Working in a hot commercial kitchen often drives a person to drink. At the bottom end of the scale, there's water, essential for coping with the heat; there's also soft drinks (I'm looking at you, Golden Circle Creaming Soda, damn your economically-priced, sugar-soaked hide), through to Red Bull, providing energy for many a flagging chef. And then there's the "heavy stuff", downed by the vat load by the more idiosyncratic members of the chefing profession.
At work, we're entitled to a hot drink during our shift. I'm not a big coffee drinker, being more of a tea fan. Given that tea should be sipped and savoured rather than hurled down one's gob because you've got kilos of squid to prep, I usually forgo it, opting for a hot chocolate instead. It occurred to me recently that you could play around with the flavour, and with so much fruit being in season, something must work with chocolate - like berries, for instance.
And then, there in front of me amongst the bottles at the bar was the Chambord. For those of you that don't know, Chambord is a black-coloured raspberry and blackberry liqueur, infused with vanilla, honey, citrus peel and cognac. The recipe is based on that used at the time of Louis XIV, and is produced in the Loire valley. The colour is inky black and it has a rich, sweet fragrance. To enjoy, just add ml to your hot chocolate as it's being made, and enjoy the resulting smell and flavour - deliciously sweet berry flavours in hot milky chocolate. Give it a go.