In INFUSED, a weekly column, Elizabeth J. Musgrave connects spirits, wine, and beer with culinary and creative arts
When looking for a perfect dessert, we often turn toward chocolate or an after-dinner drink, creating the unpleasant decision of which to choose. It’s a decision that proves difficult for even the most strong-willed person. But for almost thirty years, Lecia Duke has made life easier by combining the two options into a selection of unique, one-bite nuggets.
Duke’s shop, Chocolat sits snugly deep in the heart of Texas, located in the charming town of Fredericksburg within the Lone Star state’s Hill Country region. Duke blurs the line between spirits and candy through a 200-year-old method learned while apprenticing with a Swiss chocolatier. Originally an architect-turned graphic designer, the chocolate master creates a crystallized sugar nest to encapsulate the liquor, wine or liqueur in a process known as liqueur praline. She then covers the fragile globe with the finest chocolate available: bourbon, Irish Cream, and spiced rum are just a few of the choices among the over-21 liquids to get the Willy Wonka treatment. According to the award-winning chocolate maker, beer and Champagne are the only liquids unable to withstand the process for the Spirited Chocolates line of confections.
After nearly two dozen tastes, my favorite is a toss-up between Amaretto and Sam Houston Straight Kentucky Bourbon, although the red wine is rather tasty as well.
The signature piece, Tequila D’Almendrado, is the only liqueur praline to progress through three individual flavors: almond, tequila and finishing with chocolate.
For more information on chocolates, tours and flavors, visit Chocolat-Texas.us.
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is the editor for GottaGo.us, writing the fine-living syndicated column and syndicated blog, Gotta Go. Published both in print and online at GottaGo.us, AroundIndy.com, and BroadwayWorld.com, Gotta Go offers reviews and recommendations on food and drink, the performing arts, and travel destinations.
Elizabeth is also a freelance writer, photographer, public speaker, and a leading Indianapolis performing arts and restaurant critic. She can be heard on 93 WIBC's Saturday Morning News Show as Indy’s entertainment adviser, and can also be found on Twitter,LinkedIn, and Facebook.