RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Chocolate

Atonement

Image credit: Atonement, 2007

Happy Valentine’s Day to all the lovers (of cocktails and movies!) out there. This week, I’m honoring one of the great love affairs in cinema history: the one that exists between the infamous Jacqueline Durran-designed Green Dress, and my eyeballs. Grab the tissues and the chocolate bars for this week’s film Atonement (Disc/Download).

Based on the novel by Ian McEwan, Joe Wright’s adaptation is every bit as gorgeous as the source material. This story of young lovers separated by class difference and a fatal lie is gripping, haunting, and always leaves me feeling like I got hit by a truck. But the clothes- THE CLOTHES. I keep coming back to see Keira Knightley swan around like she’s on the cover of a 1930s issue of Vogue, in everything from evening gowns to slips to swimwear. Honestly, the saddest part of this movie isn’t the ending; it’s watching Cecilia trade her couture for a WWII British nurse’s uniform (although, I do enjoy a good wool cape). The cast of this film is a who’s who of British talent, such as James McAvoy, Juno Temple, Brenda Blethyn, Vanessa Redgrave, and Benedict Cumberbatch, but it’s a young Saoirse Ronan who really steals the show as imaginative, manipulative Briony. Such a devious villain in such innocent packaging! In the end, this entire story is Briony’s attempt at atonement, and the audience is left to decide whether she’s finally paid for the sin of being a fanciful, jealous girl. Perhaps, having the same boring haircut for sixty years is the real punishment.

As I mentioned earlier, chocolate plays a hefty supporting roll in this film. Benedict Cumberbatch’s character owns a chocolate factory, and he is more than happy to make everyone his signature sipper, the “Choc-tail”, which is described as rum and dark chocolate syrup over crushed ice.

However, his character is the creep to end all creeps, and I don’t feel like celebrating this perverted Willy Wonka. So let’s do our own “Choc-tail”, in the form of a Chocolate Rum Old Fashioned.

Chocolate Rum Old Fashioned

1 1/2 oz Dark Rum

1/4 oz Simple Syrup

1 dash of Angostura Bitters

1 dash of Chocolate Bitters

Grapefruit Peel

Grated dark chocolate

Combine rum, simple syrup, and bitters in a mixing tin with ice. Stir well, and strain into a glass filled with a large ice cube. Express the grapefruit peel over the drink, then drop in. Grate a dusting of dark chocolate over the top.

If you enjoy Downton Abbey, World War II epics like The English Patient and Dunkirk, and dinner parties where people get very dressed up, then Atonement is the movie for you. Passion, glamour, chocolate, and rum- sounds like a perfect Valentine’s Day to me. Cheers!

Chocolat

Image credit: Chocolat, 2000

Happy Valentine’s Day to all you Cinema Sips readers! Since the marketing machines want to fill us with chocolate today, I decided to lean into it with the delightful Lasse Hallström gem, Chocolat (Disc/Download). Honestly, I’m more of a sour gummies gal myself, but damned if this movie doesn’t have me rooting around in the kitchen for some leftover Lindor truffles or hell, even an opened bag of chocolate chips. Bring on the cocoa, tout suite!

Starring Juliette Binoche as chocolatiere Vianne Rocher, this begins almost like Mary Poppins, with a north wind bringing an unconventional woman and her magic chocolate ways to a small, buttoned-up French village. She wears cute, colorful 1950s dresses, and (heaven-forbid) red shoes– ALERT THE MAYOR! In opening her Mayan chocolate shop, she brings pleasure and connection to people who have been ruled by piety and fear for far too long. But in doing so, she opens herself and her young daughter up to those same connections, making it harder for them to leave on the gust of the next north wind. She meets her equal in Johnny Depp’s traveling Irish musician, who for once hasn’t hid his face behind makeup and prosthetics, and let’s just say chile-dusted chocolate isn’t the only hot thing in this movie. A sweet story that still packs an emotional punch (thanks, Judi Dench), Chocolat is like the perfect truffle- sweet, a little bitter, with a creamy center that melts in your mouth.

Speaking of chocolate treats, I decided to try my hand at Vianne’s Mayan hot chocolate. Although my instant cocoa is probably no match for hers, this recipe still warms you in the best of ways. While watching Chocolat, I recommend drinking this Spiked Mayan Hot Chocolate.

Spiked Mayan Hot Chocolate

1 packet Dark Chocolate instant powder

3 oz Water

3 oz Milk

2 oz Sotol

1/2 oz Chocolate Liqueur

1/4 tsp Chili Powder

1/4 tsp Cinnamon

3 dashes Aztec chocolate bitters

Cinnamon Stick garnish

Combine all ingredients in a pan on the stovetop, stirring until warm and combined. Pour into a mug and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Vianne claims her hot chocolate has no booze, to which Judi Dench’s eccentric Armande calls bullshit, but I have no problem admitting to jazzing my cup up with some Sotol, a delicious cousin of Mezcal. Whether you like your chocolate spiked or not, this recipe will make you feel like you’re sitting in the Chocolaterie Maya, gossiping over mugs of warm goodness and a slice of cake, all made with pure love. Cheers!