Food & Drink The best drinks to have with chocolate for Easter...

The best drinks to have with chocolate for Easter 2024

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Then there’s fortified wine. Many ports, sweet sherries and madeiras are delicious with chocolate, as they not only contain more sugar than most table wines but also have an extra strength from spirit fortification which stands up to intense chocolates like extra-dark or ginger styles. My top choice is tawny port. Tawnies age for many years in oak casks, and merge more mellow, toffeed and nutty than ruby ports, all qualities which score well with chocolate (and chocolate desserts).

As for soft drinks, cola is actually too sweet – and juices too acidic – to allow chocolate’s nuances to come through. Make it a ginger beer; the sweetness tempered by warm pepperiness makes it a hit. And the exception to the sweet drink rule? Brandy. Dark rum is pretty good with chocolate but brandy is better, especially armagnac, which has a rich, fruity tone and plenty of oaky spices to take on intense dark chocolate in particular.

There’s only one type of chocolate I find hard to match with drinks. Mint chocolate is a wine killer, and it clashes with spirits badly. Best bet I can come up with is, quite simply, a decent black coffee. Happy Easter!

Try these:

Tesco Finest Dessert Semillon 2018, Riverina, Australia

9.5%,Tesco, £6.75/37.5cl

Tesco Finest Dessert Semillon 2018, Riverina, Australia

A little Aussie gem – half a bottle of luscious dessert wine made by the renowned De Bortoli winery. Barley sugar, peach, citrus and light toffee all roll around in a relatively richly textured wine despite its fairly low alcohol. An all-rounder with chocolate. Serve chilled.

Luscombe Cool Ginger Beer, Devon, England

0%,Abel and Cole, £8.70/4 x 270ml bottles;Luscombe, £26.50/12 x 270ml bottles

Luscombe Cool Ginger Beer, Devon, England

Very peppery ginger beers overpower chocolate, but this one is less fiery – the sweet ginger tones mean it’s especially good with dark and hazelnut chocolates. Something all the family can enjoy.

Royal Tokaji 5 Puttonyos 2016/7, Hungary

11.5%,Majestic, £29.99 or £26.99 as part of mixed six bottles

Royal Tokaji 5 Puttonyos 2016/7, Hungary

The rich honeycomb and sweet orange peel of Hungary’s magnificent sweet wine tokaji is a star with chocolate, especially white or milk. This is a fine example – yes, it’s pricey, but a little goes a long way and it would make a great Easter gift. Chill it lightly.

Morrisons The Best Aged Tawny Port, Douro Valley, Portugal

20%,Morrisons, £15/70cl

Morrisons The Best Aged Tawny Port, Douro Valley, Portugal

Morrisons fields an impressive set of fortified wines, and this is a great-value tawny port made by the Symington port shippers behind the Dow’s and Cockburn’s names, among others. Its layers of rich raisin, cinnamon, gingerbread and toasted nut are perfect with dark chocolate. Another one to chill lightly before drinking.

Waitrose No.1 Armagnac VSOP, France

40%,Waitrose, £27.50/70cl

Waitrose No.1 Armagnac VSOP, France

Armagnac – the classic brandy made in Gascony, south-west France – is the best spirit for matching with chocolate. The sweet spices – clove, cinnamon – and punchy alcohol of this really shine best next to a dark, high-cacao-content choc. Avoid ice, as it dilutes the drink and takes away its powerful bite. Just sip a small shot neat with your Easter treat.

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