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Chocolate liqueur or chocolate liquor?

You don’t have to speak French to enjoy the sensations of chocolate with an alcoholic twist. But understanding the difference between chocolate liqueur and chocolate liquor will help you make better choices of products to enjoy.

“What? There’s a difference?” you may ask. Yes there is!

Chocolate liqueur is an alcoholic beverage made from a distilled spirit with a chocolate flavour. It is usually enjoyed straight as a drink enjoyed a bit later than right after dinner. Chocolate liqueur is also enjoyed in mixed drinks, dessert sauces, cakes and truffles.

Chocolate liqueur comes in three varieties: liqueur, cream liqueur and crème de cacao. The liqueur variety is chocolate liqueur in its basic form, as a distilled spirit flavoured with chocolate extract. A cream liqueur has dairy cream as an ingredient, and produces a wholesome rich flavour. Crème de cacao also as a creamy texture but does not actually have any dairy cream in it. It is also comes as a clear or dark caramel colour.

On the contrary, chocolate liquor is purely cocoa mass in semi or solid form. It is also known as cocoa liquor and is produced from cocoa beans that have been fermented, dried, roasted and separated from their skins. But in the process, the cocoa mass retains both cocoa solids and cocoa butter in about equal proportions from the beans. When the cocoa mass is melted, it becomes the chocolate liquor. The cocoa liquor is then separated into cocoa solids and cocoa butter, or cooled and molded into blocks as raw chocolate. In this sense, the “liquor” term is used in description of the liquid-form as opposed to being alcoholic. And yes, you may have now guessed – chocolate liquor is not alcoholic.

While chocolate liqueur and chocolate liquor may sound like similar words to the untrained ear, they are very much different products. If you are looking for a warm soothing drink after dinnertime, or a tasty kick for your chocolate flavoured dessert, reach for chocolate liqueur. For chocolate liquor, you may not find it at your local market in that form. But your next best bet is to take a slab of raw chocolate and melt it. Add the melted raw chocolate to a dessert to have the cocoa taste without it being overly sweet. But if you are a chocolate lover, you can enjoy both!