Sugar and Spice Make for Mellow Metaxa

It’s long been known that the right wine and food pairing can completely transform a meal, but it had never occurred to me that the same could be said for chocolate and spirits.

It has, however, occurred to artisan chocolatiers Esophy which is collaborating with Greek amber spirit distillers Metaxa to create a new range of high-quality luxury chocolates that will transform your taste buds.

Metaxa x Esophy

Esophy’s chocolate artisans, Sophia Dendrinou and Evdokia Liakou, worked closely with Metaxa Master, Constantinos Raptis, the fifth master to have creative control at Metaxa since its inception in 1888. The pair gained exclusive insights into the rich flavour palate found in Metaxa 12 Stars and Metaxa Private Reserve.

This detailed knowledge allowed them to blend different cacao beans with various fruits and spices in order to create two very different flavours to accompany each spirit.

Metaxa Private Reserve

Metaxa Private Reserve – the first creation of Metaxa Master Raptis – combines fruits and honey, with a peppery undertone that rounds out the flavour. It has a delightfully smooth, perhaps oily feeling on the tongue which gives a gentle and pleasing mouth feel.

Metaxa Private Reserve with Esophy Chocolate

To build on the fruit flavours in the Private Reserve, the first of the Esophy chocolate pairings is underpinned with apricot. This is combined with just a hint of chilli to give a faint heat, and 73% dark chocolate for an intense, balanced taste.

When sampled alongside the Private Reserve, the sweetness and warmth combine well with those in the spirit, unlocking a wonderful depth of flavour which the spirit alone very nearly, but not quite, hits.

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A winter spices chocolate is nothing more complicated than the label suggests; the delicate infusion of cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon gave a familiar, warming hit that instantly reminds of Christmas. The 72% chocolate made from slow-roasted cacao beans provides a subtle roasted flavour, culminating in an intense, warming taste.

The addition of Metaxa Private Reserve creates an entirely new flavour, as the spices are highlighted and the bitterness of the dark chocolate is softened beautifully.

Metaxa 12 Stars

Metaxa 12 Stars is filled with notes of plum and raisins and a hint of orange peel, with an edge of coffee and spices to lift the flavours. This blend was paired with orange and balsamic, and cardamom and fig chocolates.

Metaxa 12 Stars with Esophy Chocolate

The fruity, zesty flavour of orange is blended with the acidic notes of balsamic vinegar to create balance, to infuse a harmonised blend of 70% dark chocolate.

Pair this with a neat glass of Metaxa 12 Stars and you’ll immediately taste a change – the flavour of the fruit and spices develop further, while the alcoholic edge of the spirit is mellowed as the chocolate and orange flavours come to the fore.

The cardamom and fig chocolate has a much more fruity flavour, with hints of caramel and vanilla, giving this 72% dark chocolate blend a rich and luxurious texture in the mouth.

Combine it with Metaxa 12 Stars and you’ll notice the spices give way to the fruit flavour of the fig, leaving a gentle sweet aftertaste.

What: Metaxa & Esophy Pairings
How much: From £36 to £75
Where: Oliveology

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