Ambrosia Sipping Chocolate is a brand new, gourmet hot chocolate that’s made in Traverse City. It hits the market on April 15th.
“It’s literally like you’re drinking chocolate bars because that’s exactly what it is,” says co-owner Matt Shepler.
Inside his Traverse City house, Matt Shepler has some dark chocolate bars sitting on the counter.
“Right now, we just kind of break off the bars, toss it in the blender and then we pulse it,” he explains.
The chocolate has to be blended quickly so the blade won’t get too hot and melt it. Once he’s done, he takes the chocolate and mixes it with some spices.
Matt owns Ambrosia Sipping Chocolate with his mom. Patti Mercer, and his brother, Brad. They’re a family of entrepreneurs who owned a gelato shop in the past. They came up with the recipe for sipping chocolate after Patti went overseas to sample a bunch of different varieties.
“So she came back to the U.S., she toyed with some recipes, she found an amazing chocolate company, an amazing chocolate bar that we’re using and now … we have the recipe,” he says.
But Matt won’t tell me what the spices are or what company makes the chocolate.
“I am actually not allowed to give that information,” he says with a smile.
The most he would give me was a continent – the chocolate is made somewhere in Europe.
After Matt warms up some milk on the stovetop, he adds the blended chocolate and spices, and begins to stir.
“I’m going to use a whisk,” he says. “We’re close to a simmer, and that’s what you bring it to.”
Matt says Ambrosia Sipping Chocolate is a lot different from other hot chocolate mixes, like Swiss Miss, for example. Ambrosia chocolate is mixed with milk – not water – and there’s no chocolate syrup used either.
“This is like drinking chocolate bars,” he says. “Very rich – it’s in smaller quantities and it’s something that you sip, you don’t chug down. So, it’s definitely a different experience.”
Each serving of Ambrosia Sipping Chocolate is about eight ounces. Eventually they hope to have different flavors, but for now, they’re focusing on what Matt calls their bread and butter: dark chocolate.