An award winning chocolatier, an award winning gin distiller and an award winning food marketer walk into a pub… Whilst it sounds like the start of a joke, it is in fact the start of Chocao.
Chocao, a cacao gin liqueur designed to be enjoyed neat as an after dinner drink, is the result of a creative collaboration between three independent Staffordshire businesses: Staffordshire Gin founders Jason Davies and Claire Gibbs, award winning chocolatier James Walter of Seed Chocolate, and food and drink marketing specialist Daren Bach from Provoke (the team behind Sauce Magazine).
The gin-based liqueur is infused with ultra-premium, single origin Peruvian cacao beans, which are more commonly used to make chocolate. The cacao beans are bought via direct trade from an agricultural collective in northern Peru. Every batch is directly traceable to the community where it was grown, thus ensuring there is no child slavery in the production process and the farmers receive a fair price. The drink is also suitable for vegans.
This Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire collective is aiming to shake up the bar and restaurant scene with the launch of their new gin liqueur. Many restaurants have stuck to the same list for years when it comes to after dinner drinks, with brandy, cream-based liqueurs and liqueur coffees being the most familiar.
Chocao is aiming to give diners another option that will satisfy chocolate-lovers as well as those who would normally go for cognac or whisky. It’s the perfect drink for sipping on the sofa at the end of the night or sitting in front of an open fire.
To celebrate the launch, there will be tasting events this February at Ten Green Bottles in Newcastle-under-Lyme and Stone. Ticket holders will have the chance to sample the drink alongside some of its raw ingredients, and there will be specially crafted cocktails on offer from Ten Green Bottles’ in-house mixologist.
The team behind Chocao are now looking for likeminded bars and restaurants across Staffordshire, Cheshire, Birmingham and Manchester who would like to stock Chocao. Customers who have enjoyed the drink in one of these venues will soon be able to purchase a bottle online.
Jason and Claire distil each batch of cacao gin at Staffordshire Gin HQ in Silverdale. Their popular Black Violet gin recently won bronze at the World Gin Awards.
The cacao beans are sourced and prepared by James Walter of Seed Chocolate, who has received recognition for his bean-to-bar chocolate from The Academy of Chocolate, The International Chocolate Awards and The Guild of Fine Foods’ Great Taste Awards.
Daren Bach, a food and drink marketing specialist and founder of Provoke Marketing & Design in Stone, is responsible for the branding, packaging and website design as well as marketing activity for Chocao.
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