THE LEGEND OF LADY GODIVA
Thank goodness they didn’t have mobile phones or Instagram stories in eleventh century England, otherwise the tale of Lady Godiva would have likely resulted in some body shaming for our fair lady. I’m certain that Peeping Tom’s Twitter and Instagram accounts, more on him later, would have at the very least have been suspended and Leofric, Earl of Mercia, would have felt the wrath of cancel culture. Not to mention that 24 hours later, the Instagram story would be lost forever, insert thinking face emoji here.
In this mythical tale culminating in public nudity and horseback riding, when Earl Leofric demanded his subjects pay new and more oppressive taxes, his wife stepped up in their defense. Lady Godiva pleaded with Leofric not to proceed with the new taxes; the headstrong Earl thought he’d quiet the incessant pleas with a safe bet saying something to the effect of, “You’d have to ride naked through the town of Coventry before I change my mind.” Why he chose this particular dare and why specifically Coventry will forever be a mystery but let’s ride with it [pardon the pun]. On the day of the ride Lady Godiva asked the citizens of Coventry to stay in their homes so as to not see her nude body. Apparently windows were not a thing yet. She set off on her nude trot through town with her beautiful long hair flowing over parts of her body. It’s a fantastic image, this beautiful and powerful woman performing a selfless act in defense of her subjects but there’s always one guy who just can’t help himself and snuck a peak of the noble Godiva’s nude body. We don’t know his actual name but from that moment on, he was forevermore known as Peeping Tom. My theory is that Peeping Tom was planted there and instructed to peep by Leofric himself to distract future readers of this tale from the fact that he probably still taxed those poor serfs into starvation anyway.
True story or not, this tall tale recorded and shared by a notorious exaggerator monk named Roger of Wendover roughly 900 years ago gave us two figures that are still with us after all this time. Godiva is the name of the famous Belgian chocolatier, who aside from producing and selling luxury chocolates, makes this delicious chocolate liqueur in milk, white, and dark chocolate varieties. The story also left us with the common term for voyeur, Peeping Tom.
The beauty of this cocktail is that it can be as simple as any cocktail you’ve ever made, or you can take a couple of additional steps if you’re looking to be a little extra.
4 oz vodka
2 oz Baileys Irish Cream
2 oz Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
Chocolate ganache (Optional)
Chocolate shavings (Optional)
1. Fill a shaker with ice.
2. Measure and pour the vodka, Baileys, and Godiva Chocolate Liqueur into the shaker.
3. Shake vigorously.
If you’re feeling a little extra:
3a. Drizzle chocolate ganache in a swirling pattern into a martini glass.
3b. Rim the glass with more ganache. If you made homemade ganache, this is where you show it off.
4. Strain the ingredients of the shaker into the martini glass.
If you’re feeling super-extra:
4a. Sprinkle chocolate shavings on top of the martini.
If you made this for your lady friend, it’s going to be a good night. If you made this for yourself, enjoy it This is a no-judgment zone and it is absolutely delicious.
The consummate dessert in a glass, this liqueur combines decadent milk chocolate flavor with just enough ABV to keep things interesting. The Godiva is at its best when mixed into cocktails, coffee, or even drizzled over ice cream, but like everything we taste, we do it neat. The nose is pure milk chocolate and cream and it’s likewise on the palate. The mouth feel is exceptionally rich and silky. It’s not an over-the-top chocolate bomb. It’s much more delicate and refined than you might imagine.
Cigar Pairing: Southern Draw Rose of Sharon
The Southern Draw Rose of Sharon is a wonderfully creamy and complex smoke with subtle notes of white pepper and vanilla. It’s a solid medium-strength cigar with a gentle spice component that serves as the perfect complement to the Godiva Milk Chocolate liqueur. In tandem the rich milk chocolate from the liqueur coats your palate as the spice and pepper provide depth and character.