October is a good month for many reasons, with one being National Chocolate Week, which this year, runs from Monday 14th October until Sunday 21st October. Apart from Christmas and Easter it’s possibly the busiest period in a food blogger’s diary, with tons of events going on all across the country. I’m lucky enough to live in London, where a whole series of chocolate events are taking place for me to dig my teeth into. It’s going to be a busy one with tastings lined up at a gelato parlour, chocolate shop and the launch of Salon du Chocolat, the world’s largest Chocolate Show taking place this weekend.
My first Chocolate Week assignment was a visit to The Met Bar in Mayfair to sample their limited edition ‘choctail’ menu and report back to ShopChelsea. Sam and I arrived at The Met Bar last Friday after a not-so-light dinner, dreading the thought of having to endure a sampling of sweet creamy cocktails. The Met Bar was rather quiet for nine o’clock on a Friday evening but this allowed us to unwind and relax at the bar, admiring the huge array of bottles on display. The bar forms part of the Metropolitan Hotel by COMO and was formally a members-only club popular with the Gallagher brother in the nineties. No longer as exclusive, the Met Bar has potential due to its sought after location but I felt it still sustained the feeling of a hotel bar which wasn’t helped by the group of lads sitting behind us who would have looked more at home in Weatherspoons.
The bar tenders alcohol knowledge is vast and they took the time to introduce each choctail to us, explaining how it came about, how is it made and who was responsible for the creation We learnt that the Chocolate Week cocktails had become some sort of competition between the team as to who could create the perfect blend of chocolate and alcohol. Sam and I decided to play our own game and score each choctail out of five to determine what was in our eyes, the overall winner.
First up was the ‘Cornetto’, which contained chocolate liquor, coconut rum, milk and cream. Despite the creamy ingredients the drink was very light and went down in one. Next was the ‘Guilty Pleasure’ with white chocolate and chilli liquor, surprisingly one of my personal favourites even though I’m not a fan of spicy food. I enjoyed the warm sensation felt from the aftertaste of the chilli. It was certainly an appreciated kick late on a Friday night. To make things a little more interesting, every choctail is served with a guilty garnish like an After Eight or chocolate buttons.
The vodka in the ‘Raspberry Floret’ was slightly overpowering, which meant I missed the raspberry but enjoyed the creamy flavour that followed. Sam’s favourite was the ‘Turkish Delight‘ with it’s citrus flavours created by mixture liquor with rose water, egg white and lime juice. The ‘After Eight’ really stood out with a strong sensation of mint, both revitalising and fresh – perfect if on a date I thought! Drank alongside the After Eight chocolate these flavours worked extraordinarily well.
Last but not least, I went to the ‘Dark Side’, a mix of homemade chocolate liquor and Italian Fratello (like Franchello but ten times more flavoursome) served over crushed ice. The mix of hazelnut and rich chocolate was sublime and although the sweetest of all six, I couldn’t help but polish the lot. With a total of eight out of ten, the Dark Side was the highest scoring choctail of the evening but when asked which one I’d recommend, I just couldn’t choose.
Each choctail is unique and it all depends on personal preference. It was clear a lot of love and hard work has gone in to creating all six. We left with a satisfied sweet tooth and a slight wobble which was undoubtedly down to the minimum 75ml measure of alcohol in every drink. I thought the £12 price tag was reasonably for each cocktail but whether I would venture all the way to Mayfair just to drink The Met Bar, probably not.
Living life, loving cake,