Any ice cream eater worth their cone knows about the wonders of The Bent Spoon — the most bourgeois of ice cream shops in Princeton famous for flavors like “Earl Grey” and “Lavender” ice creams. I’ve spent my fair share of time licking the last drops of a vanilla sea salt caramel scoop out of those (way too tiny) cups like some kind of rabid animal. But we’re currently living through a mini Ice Age, and even I’m not masochistic enough to eat anything cold in this weather. So when I made the trek to Princeton last weekend, I went searching not for a frozen treat at The Bent Spoon, but for a hot one.
Forgive me if this review gets a little poetic from here, but I find it impossible to talk about The Bent Spoon’s Drinking Chocolate without waxing on and on about it, treating it like the gift from the gods that it is. Actually, I like to imagine that Ixcacao, the Mayan goddess of chocolate (yes, I Googled it, she is apparently a real thing) blessed The Bent Spoon with this most holy of chocolate drinks and commanded them to distribute it to the masses, proving that the powers above love us and want us to be happy.
The Bent Spoon isn’t being pretentious by calling this concoction Drinking Chocolate — it’s like no hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted. It’s extremely thick to the point where sipping becomes impossible. Thou shall gulp thy Drinking Chocolate, or thou shall suffer the dissatisfaction of an empty belly, command the Bent Spoon gods. It comes in two flavors, Original and Habanero. My friend stuck with the Original, while I took the plunge with the spicier option.
I can’t say anything bad about the Original — it was a damn good cup of chocolate, in a very traditional way. It made me wish that I was curled up on a sofa, drinking it while wrapped in a blanket and watching snow fall. It tasted like a particularly satisfying moment from childhood — nothing too spectacular, but extremely good in a quiet kind of way.
Those with a more adventurous palate, however, may prefer to try the Habanero, but be warned: it’s not for the faint of tongue. It definitely had a kick to it, a kind of burning in the back of the throat that I found enjoyable but others may find alarming. If you can stand the heat, though, I can’t recommend it highly enough.
The Drinking Chocolate comes plain or topped with whipped cream. There is apparently some kind of marshmallow topping as well, but they were out of it when I visited. It must be delicious, however, as I heard more than one customer lament the fact that they would have to enjoy their drink without it. At only $4 a cup, The Bent Spoon’s Drinking Chocolate may be the best way to combat the current Arctic chill.