Part two of the chocolate hunting week is about drinking chocolate.
First of all, what is drinking chocolate?
Drinking chocolate, as popularised in Spain, called Chocolate Caliente, usually has molten chocolate and milk, mixed with starch, creating this really thick, silky chocolate concoction.
In general the ones in the States are made with molten chocolate and milk and or cream, without starch; unlike a hot chocolate that is usually thinner, with higher milk to chocolate ratio.
I love Fran’s drinking chocolate, which is available only in the flagship Georgetown store and at the University Village Mall.
It is very creamy, fairly dark with milk, a hint of the astringency and bitterness at the end; very velvety, and absolutely made me want to curl by the fire with it.
Chocolopolis in Queen Anne offers multiple kinds of drinking chocolates with varying degree of cocoa percentages and cocoa from different countries of origins.
The 55% was thicker, creamier and sweeter than the 72%, with higher cocoa percentage, came higher amount of acidity at the end; but it also allowed the chocolate’s floral, fruity and roastiness to come through; I did enjoy the honey character of the 55%.
The shop sells many imported chocolates, and truffles from other chocolatiers; they have started making their own truffles.
Chocolati, a chocolate café in Wallingford neighborhood since 2000, has regular drinking chocolate and a spiced version.
The best part is that they offer their drinking chocolate with milk alternatives.
I tried their drinking chocolate with soy and rice milk, and found that rice milk did not interfere with the lovely chocolate characters, and rice milk drinking chocolate has been my drink of choice.
Chocolati uses awesome molten chocolate in their drink, and the drink did have slight astringent bitterness as an aftertaste.
Once I did not consume the drink quick enough and it got cold, I was left with solidified chocolate in the bottom of the cup.
Their mocha was tasty too, very toasty smooth bitter chocolate that was most fitting for chocoholics.
Chocolati makes their own chocolates; they are, however, not as luxurious as Fran’s in my opinion.
Hot cakes also has a decent drinking chocolate; their molten chocolate cakes has overshadowed the drinking chocolate.
My verdict: can’t go wrong with a cup of drinking chocolate from any of the above places.
If you like them a little creamier and smoother, and a hint of caramelly character, Fran’s will be the best option.
But if you want to dive deeply into the chocolate world, to experience chocolate’s nuances, or just enjoy a cup of really deep, bittersweet dark chocolate that is thicker and more similar to traditional European drinking chocolate experience, then Chocolopolis will be the best choice.