A Haute Chocolate
for all seasons
Luxury never takes the day off
at Four Seasons Vail
The days when hot chocolate was restricted to aristocracy are long behind, but the Four Seasons in Vail, Colorado, will make you feel like a peer of the realm.
The Haute Chocolate featured exclusively on the drink menus of Flame and The Remedy Bar (and Room Service) is decadent and luxuriously warm — perfectly complemented by the contemporary Alpine design at the mountain resort. The French-inspired drink is the creation of Executive Pastry Chef Andrew Schweska.
Even the preparation is a luxurious experience as servers roll up to your table (at Flame restaurant) with a trolley of rustic orange cups and traditional French hot chocolate pots. They muddle Valrhona chocolate and steamed milk, then pour into a cup topped with a dark chocolate lattice and homemade marshmallow. Whipped cream and chocolate shavings come on the side.
As you drink in the rare extravagance, don’t miss the details behind the creation. It’s not a cup of hot cocoa, which is made from cocoa power, sugar, and milk — usually sweet and light. Instead, the Four Seasons’ chef-d’œuvre is categorized as hot chocolate, a drink made from fine shavings of chocolate that melt quickly when combined with hot milk or cream. The typically rich and thick hot chocolate drink is not as sweet as hot cocoa but so much more decadent.
The Four Seasons in Vail uses Valrhona, a premium French chocolate made in the small town of Tain-l’Hermitage in a wine-growing district just south of Lyon, France. Tain-l’Hermitage, nestled along the left bank of the Rhône River, was a favorite spot for Thomas Jefferson who allegedly loved the views afforded by the hillside vineyards overlooking the river.
Jefferson also loved hot chocolate. In a 1785 letter to John Adams, he wrote, “The superiority of chocolate [hot chocolate], both for health and nourishment, will soon give it the same preference over tea and coffee in America which it has in Spain.”
Clearly, he didn’t anticipate coffee shops.
Make it yourself
Try a version of Four Season’s Haute Chocolate at home with these recipes:
PART 2 OF STORY. For more on the history and yes, even art, of hot chocolate see the second part of this story: The French, hot chocolate, and a pot