Pairing food and alcohol is a tradition that has been practiced for centuries. We often think of combinations like wine and cheese or beer and burgers, but there is one pairing that shouldn’t be overlooked: rum and chocolate. The reason this pairing works so well is because both rum and chocolate have similar flavor profiles.
Rum, which is distilled from molasses, has a unique sweet yet subtly bitter and earthy taste. This flavor profile complements many types of chocolate, which can also be described as sweet yet subtly bitter. Additionally, rum often has other flavors like vanilla, caramel, and spices, which perfectly complement the flavors of chocolate.
When pairing rum and chocolate, it’s important to consider the specific types of both. Rich and intense rums go best with smoother milk chocolates, while fruitier aged rums pair well with dark chocolate. White chocolate lovers should reach for a darker rum, especially overproof styles that are mellowed by the creaminess of the chocolate. Italian chocolatier Venchi even provides more specific advice, suggesting that Cuban rums work best with 60-75% dark chocolate, while Dominican rum pairs well with milk chocolate and hazelnuts. Sweeter Caribbean rums can be enhanced with white chocolate or citrus-infused chocolate.
When tasting this pairing, it’s recommended to first taste the rum, followed by the chocolate. It’s important to savor the rum and not shoot it, just like other spirits. Start with a small sip to acclimate your mouth to the alcohol content before taking a larger sip to fully appreciate the flavors.
There are so many types of rum out there, and there is definitely one that will pair perfectly with your favorite chocolate. So why not give it a try? You may just discover a new favorite indulgence.