There’s nothing more satisfying on a cold winter’s day than a steaming mug of hot chocolate unless of course, it’s a mug of rich, molten drinking chocolate. The terms drinking chocolate and hot chocolate are often used interchangeably, but the reality is the two drinks are quite different. Hot chocolate starts in powder form (usually a blend of cocoa powder, sugar, and often includes dairy powder and flavorings or spices) and is typically made with water. Drinking chocolate, or sipping chocolate, is exactly what it sounds like – luxurious, melted chocolate you can drink! This extraordinary winter beverage is made from two simple ingredients (melted dark chocolate and milk) and is richer and thicker, with a more intense chocolate flavor than its counterpart.
Drinking Chocolate is perfect for those in search of a full-bodied, deeply satisfying chocolate experience. Preparation for this decadent winter beverage takes a little more time, but the efforts are well worth it. Plus, because this drink is super-rich, you only need a small amount to get your soul-soothing, winter chocolate fix.
If you’ve had the pleasure of visiting us in Vermont, you may have tried our renowned Old World drinking chocolate. (Just one of the many tantalizing varieties of drinking chocolates that our cafés have to offer.) One sip and you’ll discover why Travel + Leisure called it one of, “America’s Best Hot Chocolates.” Luckily, you don’t have to hop in the car to enjoy this customer favorite. Follow the recipe below and watch our video to learn how to make drinking chocolate at home.
*When it comes to your drinking chocolate ingredients, quality matters. Using a great-tasting, high-quality dark chocolate will result in a superior tasting beverage. We recommend using our 57% organic dark chocolate for a drink with a rich, chocolate flavor. If you want something a little less sweet, our 72% extra-dark chocolate packs an intense, deep dark chocolate flavor, with hints of baked brownie, with almost half the amount of sugar.
1. Start by finely chopping your chocolate. Try to make your chocolate shavings uniform in size. This will ensure that your chocolate melts quicker while creating a smoother, more uniform consistency. (After all, no one wants a chunky chocolate drink.)
2. In a small saucepan combine the dark chocolate, cocoa powder, and milk. While traditional European-style drinking chocolate does not typically contain cocoa powder, it gives the beverage an extra chocolatey boost.
3. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly to prevent the chocolate from settling and the milk from scalding.
4. Once all of the chocolate is well blended, slightly raise the heat to medium-low. Continue to stir until your beverage reaches the optimal drinking temperature. (We like our drinking chocolate to be nice and warm, about 120⁰F.)
5. Remove from heat and stir one last time to make sure all of the chocolate is well dispersed. Pour into your favorite mug and top with marshmallows. Cheers!
Tips for making the best drinking chocolate:
- Enjoy with a crowd - create a hot chocolate bar with drinking chocolate at your next party.
- If you prefer thicker drinking chocolate, simply increase the amount of dark chocolate that you add to your drink.
- Create a spiked hot chocolate with your favorite bourbon, coffee liquor, or Irish cream.
- Transform your drinking chocolate into a mocha by adding two shots of espresso.
- Be adventurous. Try using different dark chocolate bars to see how their taste profiles create drinking chocolates with distinctive flavors.
- Pour over ice to make a frozen hot chocolate and enjoy this delicious chocolatey drink all year long.