Did you know that there’s actually a difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa?
Hot chocolate is made with ground chocolate beans, heated milk or water, and sometimes sugar. It’s more like a coffee or tea than the smooth, sweet, creamy drink we typically think of.
Hot cocoa is made with cocoa powder, heated milk or water, and sugar.
In the United States, we use the two terms interchangeably, but other countries in the world have a firm distinction between the two unique beverages.
Hot chocolate has been around for much longer than hot cocoa. Around 500 BC, the ancient Mayans drank hoto chocolate made from crushing cocoa seeds and mixing it into water. They also added chili peppers!
In 1400 AD, the Aztecs were also drinking their own variation of hot chocolate. When Europeans began to explore the Americas, they brought hot chocolate back with them.
In the Victorian and Regency eras, hot chocolate was considered beneficial for digestive health issues and was often prescribed as medicine. Nowadays we know that cocoa has antioxidants that may help prevent cancer, and the flavonoids are beneficial to arterial health and memory.
Cowboys in the early days of the United States drank hot chocolate (which was just as bitter as coffee) around the campfire.
In the early 1800s, a father and son team of chemists developed a process to remove cocoa solids from the butter. The father, Casparus van Houten Sr. was the one to develop the separation process, then his son Coenraad Johannes made it so the fats could be dissolved into water.
Sweet milk chocolate was then created in 1876 by the Swiss chocolatier Daniel Peter. He was the first to create milk chocolate by mixing in powdered milk with chocolate.
In 1948, Nesquick began selling the first chocolate milk powder that could be mixed in with milk. It could be drunk cold or heated up into hot cocoa.
It wasn’t until 1961 that sweet, creamy hot cocoa could be made with water instad of milk. This process was developed by Swiss Miss, who began selling powdered mixes.
In 2004, Starbucks began serving hot chocolate on their menu. That same year, the movie Polar Express was released with a musical scene about serving hot chocolate.
The secret to making amazing hot chocolate is using milk, not just water when making it. This Double Chocolate Peppermint Hot Chocolate does that and more - give it a try on National Hot Chocolate Day!
This oreo hot chocolate is a dunkin donuts copycat that is even better than the original. A thick, creamy, rich hot chocolate that tastes like pure oreos. Made with only 3 ingredients in less than 10 minutes. A must-have winter drink on National Hot Chocolate Day for any cookies and cream lovers.
This Peppermint Chocolatte is the perfect coffee to get you in the spirit of National Hot Chocolate Day. It’s a festive blend of rich coffee, hot chocolate, and peppermint syrup – all topped off with whipped cream and crushed peppermints.
This rich, homemade 21 Day Fix coconut hot cocoa will be your family's new favorite on National Hot Chocolate Day! A super indulgent treat for the whole family that’s also gluten free, dairy free and vegan!
Orange Hot Chocolate is the perfect beverage for those colder winter days and to keep you warm on National Hot Chocolate Day. This recipe takes the classic hot chocolate and adds citrusy orange flavour for an even more decadent drink. Top with whipped cream or marshmallows for an indulgent treat!
Dessert season is year round, but different types definitely have a season. You’re going to want to add this frozen hot chocolate recipe to your Summer menu (or if you live in a warmer climate on National Hot Chocolate Day). It’s the absolute best way to get your sweet chocolate fix and cool off.
Slow cooker peanut butter hot chocolate is a Reese’s lover’s dream come true for National Hot Chocolate Day. This hot cocoa recipe gets dressed up with the classic combination for a decadent warm drink.
This simple recipe for slow cooker Baileys Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate combines all the flavors of creamy hot chocolate with a little bit of pumpkin spice to bring back fall on National Hot Chocolate Day.
Pink hot chocolate is a fun twist on traditional hot cocoa, perfect for National Hot Chocolate Day or to warm up on any chilly winter night. Made with white chocolate, milk, cream cheese, and strawberry puree (or strawberry syrup), this is one incredibly rich, creamy, and flavorful cup of cocoa.
