Chocolate liqueur

Chocolate liqueur is a liqueur with a principal flavor of chocolate.



There are several brands of chocolate liqueur on the market, attributed to a 1990s "chocolate craze."[1] Although one food writer implies that chocolate liqueurs are new,[2] chocolate liqueur is not a new invention. There is mention, in French, of producing and selling chocolate en liqueur as early as 1666.[3] Context suggests this is a chocolate liqueur, not a chocolate liquor or other chocolate beverage. In New England prior to the 18th century American Revolution, a "chocolate wine" was popular. Its ingredients included sherry, port, chocolate, and sugar.[1] A French manual published in 1780 also describes chocolate liqueur.[4] An 1803 French pharmacy manual includes a recipe for a chocolate liqueur (ratafia de chocolat, also ratafia de cacao).[5] An early 19th century American cookbook, published in 1825 and preserved in an historical archive in South Carolina, includes a similar recipe.[3] Throughout the 19th century and into the early 20th century, manuals and encyclopedias in French, English, and Spanish give similar recipes. A late 19th century food science manual gives a recipe that includes techniques for clarifying and coloring the liqueur.[6] A similar early 20th century manual gives four recipes.[7]


Cacao beans

Early 19th century recipes for chocolate liqueur featured whole cacao beans.[5] A basic modern recipe[8] for making chocolate liqueur at home lists the ingredients chocolate extract, vanilla extract, vodka, and simple syrup. To keep the chocolate extract in suspension and make the liqueur thicker, glycerine may be added. In its purest form, chocolate liqueur is clear; coloring may be added.[6] Recipes for home-made chocolate liqueurs may also include raw eggs as an ingredient, presenting a risk of salmonellosis. Reasonable safety may be achieved by combining the eggs with the alcohol before other ingredients.[9]


Chocolate liqueur can be consumed straight, as an after dinner drink rather than as aperitif. It is used in mixed drinks and in desserts, especially in dessert sauces, cakes, and truffles. A food writer notes that many recipes for chocolate truffle add a small amount of chocolate liqueur to melted chocolate, and warns that adding the liqueur often causes the chocolate to seize.[10] One of the more unusual uses is in chocolate rolled fondant.[11]

Arguably the most controversial use may be in connection with a scandal concerning the provenance of certain 17th century bottles of wines said to have belonged to Thomas Jefferson, and traded by Hardy Rodenstock. Benjamin Wallace writes in his book The Billionaire's Vinegar that at a wine tasting of 19th century wines from Château Latour, provided by Rodenstock, several people noted the wines had a flavor of chocolate liqueur and were fakes.[12] Wine and chocolate are a classic flavor pairing, and this is reflected in some cocktails that combine a strong red wine with a dash of chocolate liqueur.[13]


Chocolate liqueurs are of three general kinds: Liqueur, Cream Liqueur, and Crème de Cacao.

Chocolate liqueur

  • Afrikoko (coconut and chocolate)
  • Ashanti Gold
  • Djangoa (with a hint of anise)
  • Godiva Dark Chocolate
  • Liqueur Fogg
  • Mozart Black (dark chocolate)
  • Royal Mint-Chocolate Liqueur (French)
  • Sabra liqueur (dark chocolate and Jaffa oranges)

Chocolate cream liqueur

Crème de cacao

Another category of chocolate liqueur is crème de cacao. This liqueur may be a clear and light, or a dark caramel-colored product, often labeled as "dark crème de cacao." The French word "crème" refers to the creamy texture of the extra sweet liqueur, but there is no actual dairy cream in this product. The alcohol content of Crème de Cacao can vary, but 20 to 25% ABV (40–50 proof (U.S.)) is common.


  1. ^ a b Linda K. Fuller (1994). Chocolate fads, folklore & fantasies: 1,000+ chunks of chocolate information. Haworth popular culture. Routledge. pp. 276. ISBN 1560243376. 
  2. ^ Alan Axelrod (2003). The complete idiot's guide to mixing drinks (2 ed.). Alpha Books. pp. 406. ISBN 0028644689. 
  3. ^ a b Louis Grivetti, Howard-Yana Shapiro, ed (2009). Chocolate: History, Culture, and Heritage. John Wiley and Sons. pp. 975. ISBN 0470121653. 
  4. ^ Jean Elie Bertrand, ed (1780). Descriptions des arts et métiers. 12. de l'Imprimerie de la Société Typographique. 
  5. ^ a b Simon Morelot (1803). Cours elementaire théorique et pratique de Pharmacie-chimique, ou manuel du pharmacien-chimiste. 2. Poignée. pp. 519. 
  6. ^ a b William Theodore Brannt, William Henry Wahl, ed (1887). The techno-chemical receipt book: containing several thousand receipts, covering the latest, most important and most useful discoveries in chemical technology, and their practical application in the arts and the industries. H. C. Baird & co.. pp. 495. 
  7. ^ A. Emil Hiss (1906). The standard manual of soda and other beverages: a treatise especially adapted to the requirements of druggists and confectioners (Revised ed.). G. P. Engelhard & Co.. pp. 257. 
  8. ^ Mimi Freid (1987). Making Liqueurs for Gifts. Garden Way Publishing bulletin. Storey Publishing. pp. 32. ISBN 0882664999. 
  9. ^ Carol E. Steinhart, M. Ellin Doyle, Food Research Institute, Barbara A. Cochrane, ed (1995). Food Safety 1995. Food Science and Technology Series. Marcel Dekker. pp. 618. ISBN 0824796241. 
  10. ^ Shirley O. Corriher (2008). BakeWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking with Over 200 Magnificent Recipes. Simon and Schuster. pp. 544. ISBN 1416560785. 
  11. ^ Toba Garrett, Steven Mark Needham, Christine Mathews (2004). The Well-Decorated Cake. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.. pp. 144. ISBN 1402717733. 
  12. ^ Benjamin Wallace (2008). The Billionaire's Vinegar: The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine. Crown. ISBN 0307338770. 
  13. ^ Jeff Bundschu, Mike Sangiacomo, Jon Sebastiani (1999). The wine brats' guide to living with wine. Macmillan. pp. 276. ISBN 0312204434. 
  14. ^ Cadbury's Cream Liqueur: A Case History International Journal of Wine Marketing 1992, Vol. 4, Issue 2, pp. 33-37. Retrieved 3 April 2009

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