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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Four delicious cocktails and desserts named after famous European composers

Classical music is a key part of European history, with great composers such as Beethoven, Wagner, and Haydn all hailing from the continent. Naturally, this legacy is still readily visible in many European cities today, with a wealth of museums dedicated to these musical geniuses as well as buildings and streets named after them. What’s perhaps more surprising is that these composers have also left an impact on the gastronomic scene. So if you’re a fan of classical music, here are four sweet treats and cocktails that you should definitely try if you get the chance.

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Mozartkugel, or Mozart chocolate, is an Austrian speciality that was created in Salzburg—the town Mozart was born in—by confectioner Paul Fürst in 1890. These small, round confections consist of a pistachio marzipan center, surrounded by hazelnut nougat and coated in rich dark chocolate. They are sold wrapped in foil emblazoned with an image of Mozart himself, and make a very popular souvenir for tourists to Austria. Don’t worry, you don’t have to go all the way to Europe to try them, as some specialist chocolate shops in the US now make them too. They make the perfect indulgent treat for any classical music fan!


Gioachino Rossini was a famous Italian composer best known for his operas, which include The Barber of Seville and La Cenerentola. Such was his popularity that he had a cocktail named after him: the Rossini. A variation of the classic Bellini cocktail, it’s very simple to make as it has only two ingredients—Prosecco and puréed strawberries (although some people also choose to add lemon juice and sugar). Simply pour the strawberry mix into a champagne flute (with or without lemon and sugar!), then top the glass up with Prosecco. Ideal for a summer brunch or as an accompaniment to dessert.


The Bachtaler is a special type of cake that was created to commemorate the 250th anniversary of composer Johann Sebastian Bach’s death. It was invented by a confectioner called René Kandler from Leipzig in Germany; a city where Bach lived and worked for many years. The pastry consists of a chocolate casing filled with creamy ganache, which conceals a whole coffee bean encased in hazelnut pastry. The perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee, it’s available exclusively at Café Kandler in Leipzig—so this is one treat that you will have to make a journey to Europe for!


The second cocktail on the list is named in honor of another Italian composer famous for his operas: Giacomo Puccini. He was responsible for some of the most beloved operas in the world, including La Boheme, Madame Butterfly, and Tosca. It’s another simple recipe to make yourself, consisting of fresh tangerine or mandarin juice poured into a champagne flute and then topped up with sparkling Prosecco for a touch of fizz. Try it as an interesting alternative to a mimosa with brunch, or as a quick and easy option when you have friends round in the summer.

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