Vail Today: Hot chocolate an elevated experience at The Sebastian (video) |

Vail Today: Hot chocolate an elevated experience at The Sebastian (video)

Tricia Swenson
Vail Today
Laura Kretzing, pastry chef at The Sebastian Vail, left, discusses the hotel's array of gourmet hot chocolates with Vail Today's Tricia Swenson.
Andrew Taylor | Special to the Daily |

Hot chocolate is often part of ski vacations, but you haven’t truly experienced hot chocolate until you’ve tried this decadent drink at The Sebastian Vail.

Pastry chef Laura Kretzing pours hours of time, dedication and love into this concoction that is more of an experience than it is a libation. Kretzing and her team hand-make all of the spheres that comprise the Signature Hot Chocolate available throughout the hotel. These spheres are made with Valrhona milk chocolate and then filled with house-made marshmallows containing a little Bailey’s Irish Cream and chocolate crunch pearls. They are decorated with a little gold “dust” and placed into a large glass mug.

Then the magic begins. The tableside presentation attracts a crowd and brings forth cellphones to caputre video of what happens next. The piping hot chocolate is served up in a teapot and poured over the sphere. This truly is liquid love — vanilla, cloves, star anise, cinnamon and cardamom spice up this drink that would be delicious on it’s own, but while it is being poured over the sphere, it melts a hole in it, which allows the marshmallows and chocolate crunch pearls to pop out of the sphere and float on top and appeal to the senses. The first sip is heavenly.

“Laura puts so much love into each sphere, it really is a work of art,” said Julie Goraj, senior marketing manager for the Sebastian. “When you think of the Sebastian as a whole, this property is a work of art, from the fixtures outside to all of the artwork inside. It’s fitting that our Signature Hot Chocolate is a work of art, as well.”

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The Signature Hot Chocolate is served every day but they also have four different hot chocolates that are offered different weeks of the month. The same tableside presentation is utilized to wow everyone around. Flavors such as peppermint, mocha, caramel and raspberry truffle will make you want to go back each week to try something new.

This Valentine’s Day, take your sweetie to The Sebastian to experience chocolate in a whole new way.

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