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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!