8 Glasses of Rich Drinking Chocolate
By Sarah Freeman
December 9, 2013
Drinking chocolate is a far cry from the powdery stuff in the back of your pantry that will outlast the apocalypse. The intense, creamy, thick substance has a rich cacao flavor and is meant to be sipped slowly. The concoction dates back to the origins of chocolate itself, when the Aztecs would grow, trade and use cocoa beans as currency. The beans were usually consumed as a beverage. The first time it was sweetened was when the viscous beverage traveled to Europe, but it did not reach its final sugary form until hot chocolate was popularized in America.
Chicago's Erika Stone-Miller, the founder and executive chef of the underground supper club Octagon Mode, is reviving European-style drinking chocolate as the final and most popular course of her dinner. Inspired by trips to her French college roommate’s home that always began with demitasse cups filled with “the most delicious, intense chocolate I had ever tasted,” she turned this luxurious aperitif into an after-dinner signature. Stone-Miller’s European drinking chocolate service is available in two flavors, made in traditional copper pots and served with a side of steamed milk.
Although not common, both Mexican- and European-style drinking chocolate can be found around Chicago, if you know where to look. Stone-Miller and other chefs are turning up their noses to modern hot chocolate in favor of serving the finest chocolate in its purest form. Take a sip of the city's most decadent drinking chocolate, detailed below.