The Christmas lights in Winchester were turned on recently. They are quite spectacular and make the city feel quite magical, setting the scene nicely for Christmas shoppers to get in the mood and to celebrate the upcoming festive period.
We were in Winchester to celebrate the turning on of the lights, at the Chococo-Late event being held by Cabinet Rooms and Chococo Chocolate House. It was the chance to sample Chococo’s array of chocolaty delights, whilst sipping chocolate inspired cocktails, carefully crafted by Gary & Marcus from Cabinet Rooms.
At each table was a sample of some of the chocolates that Chococo sell. This included a 38% white chocolate from the Dominican Republic, a 43% Venezuelan Milk Chocolate and a very fine 70% dark chocolate from Madagascar. There was also a Fizzy Pudding, filled with praline with the fizz coming from popping candy, and a delightfully named Tawny Fig, a mix of Madagascan chocolate and figs that had been macerated in Tawny Port.
The Cocktail List
Gary and Marcus had compiled a short list of cocktails to complement the chocolate offering. I decided to start with the warm Mulled Pear and Ginger. A blend of Gosling’s rum, warm apple juice and spices, served with a slice of pear. It was perfect to take the chill out of the evening. The blend of spices were beautifully subtle, which went well with Madagascan dark chocolate. My girlfriend, Inke, decided to have a Chocolate Bourboni. Bulleit Bourbon, Averna Amaro & Chocolate Liqueur were the ingredients used to make this cocktail. The toffee notes in the Bulleit Bourbon nicely complimented the chocolate flavours.
What next? Inke had no hesitation in deciding upon the Chococo Russian. This was made from a White Chocolate Liqueur, Raspberry Vodka and Cream. I’m not a massive fan of white chocolate, but it got Inke’s seal of approval! Instead I went for the Cacao Collins. Solbeso Cacao Spirit, Lemon Juice, Agave Syrup and Soda. Solbeso is a spirit made from the cacao fruit, which surrounds the chocolate beans. It has its own unique flavour, but best described as a bit like rum, a bit like tequila, and a bit like pisco.
To finish the evening there was one cocktail left to try, so decided we might as well make it a full house! This was the Sublime Moment; made from Bombay Sapphire, Vanilla Syrup and Pink Grapefruit Juice. It turned out to be a very sublime moment, as it was an ideal finish. The grapefruit helped cut through all the chocolate that we had eaten during the course of the evening.
A big thank you to both our hosts. Chococo, who’s vibrant cafe and personal service made it feel like an intimate affair. Also thanks to Gary & Marcus of Cabinet Rooms. Both true gentlemen who are creating some wonderful food and drink events in Winchester; they also have a knack for serving a great cocktail or two!
Chococo Chocolate House, 152 High Street, Winchester SO23 9AY chococo.co.uk
Cabinet Rooms cabinetrooms.com
We were invited as guests of Cabinet Rooms & Chococo. However, all editorial content is my own.