The Best Chocolate To Use For A Rich Bourbon Infusion

bourbon with chocolate pieces
bourbon with chocolate pieces - Andrey Mitrofanov/Getty Images

Though infusing bourbon may sound like a fancy move reserved for bartending professionals, you, too, can build texture and create new flavors with the bourbon bottles you have stashed behind your home bar. From infusing bourbon with figs to infusing bourbon with vanilla, choices are plentiful once you begin to tinker with ingredients to flavor booze and upgrade bourbon at home. We like to bring chocolate into the equation, and cocoa nibs are one of the best ways to develop a smooth, silky mouthfeel that can be served on the rocks or used to make tasty cocktails.

Nibs offer the unsweetened, roasted flavors of chocolate that can complement common tasting notes of bourbon. Unlike sweeter pieces of chocolate, cacao nibs deliver earthier, nutty notes. While chomping down on these nibs might not be for everyone, this palate can complement sips of bourbon, as the small pieces of dried, fermented raw cocoa beans can enhance even a subpar bottle. Plus, without extra sugar, cacao nibs put more power in your hands when creating the infusions of your tasting fantasies.

Sample the bourbon you have at home before infusing it with any ingredients so that you can make informed choices about which kind of flavors you want to highlight. While there are many different kinds of bourbon to experiment with, look for a 90 or 95-proof bourbon with chocolate-tasting notes for optimal richness.

Read more: The 27 Best Bourbon Brands, Ranked

Infusions Are Your Next Party Trick

bourbon with chocolate squares
bourbon with chocolate squares - Sarapulsar38/Getty Images

Begin experimentations with a half cup of nibs per bourbon bottle. The longer you let the ingredients get to know each other, the stronger flavors you'll detect in your final infusions. Whether you decide to leave your infusion for a few hours or several days, sample your drink periodically to hone in on the tasting experience you are looking to create. Once you have achieved the ideal result, strain the bourbon, and add sweetness to your infusions with a touch of simple syrup or agave.

Store your strained and infused bourbon in a cool air-tight container for at least six months, or keep it in the fridge if you want a longer use-by window. With chocolate-infused bourbon at the ready, your favorite cocktails -- Old Fashioneds, Manhattans, and Whiskey Sours -- will treat you to decadent sips that will have you planning alcohol infusions on the regular. Some of bourbon's more expected tasting notes play well with a variety of chocolates, so if cocoa nibs aren't your pick, consider dark chocolate to emphasize palates of caramel and vanilla or use orange-flavored chocolates to heighten some of the fruit notes you detect in your drams of bourbon. These are drams that will disappear quickly.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.