Bottled chocolate for your valentine

SIPS

Vodka and liqueurs in the flavor of love

Sips

February 12, 2003|By Sara Engram | Sara Engram,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

If your valentine loves chocolate, surprise her, or him, with a different form of the sweet stuff -- a bottle rather than a box.

Chocolate is big in the spirits world these days. There are a number of high-quality products to add sparkle to your sips and an offbeat choice for a gift of Valentine's Day chocolate.

If your valentine is a fan of flavored vodka, you'll want to consider a bottle of Dutch Chocolate Vodka from Van Gogh. It has a surprisingly intense chocolate flavor that needs only a splash of liqueur to make a very easy chocolate martini.

As for chocolate liqueurs, there are a number of good choices. Vermeer Dutch Chocolate Cream Liqueur entered the market last year with the claim of being the only chocolate-cream liqueur to be based on real Dutch chocolate, not syrup. It's a smooth drink with good flavor.

Another offering has a name that's hard to resist. This one, from Just Desserts, is not just a chocolate cream but a chocolate chip cookie cream liqueur. It's smooth, creamy and tastes enough like the treat it's named for to make you think you can have another, and even another. But be careful -- it's a very adult cookie taste.

Browse through your favorite stores, and you're sure to find other good chocolate treats. Godiva Liqueur and Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur are available in many stores, and both are good choices for delighting your valentine.

Once you present your gift, there are plenty of ways to enjoy it together. You can sip it straight or on the rocks. Or, if you're in the mood for a romantic chocolate drink, here are some ideas.

The Dutch Godmother

Makes 1 drink

2 ounces Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka

1 ounce amaretto

chocolate-covered cherry for garnish

Combine first two ingredients over ice in glass. Garnish with a chocolate-covered cherry.

- Van Gogh Vodka

Godiva Cream Soda

Makes 1 drink

2 ounces Godiva Liqueur

1 ounce milk

4 ounces soda

Combine all ingredients over ice in a 12-ounce tumbler. Stir.

- Godiva

The Smoretini

Makes 1 drink

2 ounces Vermeer Dutch Chocolate Cream Liqueur

2 ounces Kahlua

1 ounce Frangelica

crushed chocolate graham crackers

toasted marshmallows for garnish

Combine first three ingredients in shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Rim glass with crushed chocolate graham crackers. Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with toasted marshmallows.

Note: This recipe won the Vermeer's bartender contest in 2002, in which more than 120 bartenders submitted recipes featuring Vermeer Dutch Chocolate Cream. It was created by Alexandria Hunter from the Icon in the W Hotel in New York City.

- Vermeer liqueur

Warm Chocolate Chip Cookies and Milk

Makes 1 drink

1 cup warm milk

2 tablespoons Chocolate Chip Cookie Cream Liqueur

1 tablespoon cold cream

dash cocoa powder

Combine warm milk and liqueur in cup or martini glass. Gently spoon cold cream on top and dust with cocoa powder.

- Just Desserts liqueurs

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