Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What to eat in October: Start with chocolate and wine

I began with Toffee Interlude, then went to 60 percent, 72 percent, then, the highest I’ve ever taken it: 86 percent cacao. Ghirardelli’s Midnight Reverie is dark chocolate meant be paired with dry red wine, strawberries and cheese. It’s savory, and an adventure. I think I’m most comfortable at 60 percent, Evening Dream. That’s dark enough to keep my husband out of the Ghirardelli, though he’s way into the Toffee Interlude. These squares are so good and satisfying, a reasonable person can ration out one a day to make them last. Are you reasonable?

In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company has teamed with Leslie Sbrocco share pairings for Ghirardelli Intense Dark chocolates, in support of the National Breast Cancer Foundation. They can inspire a Girl’s Night Out Pairing. Through December, specially marked pink ribbon packages of Intense Dark found at grocery and specialty retailers nationwide will carry a code inside the package redeemable for a $1 donation to the NBCF (up to $100,000).

www.intensedarkpairings.com has the scoop.

Drink with a Vampyre/Vampire

I perfectly timed consumption of a refreshing Blood Berry Martini on my front lawn at dusk. A bat flew overhead following my final sip. Mexican fre-tail, I’m pretty sure. Perfection. I made the recipe that Vampyre Wickedly Smooth blood-red vodka provided. By the way, I improvised with brown sugar.

Blood Berry Martini

1.5 oz Vampyre Vodka, red

2 strawberries, hulled and sliced

1 oz orange juice (blood orange juice, if available)

0.5 oz lemon juice

1 teaspoon sugar

Half a strawberry, for garnish

· Directions: In a cocktail shaker, muddle the strawberries with the orange juice and sugar. Add the Vampyre Vodka. Top with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a half strawberry.

Vampire Vineyards has selections from where “a vineyard where the fruit is night-picked and the winemakers are sworn to secrecy.” I could say, don’t wait until Halloween to try their syrah with black cherry and cark chocolate flavors and a “jammy” finish. I didn’t. But, I have to confess. I’d like to save the Cabernet Sauvignon until Halloween. It comes with a Lord Byron verse on the label and the promise of adventure. Every year there seems to be drink recipes that call out the sexy vampire. This line simply wants to be uncorked.

Autumn with Sailor Jerry

After tasting Sailor Jerry Rum, I’m put in the mind of local band Hanna’s Reef, which Jerry Diaz promotes as Texas Beach music. Both the rum and the band are in the “kick back” style. It’s spicy and strong and full of fall flavor. Fortunately, Sailor Jerry Rum Brand Ambassador Paul Monahan (what a cool title) created a “handful of special cocktails” to usher in the season. Here’s one that will make you ready for the next Cayman Fest:

Autumn Bite

-1.5 part Sailor Jerry

-1.5 part lemonade

Top with black cherry soda

Add Sailor Jerry and lemonade to ice filled mixing glass. Shake and pour into fresh rocks filled highball glass. Top with black cherry soda. Garnish with cherry.


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