Saturday, 19 March 2011


Xocolatl (sho-koh-lah-tuhl), or literally 'bitter water', is a 4000 year old ancient Mayan brew, enjoyed in golden goblets by royalty and the rich. We now know it as 'hot chocolate', and it is as common as seeing Katie Price on the front cover of the news paper. What is now served is a very sweet, milkier version of the original recipe, no thanks the 16th Century takeover of the Aztecs by the Spaniards (Christopher Columbus) who brought the Cacao beans back to europe.

London opened it's first 'Chocolate House' in 1657, and 30 years later in Jamaica, Hans Sloane invented a milk chocolate drink. This was eventually sold to the Cadbury Brothers, (who I'm pretty sure you will have heard of) in 1897, and eventually the very bitter, spicey brew conjured up by ancient Mayans ended up being a 45p bar of 'Chocolate' that has less than 18% cacao in it.

It appears the ancient Mayans would mix pure Cacoa with water, chilli, cinnamon and various other flavours including Vanilla and Honey to create a bitter (sometimes 'healing') drink. I myself actually prefer dark chocolate, the higher the percentage the better, so this ancient recipe intrigued me some.

Various sources state different opinions on the 'heat' of the brew, some claim it to have been drank cold, others hot.

Anyway, here was my attempt today to recreate the original recipe, I only had Charbonell drinking chocolate flakes, Whittards 70% Dark powder and some Chilli Powder and pure vanilla (albeit from Mexico), so I had to make do.

Very tasty attempt, although I can imagine alot sweeter than the original, but alot more bitter than any hot chocolate drink I've drank in this modern world.

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