National Hot Chocolate Day

Celebrated during what is arguably one of the coldest months of the year, National Hot Chocolate Day is a holiday where people can warm themselves to their core by enjoying this sweet and warm beverage. This day is celebrated on January 31 annually, and it’s the perfect day to sit in front of a roaring fire and take a few moments for yourself.

The History of Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate isn’t a modern invention, as so many people believe it to be. No, it’s been around since at least 500 BC when the Mayans consumed this drink. And historians believe that might not even be the earliest instance of hot chocolate consumption and that it might have been ingested even before then.

However, the chocolate that was consumed by the Mayans is a bit different from what modern people would probably enjoy. Mayan hot chocolate was made with water, cacao beans, cornmeal, chili peppers, and a few other ingredients, but sugar wasn’t one of the ingredients the drink had.

When the Spanish conquered the Mayan empire, they took back cocoa beans and the Mayan equipment that was used to make hot chocolate. At this point, the drink was one that was still bitter, but even so, its popularity began to spread throughout Spain and eventually throughout Europe.

It was a drink that could only be enjoyed by the aristocracy, however, because cocoa beans weren’t being grown in Europe at the time and they only grew in South America. As hot chocolate spread across Europe, it had already been spread across the Caribbean. In Jamaica, they made a variety of chocolate drinks.

During the late 17th century, Sir Hans Sloane—president of the Royal College of Physicians—visited Jamaica and discovered these chocolate drinks. He couldn’t stand the taste of most of them, but he found one chocolate drink that was palatable to him when it was mixed with milk. He would take that chocolate milk to England, and it would eventually form the basis for chocolate milk.

Hot Chocolate Is Different From Hot Cocoa

Many people confuse hot chocolate with hot cocoa, but these two drinks are distinctly different. Hot chocolate is a drink that’s made with bittersweet, semisweet, or dark chocolate that’s been cut up into small pieces and stirred into milk with sugar. Hot cocoa is a drink that’s made from cocoa powder that’s been stirred into either hot water or milk and sweetened with sugar. Similar, yes, but not exactly the same.

Celebrating National Hot Chocolate Day

We think that most people know how they should spend National Hot Chocolate Day. They should spend the day enjoying their favorite hot chocolate either by itself or served with marshmallows, whipped cream, or sprinkles. People can also use the hashtag #NationalHotChocolateDay on social media to let everyone know how they’re celebrating this day.

When is it?
This year (2024)
January 31 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
January 31 Friday
Last year (2023)
January 31 Tuesday
Food & Drinks