Bottle #38: Godet White Chocolate Liqueur

Dec 27, 2023

If asked to name a brand of white chocolate liqueur, I suspect most people would say Godiva. While that brand is better known, if my research is correct, tiny bottle #38, Godet White Chocolate liqueur, might actually have been the first!

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People have been putting chocolate into alcohol for a very long time. Chocolate wine was a thing at least as far back as the 1700s. And crème de cacao, both white and dark varieties, have been around for a long time. But despite the presence of “crème” in the name, crème de cacao doesn’t actually have any cream in in, whereas white chocolate liqueur definitely does! There are no hard and fast rules, but in general — when compared to crème de cacao — a chocolate liqueur is going to have a fuller and richer texture, which may or may not involve dairy.

In our modern era, the first thing advertised as a chocolate liqueur as opposed to a crème de cacao appears to be Mozart, an Austrian dark chocolate liqueur that was created in 1979 and mostly sold to tourists. In 1993 our good friend Seagram’s managed to convince Godiva chocolate to team up with them on a chocolate liqueur. It originally faced limited success, but their introduction of white chocolate and coffee varieties in 1996 helped rescue the original. These new varieties were cream based, and that helped them attract drinkers of the wildly popular Bailey’s Irish Cream, which had been around since the mid-1970s.

But there was already one white chocolate liqueur on the market before Seagram’s released the Godiva brand in 1996, and that was Godet. It first appears in newspaper advertising in 1995.

Godet is not, as I originally thought, a Belgian chocolate producer. While the liqueur was made for them in Belgium, Godet is actually a Cognac house, headquartered in New Rochelle, France, and the liqueur is a blend of Cognac and white chocolate. At the time that Godet white chocolate liqueur was being formulated, the Godet brand was owned by the Grand Metropolitan Group, who’ve come up in passing in other episodes, and who eventually became absorbed in the multi-headed hydra that is spirits giant Diageo. But the Godet family bought the company back in 1995, right around when the liqueur was being released.

It’s unclear to me if the Godet white chocolate liqueur brand went to the family or stayed with Diageo. Certainly there’s no evidence on the Godet Cognac website today that they ever stooped so low as to make a cream liqueur. The trademark was owned by Godet, but in 2002 the lawyer handling the trademark was with Diageo. The trademark documents are also useful in figuring out the date of my tiny bottle, as the 2002 trademark update includes a picture of the label, and by that time it was being made in Ireland, not Belgium as on my bottle. Which makes sense, because the Diageo portfolio included Bailey’s Irish Cream, so why not make all your cream liqueurs in one place?

So that puts the date of my bottle as between 1995 and 2002. And regardless of where in there it falls, there’s one thing I know for sure, which is that it is the first entry into the “not ever going to be tasted” list. There’s no best-before date on my bottle, but there’s no possible way that a cream-based liqueur still good. I can’t tell for sure because of its opaque bottle, but as I said in the reveal video, I think this one is mostly solid. And I sure don’t plan to open it to find out!

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Bottle #38: Godet White Chocolate Liqueur

Dec 27, 2023 |

If asked to name a brand of white chocolate liqueur, I suspect most people would say Godiva. While that brand is better known, if my research is correct, tiny bottle #38, Godet White Chocolate liqueur, might actually have been the first!

People have been putting chocolate into alcohol for a very long time. Chocolate wine was a thing at least as far back as the 1700s. And crème de cacao, both white and dark varieties, have been around for a long time. But despite the presence of “crème” in the name, crème de cacao doesn’t actually have any cream in in, whereas white chocolate liqueur definitely does! There are no hard and fast rules, but in general — when compared to crème de cacao — a chocolate liqueur is going to have a fuller and richer texture, which may or may not involve dairy.

In our modern era, the first thing advertised as a chocolate liqueur as opposed to a crème de cacao appears to be Mozart, an Austrian dark chocolate liqueur that was created in 1979 and mostly sold to tourists. In 1993 our good friend Seagram’s managed to convince Godiva chocolate to team up with them on a chocolate liqueur. It originally faced limited success, but their introduction of white chocolate and coffee varieties in 1996 helped rescue the original. These new varieties were cream based, and that helped them attract drinkers of the wildly popular Bailey’s Irish Cream, which had been around since the mid-1970s.

But there was already one white chocolate liqueur on the market before Seagram’s released the Godiva brand in 1996, and that was Godet. It first appears in newspaper advertising in 1995.

Godet is not, as I originally thought, a Belgian chocolate producer. While the liqueur was made for them in Belgium, Godet is actually a Cognac house, headquartered in La Rochelle, France, and the liqueur is a blend of Cognac and white chocolate. At the time that Godet white chocolate liqueur was being formulated, the Godet brand was owned by the Grand Metropolitan Group, who’ve come up in passing in other episodes, and who eventually became absorbed in the multi-headed hydra that is spirits giant Diageo. But the Godet family bought the company back in 1995, right around when the liqueur was being released.

It’s unclear to me if the Godet white chocolate liqueur brand went to the family or stayed with Diageo. Certainly there’s no evidence on the Godet Cognac website today that they ever stooped so low as to make a cream liqueur. The trademark was owned by Godet, but in 2002 the lawyer handling the trademark was with Diageo. The trademark documents are also useful in figuring out the date of my tiny bottle, as the 2002 trademark update includes a picture of the label, and by that time it was being made in Ireland, not Belgium as on my bottle. Which makes sense, because the Diageo portfolio included Bailey’s Irish Cream, so why not make all your cream liqueurs in one place?

So that puts the date of my bottle as between 1995 and 2002. And regardless of where in there it falls, there’s one thing I know for sure, which is that it is the first entry into the “not ever going to be tasted” list. There’s no best-before date on my bottle, but there’s no possible way that a cream-based liqueur still good. I can’t tell for sure because of its opaque bottle, but as I said in the reveal video, I think this one is mostly solid. And I sure don’t plan to open it to find out!

4 Comments

  1. If the Godet white chocolate becomes solidified can you warm it in boiling water or something to try to get it back to normal?

    Reply
    • Sadly, no. It’s solid because the cream/milk/dairy has gone bad, like spoiled milk in your fridge. No going back from that.

      Reply
  2. It’s too bad you didn’t try it as I found it to be amazingly good. It was a gift so am pretty sure I would’ve walked right past it without a 2nd glance if I saw it on a store shelf.

    Reply
    • I would love to try it if it were actually drinkable! But based on the other cream liqueurs in the collection where I can see into the bottle, there’s not going to be anything safe to consume in this one!

      Reply

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