Chicago, IL

Surprise your sweetheart on Valentine's Day with a rich pairing of chocolate and whiskey

Jennifer Geer

Jitterbug Sweets in Wicker Park has paired up with The GlenDronach Distillery to bring you a more grown-up Valentine treat

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Jitterbug Sweets/Jim Vondruska

Think buttery pecans and caramel with a golden chocolate crunch covered with milk chocolate and paired with a rich single malt whiskey cocktail.

Chef Marianna Reynolds, owner of Jitterbug Sweets, (located in Wicker Park,) has created a confection she's named the Pecan Prance Bar. It's a reinvention of the classic pecan caramel cluster into a candy bar containing milk chocolate brown sugar pecan caramel and a golden chocolate crunch.

Reynolds recommends pairing her Pecan Prance bar with a Rob Roy Cocktail made from fine GlenDronach Whiskey (aged 12 years,) vermouth, and bitters. And don't forget the cherry garnish.

Chicago Bartender Laura Lynch said of the drink via email, "It’s the ideal cocktail for an elegant Valentine’s evening. While the drink is sipped and savored over the course of a conversation, nuanced flavors emerge as the cocktail breathes and matures. With its malty, sherried presence, Glendronach 12 lends richness to this cocktail with its juicy notes of dark fruit with earthy undertones. "

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Jitterbug Sweets/Jim Vondruska

Chef Reynolds explained via email how well the flavors of the malty cocktail combine with the chocolaty goodness of her candy bar. "The flavor notes of malted vanilla in the whisky are enhanced with the toasted flavor in the caramel and golden chocolate filling," said Reynolds. "The soft notes of subtle hazelnut in the whisky are brought front and center with the brown sugar roasted pecan twist."

"This is the perfect pairing because the Pecan Prance bar picks up where the whisky left off," Reynolds continued. "The Rob Roy cocktail fits perfectly in this puzzle, with the vermouth and cherry being the perfect compliment to the buttered pecan caramel."

About Jitterbug Sweets

Jitterbug Sweets, located in Wicker Park, is owned by award-nominated pastry chef, Marianna Reynolds.

The Pecan Prance Bar can be purchased online at Jitterbug's website for $8 per 2-piece pack and shipped or picked up locally.

About The GlenDronach Distillery

The GlenDronach Distillery is one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland. It's GlenDronach Orignal Aged 12 Years can be purchased online through ReserveBar or Drizly.

The recipe

Rob Roy Cocktail

  • ¾ oz. The GlenDronach Original Aged 12 Years
  • 1 oz. Vermouth
  • 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish: Brandied Cherry

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir until very cold and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with cherry.

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Jennifer covers lifestyle content and local news for the Chicago area. New articles published each weekday.

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