Pairing alcohol and food is an age-old practice — wine and cheese, beer and burgers, or tequila and tacos. It brings out the best of both items, which perfectly complement one another in flavor and texture. However, lovers of spirits shouldn't miss out on another delicious combination: rum and chocolate.
The success of the pairing is due, in part, to the flavor profile of molasses, from which most rums are distilled. The substance, originally created as a byproduct of sugar production, provides a uniquely sweet yet subtly bitter and earthy taste. Broadly speaking, many types of chocolate could be described in similar ways.
Notably, the other, more subtle flavors of rum also perfectly complement chocolate. These can include vanilla, caramel, spices like cinnamon or nutmeg, and more. Moreover, rum meets a common rule of thumb when pairing alcohol with desserts, which is that the drink should be as sweet or sweeter than the food.
Read more: Alcohols You Should Just Drink Straight
The Particulars Of Pairing
However, like other iconic alcohol pairings, it's not as simple as grabbing any old chocolate bar and bottle of rum (as fun as that might still be). Certain pairings truly shine, creating an indulgent snack or dessert that's as simple as it is memorable. Angel Guzmán, a bartender and rum expert from the Dominican Republic, told Food & Wine that rich and intense rums go best with smoother milk chocolates, while fruitier aged rums pair well with dark chocolate, which also retains some fruity elements alongside its bitterness. He says those who love white chocolate should reach for a bottle of darker rum, especially overproof styles that are mellowed by the chocolate's creaminess.
Italian chocolatier Venchi offers even more specific advice, suggesting Cuban rums work best with 60-75% dark chocolate blends, while the cherry casks of Dominican rum are ideal companions for milk chocolate with hazelnuts. Sweeter Caribbean rums, meanwhile, are enhanced with white chocolate or citrus-infused chocolate.
When tasting, rum should be tasted first, followed by chocolate. It may go without saying to seasoned tasters of whiskey or other spirits, but rum in these situations should be sipped and savored, not shot. In addition, you shouldn't forget to take a small initial sip to acclimate your mouth to the alcohol content before a larger one to assess and enjoy the flavor. There's a rum (and chocolate) out there for everyone, so why not start with these 20 types of rum best for sipping?
Read the original article on Mashed.