by Sheila Swerling-Puritt
Do you yearn for it? Does salivating while thumbing through all your
back copies of Chocolatier make you a chocoholic? Can you imagine
life without chocolate champagne truffles? A nightmare, you say?
You're not alone. North Americans lead the world in the consumption of
chocolate; each of us consumes approximately four pounds of cocoa products
a year. Several of you are not doing your fair share, because I'm sure
more than four pounds pass my lips! It is only fitting that we gobble
up more of this indulgence than those in other countries, as cocoa is
a product of the New World. The history of chocolate starts with the plantations
of cocoa trees that were established by the Mayas in Yucatan around the
year 600. Four hundred years later, the Aztecs harvested the cocoa bean
from a wide branching perennial evergreen. Botanists call it Theobrama
cocas, "Food of the gods." While it grows in many parts
of the world, it is always within 20 degrees of the equator, as the cocoa
plant needs a humid and tropical climate. Some historians credit Columbus
with bringing chocolate to the court of Spain. Others say that it was
Hernando Cortez who tasted a frothy brown brew, Xocolatl, at the
court of the Aztec Emperor Montezuma II in 1519 and brought home with
him not only a supply of cocoa beans, but the legend that chocolate is
A possible explanation for this theory? Two active ingredients in chocolate
are caffeine and phenylalanine substances that can act as stimulants
to the central nervous system. That is why many cultures have indeed revered
chocolate as an aphrodisiac.
In the 18th century, chocolate was mainly consumed as a drink, similar
to coffee. Today we have the option of enjoying it as a liqueur. Available
in dark chocolate, milk chocolate or white chocolate flavours, the liqueurs
usually have a shelf life of two years (minimum) in the sealed bottle.
Once it is opened, I prefer to refrigerate the bottle because, of course,
they never last that long at my home!
- 1½ oz. Original Mozart Chocolate Liqueur
- ½ tsp. Grand Marnier
Serve on the rocks; decorate with a slice of orange.
- 1½ oz. Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
- ½ oz. Chambord Liqueur
- 4 oz. club soda
Pour Godiva Liqueur and Chambord Liqueur over ice in a 12 oz. tumbler;
top with club soda.
For more information, you can contact Sheila at firstname.lastname@example.org.