A Turner Valley distillery and artisan chocolatier in Calgary are going straight to the heart for chocolate lovers with a decadent Valentine’s treat.
Eau Claire Distillery and Cochu Chocolates, owned by Anne Sellmer, collaborated to create their distinctive new Cherry Gin Chocolate Bonbons.
Enveloped in a hand-painted red chocolate shell with a 58 per cent cocoa content, the centre is a soft, rich ganache imbued with Eau Claire’s newest creation, Sour Cherry Gin.
“They’re sweet, but they have the tartness of the cherries and the centre’s kind of melt in your mouth as you eat them,” said Eau Claire Master distiller Caitlin Quinn.
The Cherry Gin is a recent limited edition creation at Eau Claire and is a perfect pairing with chocolate, said Quinn.
The chocolates are available in boxes of two on all bottles of Cherry Gin, but the supply is limited. Approximately 500 of the chocolates were made and Eau Claire only made 40 cases of cherry gin.
Visitors to the distillery got their first chance to try the chocolates this past weekend and they’re also available at retailers who sell Eau Claire products.
Quinn said they’re expected to sell out quickly.
The cherry gin is going over well, too.
“It’s a really nice change from the really sweet kind of flavoured vodkas people tend to have,” said Quinn. “It’s nice to have something that has more complexity with the gin flavours and the tartness of the sour cherries.”
Sellmer said the sour cherry gin is an ideal match for chocolate.
“One of the most common responses I get is people say they just need to have a minute by themselves,” she said laughing.
Sellmer wanted to highlight all the different flavours – sweet chocolate, tangy gin and sour cherries.
“It has a play of cherries and gin and chocolate and it’s very light and fruity tasting,” she said. “As you let it melt in your mouth, one flavor will emerge in the beginning and as that dies down another will come up. You just sort of savour it as you have all these flavours emerge.”
Sellmer said the small batch makes them all the more special.
It’s not the first time she has paired an Eau Claire product with her chocolate. Her previous attempts have garnered high praise.
Sellmer took gold at the International Chocolate Salon truffle competition in San Francisco in December with a batch of gin and tonic chocolates made with Eau Claire parlor gin. Her Screwdriver chocolates, made with Eau Claire vodka, took silver.
The chocolates will be available at the distillery in Turner Valley, as well as retailers who carry Eau Claire products. A full list is available on the Eau Claire website.