Milk or Water? Unlock the Secret to the Perfect Hot Chocolate!

Hot chocolate

Hot chocolate has been enjoyed by many cultures around the world for centuries. But, when it comes to making hot chocolate, there is one big debate that continues to resurface: Is hot chocolate better with milk or water? The answer may surprise you. In this blog post, we will explore the history of hot chocolate and discuss different types of recipes before finally settling on whether using milk or water yields a tastier result. 

History of Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate has a long and interesting history. Its origin can be traced back to the ancient Aztecs, who were among the first people to make hot chocolate. The Aztecs made a beverage called xocolatl, which was made from cocoa beans that had been ground into a paste and mixed with water or milk, spices, and other ingredients. This drink was considered so valuable that it was used as currency in some parts of Mesoamerica at the time.

Evolution of Hot Chocolate

Over time the recipe for hot chocolate evolved as different cultures adopted it into their own cuisines. In Europe, during the 16th century, Spanish explorers brought back samples of cocoa beans from Central America which they introduced to European royalty who quickly developed a taste for this new drink known as “chocolate”. By the 17th century, it had become popular throughout Europe where recipes varied according to region but typically included sugar instead of honey and sometimes even eggs.

The popularity of Hot Chocolate

Today, hot chocolate is enjoyed around the world in its traditional form as well as adapted versions such as Mexican-style spiced hot chocolates or variations using white or dark chocolates instead of regular milk chocolates. It has become extremely popular due to its perceived health benefits such as aiding digestion and providing energy.

Hot chocolate has been around for centuries, evolving from a bitter drink to the sweet and creamy beverage we know today. With its continued popularity, it's no wonder that there are so many different types of hot chocolate available to enjoy.

Key Takeaway: Hot chocolate has a long history, originating with the Aztecs and evolving over time to become popular worldwide. It is now enjoyed in its traditional form as well as adapted versions, often providing health benefits such as aiding digestion and providing energy.

Types of Hot Chocolate

Traditional Hot Chocolate:

This is the classic hot chocolate that most people are familiar with. It’s made by combining cocoa powder, sugar, and milk or water in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the mixture has been heated to just below boiling point, it can be served as-is or topped with marshmallows or whipped cream for an extra indulgent treat.

If you use chocolate instead of cocoa powder as we do at Hill Country Chocolate, the resulting beverage will also contain sugar and cocoa butter.  This results in a richer beverage that is called drinking chocolate. 

Mexican-Style Hot Chocolate:

Mexican-style hot chocolate is a richer version of traditional hot chocolate that today uses whole milk instead of water and includes cinnamon and other spices like nutmeg or allspice. The result is a creamy drink with a slightly spicy flavor profile that pairs perfectly with sweet treats like churros.

Spiced hot chocolate takes things up a notch by adding even more flavors to the mix such as cardamom, ginger, cloves, and peppermint extract. This type of hot chocolate usually contains a dark cocoa powder which gives it an intense flavor that is perfect for winter evenings when you want something comforting yet flavorful at the same time. At Hill Country Chocolate we have created our Mexican Hot Chocolate Bonbon to celebrate these rich and vibrant flavors. 

From traditional hot chocolate to Mexican-style and spiced hot chocolate, there are many varieties of this delicious beverage. Now let's explore the different options for making it with milk or water - what works best?

Milk vs Water for Making Hot Chocolate

Milk vs Water for Making Hot Chocolate:

When it comes to making hot chocolate, there are two main ingredients you can use – milk or water. Both have their pros and cons, so it’s important to consider which one is best suited for your recipe. Here’s a look at the advantages and disadvantages of using either ingredient when making hot chocolate.

Using milk as an ingredient in hot chocolate gives it a creamy texture that many people enjoy. It also adds more fat, protein, calcium, and other vitamins than water does. However, some people may find that using too much milk makes the drink overly thick or heavy. Additionally, if you’re lactose intolerant or vegan then this isn't an option for you.

Using water instead of milk will make your hot chocolate less rich but still flavorful. This could be beneficial if you want something lighter or don't like the taste of dairy products in your drinks. The downside is that without the creaminess from the milk your drink won't be as indulgent as with it included in the recipe; however this could be remedied by adding other ingredients such as coconut cream or almond butter to give extra richness while keeping things light on calories.

Historically in traditional Mexican hot chocolate, water was the preferred choice.  A dark chocolate "table chocolate", or chocolate de mesa, was added with hot but not boiling water to a red clay pot and stirred briskly with a stirring stick called a molinillo to create a whipped beverage. The water is warm and not hot so you can better taste the nuances of the chocolate and flavorings such as cinnamon. 

Tips for Making the Perfect Cup of Hot Chocolate:

No matter what type of liquid you choose to use when making hot chocolate (milk or water), there are certain tips to keep in mind when preparing your perfect cup. First off, always start with quality cocoa powder; this will ensure maximum flavor and depth in every sip. Secondly, add sugar sparingly; too much sweetness can overpower all those delicious flavors coming through from the cocoa powder itself. Finally, whisk vigorously until all lumps are gone before pouring into mugs; no one wants lumpy hot chocolate after all.

Key Takeaway: When making hot chocolate, it is important to consider the pros and cons of using either milk or water. Milk provides a creamy texture but can be too heavy for some people; water makes the drink lighter but less indulgent. To make the perfect cup, use quality cocoa powder, add sugar sparingly, and whisk vigorously until all lumps are gone.


In conclusion, it is clear that hot chocolate has a long and interesting history. There are many types of hot chocolate available to choose from, depending on your preference. Ultimately, the decision of whether to use milk or water when making hot chocolate comes down to personal taste. While some people may prefer the creaminess that milk adds to their cup of cocoa, others might enjoy the lighter flavor provided by using water instead. Ultimately, there is no definitive answer as to which liquid makes for a better cup of hot chocolate - it all depends on individual preference.

Come explore the unique and delicious flavors of hot chocolate made in the Texas Hill Country! Whether you prefer a classic milk-based recipe or an innovative water-based one, we have something for everyone. With our expert advice and tips, you can make your own cup of bliss that is sure to please even the most discerning taste buds. So don't wait any longer - come join us on this tasty journey today!


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.