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Drinking Chocolate 

Cocktails Anyone?
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 an aphrodisiac.

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!

Mozart Sonatine

  • 1½ oz. Original Mozart Chocolate Liqueur
  • ½ tsp. Grand Marnier

Serve on the rocks; decorate with a slice of orange.

 
Royal Godiva

  • 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 spuritt@hotmail.com.

 

 

 

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