November 6th is Saxophone Day. While it is not recognized as a national holiday, the saxophone player in this household will be tooting his horn proudly to know his musical instrument holds center stage for at least one day out of the year.
Adolphe Sax, a Belgian, invented the saxophone. It is the only woodwind that was never actually made of wood. It is a beautiful brass instrument originally intended to fill the middle range tones between the clarinet and trumpet. Although the saxophone came into existence in 1845 and was used primarily in military bands, it was not until the 1920’s that the saxophone gained its greatest popularity due to the rise of jazz music.
While it is true the saxophone was actually completed in Paris, its inspiration began in Belgium. The first things that come to my mind when thinking of Belgium are beer and chocolate.
Belgium has well over five hundred varieties of beer as well as the largest brewery in the world when measured by volume. The brewery is Inbev. You can find them at www.inbev.com.
What most women may know Belgium for is their chocolate; Godiva or Guylian to be specific. These are two of Belgiums most widely known brands of chocolates. While chocolate is well within reach in a candy wrapper or bowl near you, it has only been in the past couple of years that it has gained popularity on the cocktail scene. Godiva has been partially responsible for the rise in this trend by putting a quality name behind the product that gets shaken behind the bar.
Godiva has come out with a line of liqueurs that are absolutely exquisite. If you are a chocolate lover, these are liqueurs you should not miss. They offer Original Chocolate, White Chocolate, Mocha, and Milk Chocolate liqueurs. Their liqueurs are every bit as smooth and silky as their fine chocolates and equally as rich. If you are a supreme chocolate lover, try the liqueurs on the rocks. If you love your chocolate in truffles or with nuts and lots of yummy tidbits added in, go for a cocktail. Try the white or milk chocolate in your coffee in lieu of cream and sugar to change the tempo of your weekend brew. Below is a cocktail I came up with while dabbling with the Original Chocolate liqueur. On the surface it does not appear to have much Godiva in it at all. What you will find with the Godiva liqueurs is that a little goes a long way when it comes to flavor.
Chocolate Café Noir Cocktail
1-1/2 oz Van Gogh Espresso Vodka
1 oz Chambord
1/2 oz Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
1 oz half and half
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake for 15 – 20 seconds. Strain into a well chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with skewered raspberries.
The Godiva liqueurs are fascinating to play with when it comes to dessert cocktails. Dessert no longer has to be eaten with a fork or spoon. It can now be shaken or stirred and then sipped indulgently. So, liven up your next dessert with a Begium inspired cocktail and remember the man who helped put jazz on the musical map with his saxophone. Cheers!
Go to www.godiva.com for more information about Godiva liqueurs and their own drink recipes.