When I was contacted by the PR agency representing Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum wondering if I would like to try their product, all I could think about was using it for a decadent hot chocolate; something with the taste of a Mounds Bar but in a very adult drink to be sure!
As important as the rum is for this cocktail the real secret is to start with a good hot chocolate; don’t be tempted to mix some Hershey’s with 1% milk…or if you do, you don’t get to complain that it wasn’t to your liking, OK? This is the holiday season and a little decadence is called for! I love this recipe for hot chocolate from David Lebovitz that combines dark and milk chocolate with just a touch of cinnamon. I wasn’t sure about the cinnamon in this cocktail but I couldn’t convince myself it wouldn’t work and it was perfect. A little spice is nice! My only caveat is I added a touch of dried espresso. I pretty much add it to almost anything chocolate; it serves to boost the flavor without really making a mocha flavor. Try it…you’ll like it!
I typically make my cocktails earlier in the week so I can post them Friday morning…but I’m sitting here writing this now at 2:54pm on a Friday…time quite obviously got away from me! Still I wanted to share this bad so forgive me if it shows up just a bit closer to Happy Hour; at least I can actually drink it now and not have to throw it away…hmm, I need to rethink this timing thing huh? Writing the post while sipping the cocktail is more funner for sure. My English might be less gooder but oh well!! 🙂
When I agreed to try this rum I had no idea Kenny Chesney was behind it. Doesn’t he just seem to be beyond mellow; maybe he’s sort of a country Jimmy Buffett? While I normally eschew a lot of flavored blends, I thought rum and coconut a great pairing and this rum was the perfect compliment to my recipe. Blended from rums at one of the Caribbean’s oldest distilleries, there is definitely the taste of coconut but the libation is not so sweet that it seemed more at home in a kids cocktail than mine (even if I do think I’m a kid at heart!). That balance of sweet to coconut is interpreted uniquely by each distiller and I found this brew to be right in the middle; not cloyingly sweet but also not so overpoweringly coconut that the rum was lost.
For this cocktail I had my taste testers try it and it was all they could do to not keep digging in with a spoon…I promised them their own cocktail if they could share and we averted disaster!
This would be the perfect drink to serve to guests after dinner, in front of the fire or on Christmas Eve. Not everyone loves eggnog but I’m betting EVERYONE will love this! Cheers!
Hot Chocolate with Rum and Toasted Coconut
For the Hot Chocolate
- 1 quart (32 oz) half-and-half or whole milk
- 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 4 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
- tiny pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 pint whipping cream
- 1/4 cup toasted coconut
For the Salted Butter Chocolate Sauce - Makes 2 cups (optional)
- 1 cup whole milk or half-and-half
- 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) salted butter, cubed
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tsp dried espresso
- Scant 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 oz coconut rum
- Whipped Cream for garnish
- Toasted Coconut for garnish
To Make the Hot Chocolate:
- Warm about one-third of the half-and-half or milk, with the chopped chocolates and salt, stirring until the chocolate is melted.
- Whisk in the remaining half-and-half or milk, heating until the mixture is warmed through. Add the cinnamon and dried espresso..
- Use a hand-held blender, or a whisk, and mix the hot chocolate until it’s completely smooth.
To Make the Salted Chocolate Sauce:
- Heat the milk, butter, and brown sugar in a saucepan until it begins to steam.
- Remove from heat and add the chocolate, vanilla, and salt, stirring gently until the chocolate is melted and the sauce is smooth.
- Serve the sauce warm or cool it to room temperature and store it in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks. Rewarm the sauce by putting the jar in a pan of very hot water or by warming in the microwave on a low heat setting.
To Assemble the Cocktail:
- Using large mugs, pour 1/4 of the mixture into each mug. Add the rum, stir gently and then top each mug with whipped cream, drizzled chocolate sauce and toasted coconut.
Need this done quicker? Just make a standard hot chocolate with a good chocolate mix and top with a quality fudge sauce.
As an aside, many thanks to my dear friends Ty and Rachael at 5280 Beef for the beautiful flower arrangement. Hoping to bring some cheer to my holiday since it’s obvious my home won’t be ready prior to Christmas they did just that. It’s beautiful and festive and I’m going to snuggle with it each night. Or wish I could. 🙂 Thank you guys…XOXO!!