The Last Dessert

Chocolate and Whiskey

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces/110 grams good chocolate
  • 4 ounces/120 milliliters good whiskey

Method

This is my idea of the perfect conclusion to a meal. It encourages you to stay at the table just a little bit longer, to enjoy your companions, to carry on the conversation.

You need to make sure you and your guests have similar tastes (some guests at a dinner party may be big on dessert, something to take into consideration). If you’re offering a simple chocolate and whiskey conclusion to four or more people, it’s fun to be able to offer a choice of whiskeys. My preference is a heavily peaty single-malt scotch, such as Lagavulin or Laphroaig. But chocolate goes particularly well with an excellent American bourbon—Michter’s, Woodford Reserve, or Blanton’s, for instance. These caramelly, smoky flavors go especially well with chocolate, and the total effect is greater than the sum of the parts.

My appreciation for the pleasure of simplicity and richness began at a restaurant near our West Village apartment where my wife and I regularly eat. We grew accustomed to seeing two big chunks of excellent chocolate arrive with our bill. One time we decided to order a whiskey to enjoy with it; this was such a pleasure that it became customary. But I didn’t realize how much I loved concluding a meal this way until the restaurant cut back and began serving foil-wrapped bites of mediocre chocolate. This was no good at all. The custom ended, thus reminding me that we often don’t appreciate something until it’s taken away.