When I originally made this a few weeks ago it was rainy out. Dark clouds backlit by an obscured sun. The heavy scent of wet asphalt in the air. The urban landscape darkened by the falling rain. The day was accompanied by the sound of raindrops in the pool and car tires slicing through puddles. My already dark apartment was shrouded even more so—much to my delight—and the glow from the candles I’d lit cast an amber glow upon the room.
This drink took me back. Any recipe that can conjure emotions and memories is essential to me. The end result of this libation is reminiscent of the think drinking chocolate I had while on vacation in Spain when I was fifteen. I can distinctly recall sitting in cafes, devouring pastries, and watching the rainfall outside. I’d sip thick spiced chocolate out of little porcelain cups and watch people hurry along the crowded winter streets of Barcelona.
Unfortunately, as I write this the temperatures have rocketed back up to the 90’s in The Valley. This fiery fall weather just may be the death of me. So I’ve elected to run the AC, dim the lights, light some candles, and play ambient rainstorm sounds in the background. No joke. Before long I find myself craving a hot and comforting drink to further the delightful illusion I’m struggling to maintain. If you live anywhere that’s even remotely cold give me a call! I’ll bring the bourbon and chocolate.
There are some unique and subtle flavors happening here. Thyme infused chocolate bars (from Mast Brothers) melted into almond milk, with a splash of vanilla, and a few spoonful’s of Sweet is the Spice Cocoa Dulce. This chocolate spice blend incorporates elements found in pumpkin pie and added a more complex depth of flavor than you’d achieve by simply mixing cocoa powder, sugar, and milk.
I added in a few additional sprigs of thyme to the rich mixture on the stove and waited, watched, listened. Once the chocolate had melted into the milk I let it simmer for a few more minutes before adding in the bourbon. I used Heritage Distilling’s High Altitude Brown Sugar Bourbon which has a hint of cinnamon. The flavors went perfectly with the spiced and herbal chocolate.
This is a fall and winter drink through and through. The best thing about it is that no matter the weather, one sip brings to mind cozy evenings, bundled in blankets, rain-slicked streets, perhaps even snow-fall. What comes to mind when you sip hot chocolate? For me it’s one of those recipes that makes us feel, remember, takes us somewhere with each sip. What recipe(s) do this for you? Leave a comment below!
- 140g.(5 oz.) Thyme Chocolate (or any 60% cacao chocolate bar you prefer)
- 4 Cups almond milk
- 2 Tbsp. Sweet is the Spice Cocoa Dulce
- A couple sprigs of thyme
- 3 oz. Heritage Distilling High Altitude Brown Sugar Bourbon
- Combine all ingredients except the bourbon in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Stir continually as chocolate melts.
- When chocolate melts reduce heat and cook another 1-2 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and add in bourbon.
- Strain hot chocolate into mugs and garnish with thyme and a sprinkle to Cocoa Dulce if desired.
- As always, I prefer my sweet treats not too sweet, depending on you preference you may want to a a bit of sugar to this recipe.