A while back I committed myself to dating Jordan again, we have been married 5 years, as of June, and with 3 kids under 3 we usually can’t afford a sitter, and truthfully ‘ain’t nobody got time for that’. The first date we put together was an at home beer and chocolate tasting. In full disclosure, J was not terribly excited when I told him my idea, he thought the two sounded weird together, but with some work and research the night panned out beautifully. So, without further ado, what we learned about dating, at home!
I wanted the night to feel like a joint effort, so I designated Jordan as the official beer buyer. He headed to a local store here that sells a mixed 6-pack, with a list of beers to buy: stout, pilsner, IPA, wheat, blonde and amber. I left what brand of beer entirely up to him, but requested he get creative. This lead him to get a stout, that had espresso undertones, which was hilariously ironic, because my man HATES coffee. To say that wasn’t his favorite is an understatement. Anyway, because Jordan took care of the beer, I was in charge of buying the chocolate! The kids enjoyed picking out the chocolate with me in the fancy candy section of the grocery store, until I told them we weren’t sharing it. Ultimately I chose: white chocolate (blonde, pilsner and amber), milk chocolate (amber), orange dark chocolate (wheat), chili chocolate (IPA, but if you don’t love spicy food mango or a tropical fruit works well too), and double fudge brownies (stout)! We did try each beer with each chocolate, some worked really well in kind of unexpected places, and this will vary based on what individual flavors are in each beer.
Once everything was purchased, I thought about how to set the date up so that it felt like something other than just eating candy, and tasting beers. I printed out beer tasting score cards (6 for each of us), I used these and they were great. It helped both of us to realize what we were looking for as we tasted everything. Also, after the kids went to bed, I changed into a cute dress, fixed my hair and make up and did what I would have done were we actually leaving the house. We chose to do our tasting in our sunroom, because we have a table and chairs out there, and no television. We wanted a distraction free area, where I wouldn’t be compelled to clean, and Jordan wouldn’t be tempted to watch the game. I should note, that is where our kids play, so before the date I made sure to clean up the space so it was relaxing. To further set the stage, I played music on my phone, and chilled 12 glasses so that we had a fresh, cold cup for each new beer. In addition to the chocolate, brownies and beer, I also made sure we had a glass of water. It helped to cleanse the pallet between different brews.
To say that the night was a hit would be an understatement. This is now one of our go-tos when we know we don’t have anyone to watch the kids. We will pick up a new beer or two and quickly pick some chocolate to go with it and play games and enjoy each other’s company. This was a new experience for both us, but it helped us both expand our pallet, and understand why we like or dislike certain brews. When I asked Jordan afterward how he felt about the whole thing, he said it was fun, and that he liked trying all the different chocolates and beers. Most importantly though, it is a pretty inexpensive date. All in we spent about $30-35, and that was with 6 beers, a box of brownie mix, and 4 chocolate bars. This can be parred down to an even lower budget easily, but either way it is cheaper than a movie and a lot more fun. I have a few more ideas to try out (Rom-Com bingo anyone?!), so I will keep you posted. In the mean time, I hope that this inspires you to date your spouse, and gives you some ideas about how to do it.