It’s no secret that Portland loves its small batch bourbon and artisan chocolate. Conveniently, the two pair extremely well together. To celebrate the combination of these two gorgeously rich flavors, I decided to plan our own bourbon and chocolate tasting party. My intimate gathering was a delightful way to spend an evening full of delicious tastes! I have done bourbon tastings in the past, and I have certainly enjoyed chocolate-bourbon desserts, but I have never paired the two for a tasting. It was wonderful to have my first bourbon and chocolate tasting in such a fun setting! Here are some of my tips and tricks for throwing your own bourbon and chocolate party.
First, you need to round up the essentials for your gathering. I started by picking out a number of customized goodies from Shutterfly. It was a fantastic option for creating the unique event that I had been dreaming up. I chose a set of stemless wine glasses for tasting the bourbon. That way, I could easily reuse the glasses for wine in the future. Because the party was all about food and drink pairings, I chose the Perfect Pair Heart Wine Glasses and customized them with engraved bourbon tasting notes, like smoky, dark and peaty. I just have to say, as a designer, I definitely appreciated that they offered a great selection of fonts for the engravings! I then ordered a cutting board to chop my chocolate pairings and display some hors d’oeuvres. The cutting board had room for a three letter monogram, but because I am a rebel, I decided to add the word Yum instead. It felt pretty appropriate for what I was going to be chopping! I also ordered the add-on knife with my cutting board.
Bourbon and chocolate both have very strong flavors, so it’s always a good idea to provide a palate cleanser between tastings. I whipped up some cucumber infused water and served them in personalized pilsner glasses. Just like the cutting board, these pilsner glasses could also be personalized with a three letter monogram, so I added the letters H2O to each glass specifically for my palate cleansing beverage. I also picked out the gorgeous Perfect Pair Heart Decanter to match my Perfect Pair Heart Wine Glasses with the beautiful engravings. This I edited with the word Tasty and used it as a pitcher for the cucumber water. If you are looking to serve something other than water, bland crackers are also a great palate cleanser for alcohol tastings.
After choosing my essentials for the tasting, I planned out how I was going to set the mood for my gathering. I decided to customize some other Shutterfly items just for the fun of it! If you are throwing your own bourbon and chocolate party, I suggest providing a bit of variety so that your guests do not feel limited to drinking bourbon if they prefer something else. I picked out some great growlers for my beer drinking friends. You know how much I love copper, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to see that Shutterfly offers copper growlers to reflect my favorite design trend! As an homage to all the incredible craft beer the Portland has, I selected the Drink Local Growler and added my 503 area code. For the second growler, I customized the Vertical Monogram Growler to simply say Be.
The last two accent pieces that tied my bourbon and chocolate party together were my customized plates and outdoor pillow. Because you are serving alcohol, you will want to make sure that there are plenty of food options so that no one gets dizzy! Cheeses that are creamy, mild, and buttery are particularly great for pairing with bourbon. To continue with my “tasting” theme, I got a set of 4 plates personalized with some of my favorite foodie adjectives: delectable, delicious, delightful, and desirable. With the Upload Your Own Design Plate, I also had an opportunity to showcase some of my own design. I uploaded a charcoal grey woodgrain design that I put together and it turned out beautifully. Last but not least, my favorite piece of party decor that I created for my bourbon and chocolate party has to be the adorable Heart and Woodgrain Outdoor Pillow that I customized to say Bourbon + Chocolate. I know I might not be able to use it for anything other than this party, but it was so perfect for my theme! Luckily, I will be able to use everything else that I customized from Shutterfly in my everyday home life. And having those items around is a great reminder of the wonderful party that I was able to host.
If you are thinking about hosting your own bourbon and chocolate tasting party, I highly recommend it! Find our entire printable party kit to get you started on hosting your own bourbon and chocolate event! I have to say that this party would not have come together as well as it did without the party decor that I was able to create myself through Shutterfly. Because I was buying it all from the same place, it was really easy to see how each piece could fit together. I hope you are feeling inspired to add more personal touches to your own decor, whether it is your every day home accents or seasonal pieces to celebrate unique times throughout the year! I certainly know where I am going to buy my Christmas gifts this year 😉 ~ Lia