London: Clubbers are turning to a new high to sweeten their party experience – chocolate.
A new craze of snorting lines of cocoa is sweeping through Europe’s clubs, with dedicated events now offering it in place of alcohol and drugs like cocaine and ecstasy.
At one monthly party in Berlin, ravers keep dancing until dawn just from the buzz of raw chocolate taken in drink, pill or powdered form.
Lucid from Alchemy Eros boasts of giving clubbers ‘a dynamic gathering… where music, dance and natural high vibes roam wild and free’.
It adds: ‘We do not serve alcohol, but this does not make us ‘anti’ anything.
‘We have local artisans and culinary adventurers serving various high vibe medicines such as raw Cacao, super-food smoothies, herbal concoctions, vegan cuisine and much more.’
Advocates say raw cocoa is far more potent than previously believed.
It first provides a rush of endorphins into your bloodstream which can fuel feelings of euphoria, especially when coupled with dance music.
The chocolate also contains high amounts of magnesium which relaxes your muscles.
A recent study by London’s Kingston University on cyclists also found that chocolate can make you go faster and further.
It is thought that epicatechin, a plant chemical particularly abundant in dark chocolate, gives the body a boost by widening the blood vessels.
This speeds oxygen supply to the muscles, allowing them to make the most of the precious fuel.
Its use in clubs appears to be booming to such an extent a chef has invented a £35 device so you can conveniently snort the powder on the go.
Belgian chocolatier Dominique Persoone made the device for a Rolling Stones party in 2007.
But the concept has taken off and been used by culinary innovators such as Heston Blumenthal at his restaurant The Fat Duck.
Diners are given a special mix of Dominican Republic or Peruvian cocoa powder mixed with raspberry, ginger and mint to snort.
But this practise has now migrated from the dinner table to the dance floor as clubbers increasingly seek out healthy and legal ways of escaping from the rigours of life.
Morning Gloryville, a rave company that organises dance parties from London to New York, stocks Lucid’s bar with cacao drinks and pills.
Lucid organiser Ruby May says she mixes 18lbs of cocoa for the night with honey, agave syrup and cinnamon to give users an even more aromatic experience.
She told OZY: ‘It’s like a smooth, sensual hug in a cup.’
With Mr Persoone’s device, users pack the powder into two small spoons fixed to a trigger mechanism.
They then hold the device close to their nose and press the lever, sending it shooting up their nostrils.
The tattoo-clad 46-year-old said: ‘The mint and the ginger really tinkle your nose. Then the mint flavour goes down and the chocolate stays in your brain.
‘It has taken him years to develop the perfect snorting powder as early experiments with pure cocoa powder revealed it was too dry.
Before he hit on the tingling sensation of mint and ginger, he was using a mix which contained chili.
‘It’s a very bad idea,’ he said in an interview earlier this year.
The chocolate shooters, which sell for €45 (£30) each, have been exported to Russia, India, Canada, Australia and the United States.
The packaging bears a warning against excessive sniffing, but Persoone insists it is safe.
He was inspired by the role of the nose when tasting food and, he says, a certain idea of fun.
He added: ‘The mentality when you think about sniffing is: ‘Oh it’s kinky, guys who do that stuff.’
‘I’m not the bad boy promoting drugs, not at all… Life is boring. Let’s have fun.’