Tips for hosting a St. Patrick's Day Irish whiskey and chocolate tasting
There's nothing more decadent than whiskey and chocolate! As I'm sure you've seen over the years on Artfully Alissa, I love St. Patrick's Day. I have such fond memories growing up of our celebrations - from green bagels and milk to leprechaun traps and a traditional corned beef and cabbage meal. My parents always found a way to make the holiday feel festive, especially with our Irish roots.
Fast forward to living in a small apartment as an adult, we still find ways to enjoy St. Patrick's Day (of course, with dinner!) but also with elevated decor - which is why I was inspired to create a chocolate and whiskey pairing setup. So, whether your staying in or pre-gaming for a bar crawl, I'm sharing some tips for how to wow your guests!
Incorporating sophisticated decor
It's funny how St. Patrick's Day decor is often tacky, and there are limited options for more *sophisticated* decorations! So, it's important to get a little crafty and incorporate elements that feel luxe, like draping gold sequin fabric on an ottoman or table, or arranging elegant green & white florals in a gold vase. I also used one of favorite balloon tricks - using shamrock balloons and tying gold foil fringe backdrop to the balloon for a shimmery effect.
For displaying your chocolate and whiskey, use a gold tray and wrap the fabric around the tray to help transform your table or ottoman. Little details like shamrock plates, themed cocktail napkins or even Waterford Crystal whiskey glasses to bring lucky to your tablescape!
Pairing decadent chocolates with whiskey
The smoothness of Jameson Irish Whiskey paired with rich chocolate brings out the spicy, nutty and vanilla notes of the classic Irish drink. So, I wanted to create a board with a variety of chocolate options to enjoy while sipping on a triple distilled delight.
For the board, include a variety of salty, sweet and of course, themed, chocolates and treats to complement your whiskey. To start, I made a white chocolate bark with Lucky Charms and chocolate Baileys truffles (recipe here!) then drizzled green chocolate onto pretzels for a festive finish. Caramel would also be another flavorful addition to the board or Walkers Shortbread cookies.
To display the chocolate, having a natural flow to the board makes it feel more whimsical, by layering chocolate bark pieces on top of each other and scattering the truffles around.
Choosing the best Irish whiskey
While my husband loves Jameson Whiskey, there are so many other flavorful whiskey options such as Teeling, that are versatile with fruity notes. Wine Enthusiast Magazine does a great job of breaking down different Irish whiskey brands and notes to keep in mind.