Love. Love. Love.
How can you not remember your first love, your first crush, your first adult obsession, or your first slow kiss? There is something so indescribably powerful about that emotion packed chemical reaction. The closest thing I can equate it to is a craving for chocolate. I’ll be the first to confess that I am obsessed with chocolate. Not just any chocolate, I like a standout. For example, I love a particular chocolate in New York, another from Australia, and locally I am bonkers for a box of See’s candies (nuts and chews to be exact). I gravitate to dark chocolate over milk chocolate, and nuts over chews, but I do my best to be an equal opportunity Chocolatarian. >yes, I just made that word up.<
But let’s get back to that crazy upside down feeling associated with falling in LOVE. It’s a time of such excitement and uncertainty; to emotionally jump completely into the unknown is part of the aphrodisiac. Not being in control of another’s like or dislike of who you are is the challenge, allure, and sometimes addiction. When it doesn’t work out, it feels devastating. After all, our emotions are fragile. However, when it does work out it can feel magical.
Growing up I was probably more afraid of taking emotional risks than I would be today, but that’s certainly an effect of time and age. That said, putting yourself out there can be scary. I am not suggesting you take the plunge. I am suggesting that you remain open to the possibility. I’ll be honest, I am not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day, in my unwritten philosophical book I believe that if you love someone then you should celebrate as often as possible. The pressure of this Hallmark-esque date night has always daunted me. I tended to be more anti-Valentine and pro-love when I threw my freak flag down.
On a recent trip to Kauai I had the opportunity to indulge in a local rum tasting – Koloa Rum. Up until this point in time, I would definitely not have categorized myself as a rum fan. This one unassuming moment in time, a rum tasting, has converted me to the wonderful flavors of rum. That’s not to imply that I had not had access to rum in the past. As part of my America’s Cup tour of duty we did have a team rum sponsor, but this was different. I fell and I fell hard for Koloa Coffee Rum and I just had to share my new found ‘love’ for this delicious treat. No matter what your plans are for Valentine’s Day, I hope you splurge and prepare it just based upon the name alone!
Chocolate cocktail? Yes it’s a thing. My Chocolate Reckless Love Cocktail is half milkshake and half cocktail. The chocolate flavors from the ice cream and the cacao combined with the coffee flavors from the rum makes for a delicious adult beverage/dessert. Yes, it is reckless; it’s a combination you never thought would be discovered- coffee rum and chocolate!
Chocolate Reckless Love Cocktail
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1/3 cup chocolate flavored sprinkles or hearts
1 cup dark chocolate ice cream
2 oz (1/4 cup) Koloa Coffee Rum
2 TBS dark cream de cacao
2 TBS vodka
Dark Chocolate, grated
In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips until smooth; checking and stirring every 15 seconds. Using the back of a teaspoon paint the rim of the glass with the melted chocolate and then dip liberally into the sprinkles. Refrigerate the glasses to chill until ready to serve.
Remove ice cream from the freezer and allow to slightly soften for 5 minutes. In a blender, combine the ice cream, Koloa Coffee Rum, cream de cacao and vodka. Blend until creamy and smooth.
Pour into prepared glasses; add chocolate shavings and serve immediately.
Yields 2 martini sized cocktails or 6-8 shot glasses.
Notes: Have you ever wondered about the difference between Crème de Cacao and Coffee Rum?
Creme de cacao is a chocolate-flavored liqueur made from the cacao bean. It is available in dark brown and white—both versions taste the same, and have a slight essence of vanilla.
Coffee Rum is an alcoholic liqueur which is thicker, but similar in appearance to brown creme de cacao. It is made from coffee beans rather than cacao beans. Like creme de cacao, Coffee Rum is sweet, and has an essence of vanilla.
Disclosure: I received a product sample of Koloa Coffee Rum for recipe development when I visited their tasting bar in Kaua’i. Stay tuned for more recipes inspired by this unique and rich beverage that is perfectly amazing all on its own. The views and options expressed here are my own.