cream (vanilla/chocolate/coffee) with malted milk powder