As winter approaches we all have the nostalgic memories of winter coats, warm fireplaces, and hot cocoa. Nothing feels quite like a winter morning that a steaming mug of hot chocolate with a dollop of whip cream.
As a kid, most people reminisce about boiling water for their Swiss Miss and gobbling down those mini marshmallows. My mom always made the best hot chocolate, because she always used milk and she'd often melt whatever chocolate we had on hand and stir it in. She was the envy of all my friends.
There are a lot if terms that people describe the drink we know and love. Hot Chocolate, Cocoa, Drinking Chocolate, Etc. Some flavored, some plain, but always delicious. There are two primary distinctions, dependent on whether or not the drink has cocoa butter in it.
Hot Cocoa, by definition does not have cocoa butter in it. Hot Cocoa is usually a dry powdered mix of cocoa powder, sugar, dehydrated milk, and other flavorings (like cinnamon or vanilla). Common grocery store mixes are usually hot cocoa.
Drinking Chocolate has cocoa butter in it, and sometimes comes in a dry powder, but more often comes in small meltable chocolate nibblets. The addition of cocoa butter makes drinking chocolate incredibly smooth and decadent. You can prepare a drinking chocolate with water, but milk is recommended. Drinking chocolate won't have dehydrated milk in it, so preparing it with water will make it less creamy and quite a bit more bitter.
Hot Chocolate is used almost interchangeably as a general term for a chocolately beverage. It's a general umbrella term.
In Europe they were drinking chocolate for over 100 years before the solid chocolate bar was created, and of course the Mayans and Aztecs were drinking chocolate well into the annals of history.
Interestingly, hot chocolate is not the only drink the Aztecs and Mayans made from the cacao plant. The cacao beans were stripped out of a viscous pulpy fruit. The beans could then become drinking chocolate, but the fruit was used and fermented into a type of alcoholic beverage similar to beer. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/34435526/
Cacao brew is a strange venture to consider, but if you're looking for drinking chocolates we carry some of the finest.
Mariebelle Hot Chocolate
Mariebelle combines some very fine chocolate with an Aztec twist to create a delectable drinking chocolate. She has a variety of flavors, dark, Aztec, and Spicy, each with increasing levels of spice intensity. Like the ancient South Americans, Mariebelle drinking chocolates blend a variety of chili and spices into the drink. The high quality chocolate with cocoa butter makes this hot chocolate an incredible treat.