Peppermint Hot Chocolate is a decadent homemade hot chocolate pumped up with festive peppermint flavor. You can make this drink boozy or tame to serve anyone on your guest list for National Hot Chocolate Day.
Tsokolate or Filipino hot chocolate is unadorned. No whipped cream, marshmallows or sweet syrups to hide behind. Made with just milk and tablea or cocoa tablets, it is what chocolate purists dream of trying on National Hot Chocolate Day. It’s quick, easy, delicious and sure to lift your spirits!
This white hot chocolate from scratch tastes just like cheesecake in a cup without having to wait for a whole cheesecake to bake. Cheesecake craving satisfied in 15 minutes on National Hot Chocolate Day? Done.
This creamy coffee hot chocolate is made with real chocolate and instant coffee. Then topped with a delicious homemade coffee whipped cream. Caffeinated hot chocolate is the perfect drink to start off your day, especially on National Hot Chocolate Day.
This very rich, sweet hot chocolate is a perfect treat and dessert to warm up after a day of playing in the snow. For National Hot Chocolate Day, give Rich Cinnamon & Anise Ganache Hot Chocolate a try!
Cozy up on National Hot Chocolate Day with a mug of thick and spicy vegan hazelnut hot chocolate! This recipe isn’t just your classic hot cocoa: dark chocolate, crunchy toasted hazelnuts, and cayenne meet for a tasty twist.
Love that sweet and salty combination? This Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate is for you! With its tasty mix of hot chocolate, creamy caramel, and sea salt, a warm mug full is just perfect for National Hot Chocolate Day. Prepare this recipe on the stove top or in the slow cooker for serving ease.
Warm up with a mug of Raspberry Hot Chocolate, made from scratch with 100% real food ingredients. This raspberry hot chocolate recipe isn’t quite as quick as mixing a packet of hot cocoa powder with hot water, but it’s a labor of love. In the end, for National Hot Chocolate Day you’ll have an incredibly creamy, velvety hot chocolate with notes of sweet-tart raspberry in every sip. No artificial flavors or sweeteners are needed!
This Mayan Hot Chocolate recipe is wickedly bitter with a delicious creaminess and frothy texture. Elements of spice and chili help round out the bitter brew, making for a delicious alternative to your morning coffee or tea on National Hot Chocolate Day.
Are you a fan of matcha? If so, you’ll love this Vegan Coconut Matcha Hot Chocolate Recipe for National Hot Chocolate Day. This is a rich drinking chocolate so this recipe makes two small drinks. It’s got 3 ingredients and comes together in under 10 minutes.
This recipe for Hojicha Hot Chocolate is a fantastic way and unique to enjoy tea and hot chocolate in one drink on National Hot Chocolate Day. Roasted green tea (hojicha) adds a nutty and earthy flavour to the dark chocolate. Enjoy this elevated and kid-friendly hot chocolate drink on a cold winter's day!
Irish Hot Chocolate is the perfect St. Patrick’s Day cocktail on a cold evening. Take hot chocolate to a whole new level by adding Irish whiskey and Irish cream. A warm and comforting drink, it’s the perfect way to celebrate National Hot Chocolate Day.
You can make the best hot chocolate with just two ingredients: dark chocolate and milk. Start on National Hot Chocolate Day with the best dark chocolate you can buy. You can keep it simple or you can infuse the milk with Earl Grey tea!
If you love the wonderful combination of raspberry and chocolate, a Raspberry Truffle Cocktail is for you on National Hot Chocolate Day! Served warm with its delicious mix of chocolate milk, vanilla vodka, and raspberry liqueur, this is one cocktail that's just perfect for winter and holiday sipping.
This rich dark hot chocolate with amaretto is the best creamy spiked alcoholic hot chocolate to try on National Hot Chocolate Day. Milk, dark chocolate, sugar and vanilla melted together. A shot of amaretto mixed in, topped with whipped cream, sliced almonds and chocolate sauce.