Hot Chocolatey Cocktail for Your Valentine

Chocolate and liquors have been a classic combination for centuries. Share both with your Valentine this year by making your own chocolate syrup and using it in a Boozy Bourbon Hot Cocoa to enjoy next to a cozy fire. And while you’re at it, why not set up a bar cart so you can experiment with other combinations after Valentine’s Day is over?

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Choosing a bar cart. Don’t be afraid to try something different for your bar cart. A repurposed piece can be striking. Mine started out as a dowdy gray industrial office piece inherited from a roommate. With a good cleaning and some sage green paint, it has found new life in the home I share with my fiancé. We added a second shelf by tucking in a midcentury piece we had been using as a plant stand. This pairing works beautifully to display our stemware and store our sodas.

Start mixing. Crafting cocktails with complementary flavors takes your drinks to the next level. It can be fun to figure out the best pairings. You can start with simple syrup infusions. We’ve tried ingredients from the delicate, floral end of the spectrum, like lavender, to the robust earthiness of Douglas fir tips. Each has brought its own delightful subtleties to our cocktails.

As the founder of Badminton Chocolate, I love using chocolate as an ingredient. Here’s a winter cocktail that combines homemade chocolate syrup with bourbon whiskey. You start by making the syrup, then add cream, a half-ounce of bourbon and milk. (Going a little light on the amount of bourbon creates a nice balance of flavors.) Top with more whipped cream and marshmallows, and you’re set to indulge.