*Sponsor Note: Although this post was sponsored by Refinery29 & Chambord (Brown-Forman Corporation, Louisville, KY, Black Raspberry Liqueur; 16.5%, 21+), all content, words, and ideas are my own. Thanks for supporting the partnerships that help keep this blog possible.
I love to design a comforting and welcoming space, where folks will be at ease and where they will feel free to share something of themselves. There are few things more enjoyable to me than to see a group of people lingering around my dining room table, long after dinner’s been served, enjoying the flickering candles, scraping the cake crumbs form their plates, and laughing the night away. To me, this lingering means my job was done well.
This holiday season, I’ve teamed up with Chambord to bring you a little Holiday Soiree: Chocolate + Chambord as part of their #BecauseNoReason campaign. In the thick of last minute Christmas preparations, I wanted to treat my friends to a decadent evening, reminding them to slow down and indulge. Gather your friends together one evening, lay the table with deep-colored linens, 20 feet of of pine & cedar garland, and a few pounds of winter fruit, sliced down the center. Serve chocolate everything, but especially this hot chocolate with Chambord; your friends just might never leave 😉
For a holiday table, while I don’t ever like to look too “Christmassy” or cliche, I do like to bring in a bunch of nature and color and texture. Like always, I want my holiday tables to be welcoming…but this time around, I wanted the table to be very warm and looking as if it were about to burst! For linens, I chose to use two complementing colors over my usual fascination with neutrals. Enter the deep plum linen table runner and rosey pink napkins. I really wanted my miniature bundt cakes to POP, so I displayed them on my favorite handmade turquoise plates. The Chambord bottle makes a gorgeous addition to the table decor – the shape & gold decorations are unexpected and add an opulent touch!
My absolute favorite element of this table, besides the chocolate everything, is the green & fruit centerpiece. To make your own: pick up (purchase) an already-made pine + cedar garland from almost any grocery store, tree stand, hardware sore, etc. You can find them anywhere this time of year! Layer over your linen runner (I was able to run the garland over the table twice). Then cluster fruit and other bits (I used pomegranates, clementines, kiwi, satsuma oranges, granny smith apples, kumquats, and chestnuts); use as much as your heart desires. Keep in mind whether or not you’ll need to keep space open for food…because this was a chocolate party, I didn’t need much space for larger platters.
On the menu for this party: mini chocolate bundt cakes with fresh raspberry garnish, chocolate covered Virginia peanuts, malt balls, peppermint sticks dipped in chocolate, and chocolate toffee butter bars. And the hot chocolate featuring Chambord (recipe below), which is my new favorite. Family & friends: expect to be served this concoction this Christmas!
Festive Hot Chocolate
recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
2 1/4 cups cocoa
3 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp salt
Chambord (Black Raspberry Liqueur)
heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
chocolate bar, for garnish
raspberry, for garnish
In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa, sugar, and salt. Set aside (you can store this mixture in a jar and keep on hand for hot chocolate anytime). For 4 servings, warm 4 cups milk in a medium saucepan (don’t boil). Whisk in 1/2 cup of cocoa mixture; stir constantly and allow mixture to thicken a bit.
Pour 1 oz Chambord into 4 mugs. Pour hot chocolate over Chambord into mugs. Using a hand mixer, whip the cream and vanilla, then place a dollop on top of hot chocolate. Garnish with shaved chocolate and a raspberry. Enjoy & drink responsibly!
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