June 3rd: Hotel Chocolat Serve Chilled Cocktails

The last of the goodies sent to me by Hotel Chocolat came in the form of these 'Served Chilled Cocktail' chocolates. On pack Hotel Chocolat describe these as 'perfect for relaxed summer days, summer parties and balmy evenings'. Having just finished a rather mad last few weeks of University life I decided to go with the 'relaxed summer day' occasion, and shared these with a few pals over a nice cool pitcher of Pimms.

These chocolates came in a box full of eight that contained two of the following flavour variants - Margarita, Mojito, Cosmopolitan and Chocolate Martini. Although I wouldn't claim to be a massive drinks connoisseur I had a vague idea of the recipe for each as I have had experience working in a bar.

Just as the product suggested I placed these in the fridge (like I would have done anyway!) and left them to cool before we devoured them. Before I get into my impressions of the actual chocolates I must first express my delight at the presentation. The packaging was bright and colourful and displayed the theme of the chocolates in a non overly elaborate way. The chocolates themselves looked and smelt amazing with some fruity, boozy smells evident as soon as I opened the box.

Below are my thoughts on each chocolate:

Cosmopolitan - The outer white chocolate initially substantiated a good degree of creaminess in the taste and had pleasant fruit and vanilla notes in its midst. The melt of the outer chocolate was superb, as was the soft creme nature of the truffle filling. The filling at first added some additional milk flavours though it wasn't long before the vodka came through and overpowered the taste. The vodka not only dominated the flavours but also gave me a burning sensation in the back of my throat which somewhat ruined the experience for me. Poor.

Margarita - Out of all four of these cocktails the Margarita is the one I have had most often. The outer milk chocolate was of a normal high standard and provided the usual perfect balance between the cocoa and cream flavours. The inner truffle centre had a citrusy lemon centre that had a strong boozy kick in the aftertaste. The aftertaste left a fresh taste in the mouth which I really enjoyed. Good.

Chocolate Martini - This chocolate gave the strongest chocolate hit and it provided a wonderful richness in its cocoa flavours. Although the taste wasn't as complex as the other variants I enjoyed the initial strength of the cocoa flavours and thought they transcended well in to the strong Martini liqueur flavours. Once again I did get a little burning sensation in the aftertaste though it wasn't as strong as with the Cosmopolitan. Standard.

Mojito - This was certainly my favourite out of the lot and was one that I particularly enjoyed. The white chocolate delivered some wonderful cream base flavours and had a terrific note of vanilla that added depth. The liqueur content of this chocolate seem not as strong compared to some of the other variants as some mint and lime influences had a greater say in the overall taste. This was frankly to my preference as I found it made for a more relaxing and refreshing taste experience. Very Good.

Overall this was an interesting selection of chocolates yet by no means the best ever product produced by Hotel Chocolat. Some of the variants (most notably the Cosmopolitan and Martini) were overly strong in the strength of their liqueur which reflected badly on the chocolate as it rather muffled the other flavours. Part of me can't help but feel that these weren't the greatest of ideas given that Hotel Chocolat are most noted for the quality of their chocolate - by having such strong liqueur elements it wasn't really the chocolate that was the main focus which in my opinion came at slight detriment to the product as a whole. Despite this gripe this was a fun selection to try and I must say they make a nice talking point when shared amongst friends. On that basis I would recommend them, however if it is chocolate quality your looking for you might want to check out some of the other products Hotel Chocolat have prepared for this summer.

7.6 out of 10