National Hot Chocolate Day Date in the current year: January 31, 2024

National Hot Chocolate Day January 31 is a perfect day to cozy up with a big mug of hot chocolate (don’t forget marshmallows!) because it is National Hot Chocolate Day. This unofficial holiday celebrates a delicious beverage that is known and loved around the globe.

The term “hot chocolate” can refer to two slightly different drinks: one is made with cocoa powder and the other is made with melted chocolate. In the former case, it is also called hot cocoa, and in the latter case, it is synonymous with drinking chocolate. Some people find the distinction between hot cocoa and hot chocolate important, while others don’t.

Although a lot of people primarily associate the word “chocolate” with sweet bars and various desserts, it originated as a drink. The Mayans made a chocolate drink by grinding cocoa seeds into a paste and mixing it with chili peppers, cornmeal, water and other ingredients as early as 500 BCE. The drink didn’t contain any sweeteners and tasted spicy and bitter.

Chocolate was introduced to Europe when the Spanish began to colonize South America. It was originally a very expensive drink that was fashionable among the upper classes. Sweet hot chocolate was invented in the 17th century. A century later, Dutch chemist Coenraad Johannes van Houten invented a cocoa press that made it possible to separate cocoa butter from cocoa solids and produce cocoa powder, which was easier to mix with water or milk.

Today, hot chocolate is no longer a luxury, and practically anyone can make it at home. “True” hot chocolate, also known as drinking chocolate, is made by chopping or grating dark, bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, stirring it into hot milk, and sometimes adding sugar or another sweetener. Hot cocoa, which some people also call hot chocolate, is made with cocoa powder instead of chocolate.

Hot chocolate made with melted chocolate is thicker and richer than hot cocoa because it contains cocoa butter. Both variations of the drink can be flavored with spices (cinnamon, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice mix, etc.) and served with various toppings such as chocolate shavings or syrup, whipped cream, or marshmallows.

It is unclear who came up with the idea of celebrating a holiday dedicated to hot chocolate and when it happened, but we’re glad that someone did. Of course, the best way to celebrate National Hot Chocolate Day is to make yourself a mug of hot chocolate just as you like it. Don’t forget to top your delicious beverage with some marshmallows or whipped cream and add a candy cane to make it look more festive.

You can also host a hot chocolate-themed party for your family and friends and experiment with various hot chocolate recipes together: try making white hot chocolate, gingerbread or pumpkin spice hot chocolate, peppermint hot chocolate, or even spiked hot chocolate if everyone is over 21 (hot chocolate pairs well with bourbon, aged or dark rum, creme de menthe or peppermint schnapps, Bailey’s, or Kahlua).

Don’t forget to snap a photo of your hot chocolate and share it on social media with the hashtags #NationalHotChocolateDay and #HotChocolateDay to spread the word about the holiday and encourage others to celebrate it too!

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Unofficial Holidays



National Hot Chocolate Day, food days, food and drink days, observances in the United States, unofficial holidays