Are Hot Chocolate and Chocolate Milk the Same?

Are Hot Chocolate and Chocolate Milk the Same

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Who doesn’t love the comforting embrace of a chocolatey drink, whether it’s a cold glass of chocolate milk on a hot summer day or a steaming mug of hot chocolate by the fireplace on a chilly evening? While both hot chocolate and chocolate milk offer a delightful dose of chocolate goodness, they each have their own unique characteristics that set them apart.

Dive in as I unravel the differences between hot chocolate and chocolate milk—from their ingredients and preparation methods to their taste and serving temperatures.

Let’s Talk About Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate, as the name suggests, is a hot drink, made with chocolate.

Now, the chocolate for the drink can come in many forms, such as chocolate bars, flakes, syrup, or powder (cocoa powder with sweeteners, etc.) It is almost always mixed with cream, milk, or a milk substitute, but you can get hot chocolate powders that you just mix with water these days.

What is hot chocolate

Alongside the milk or milk substitute and chocolate (in whatever form,) other ingredients are sometimes added. These include sugar and other flavourings, such as vanilla. Essentially, though, hot chocolate is a type of chocolate mixed with warm/hot milk/water/milk substitute.

Hot chocolate is normally quite a rich and decadent beverage when it’s made properly, with an intense chocolate flavour. It should also have a slightly thicker consistency than your average hot drink, and that’s more so the case when cream or actual chocolate (chunks, flakes, etc.) are incorporated.

These days, of course, there are so many different types, styles, and flavours of hot chocolate, so you are bound to find something that completely steps away from the traditional beverage. At the time of writing, Costa Coffee has the following hot chocolate-based drinks listed as available on their website:

  • Hot chocolate
  • White hot chocolate
  • KitKat hot chocolate with light whip
  • White chocolate and strawberry hot milkshake
  • Chocolate hazel hot milkshake
  • Salted caramel hot milkshake
Hot Chocolate and Chocolate Milk Costa

The hot milkshakes on the list actually bring me nicely to my next point, as the drinks are, technically, a clever blend of both hot chocolate and chocolate milk.

Let’s Talk About Chocolate Milk

Chocolate milk is a drink usually served cold, mixing milk with some kind of chocolate syrup, powder, or other flavourings.

Once the chocolate and milk has been properly mixed or blended, the drink is ready to drink. You can add toppings, such as cream, chocolate syrup, sprinkles, nuts, crumbled biscuits, and the like, but you can also do that with hot chocolate, too.

What is chocolate milk

Because the drink is served cold, you don’t actually need anything except a glass or tumbler and a spoon to create it. There’s no heating or melting involved; just a thorough stir. It’s a much easier drink to whip up than its hot counterpart.

A Little Bit of Chocolate Milk History

The history of chocolate milk is quite interesting because it goes back a lot further in time than you’d think. It seems like quite a recent discovery, but historians believe that people have been mixing the two ingredients since both chocolate and milk were discovered. Most experts agree that domesticated cattle made their way to the Caribbean in the early 1490s, and cocoa first introduced to Europe in the early part of the 1500s. Technically, chocolate milk could have been around since then for sure, and is thought to have started, in some form, in Jamaica.

Chocolate milk as we know it today, can be attributed to an entrepreneur, Daniel Peter, from Switzerland. He created a powdered version of the drink for easy transportation and access in the 1800s, and milk chocolate itself was introduced to the world in 1875.

As a side note, most British people would call a cold chocolate-and-milk drink a chocolate milkshake, with Americans more likely to use the term chocolate milk. There are products called chocolate milk in the UK, though… just to make things a little more confusing.

For example, Morrisons sells “Chocolate Flavoured Milk,” and most Brits have enjoyed a bottle of Yazoo Chocolate Milk Drink at least once in their lifetimes.

Morrisons Chocolate Flavoured Milk

Are Hot Chocolate and Chocolate Milk the Same?

Hot chocolate and chocolate milk might seem similar because they both involve chocolate and milk, but they are actually quite different in many ways, especially in terms of ingredients, preparation, and taste.

Let’s break down the differences.

Hot Chocolate and Chocolate Milk: Ingredients

Both hot chocolate and chocolate milk traditionally contain milk and chocolate.

The difference between the two, of course, is that hot chocolate is made with hot milk (or substitute) and chocolate milk is made with cold. Quite simply, one is hot, and the other is cold, regardless of whether milk or something else is used.

Hot Chocolate and Chocolate Milk: Taste

In all honesty, these days, there are so many types and flavours of each drink, so taste-wise, it’s very much specific to each individual drink. Once upon a time, hot chocolate would have been the richer and most chocolatey of the two, but that’s no longer the case. Milkshakes are just as rich and bold in flavour as their hotter counterparts.

Hot Chocolate and Chocolate Milk: Serving Style

Hot chocolate is, as the name suggests, a hot (or warm) drink that is often enjoyed during the colder winter months. You can drink it once it has cooled down, of course… as I usually do because I get sidetracked and forget that I’ve ever made the drink at all.

Chocolate milk, on the other hand, is a cold drink, enjoyed all-year-long but especially delightful in the warmer summer months.

Are Hot Chocolate and Chocolate Milk the Same? Conclusion

In the UK, the term ‘chocolate milk’ is usually used when talking about chocolate milkshake – a cold drink made from chocolate powder (designed for cold milk) and milk or milk substitute.

In America, chocolate milk is also used for the same thing: a cold milk and chocolate drink.

Are Hot Chocolate and Chocolate Milk the Same

Hot chocolate, on the other hand, is a hot version of the drink, whether you’re using milk and ‘real’ chocolate, milk and chocolate powder, or water and chocolate powder.

I hope I’ve managed to settle the hot chocolate and chocolate milk debate for you today, but why not take a peek at some of the following posts while you’re here:

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    By Kim L

    Kim has over a decade of experience in content marketing and specializes in combining reader-focused content with SEO. When she’s not spending her time hanging out on Twitter, you can find her on Pinterest or hanging out in the cake aisle of her local supermarket.