If you love chocolate, you'd be cocoa out of luck if you were born before the 16th century in anywhere except modern day Central America. Here in the 1500s, the Mayans were the only civilization with steady access to the cocoa bean and believed that cocoa was a heavenly food sent from his divinity, Kukulan (a feathered sea serpent). Mayans enjoyed the beans from the native cocoa tree in a hot chocolate-like mix with corn-meal and chili peppers rather than milk and mallows. Some 500 odd years later the same revere is (mostly) held while consuming the sacred blend in the shape of coins or miniature santas. Like many ancient natural medicines, cocoa has profound healing properties. The antioxidants found in chocolate can even protect against U.V rays - so next time someone tells you to stop eating chocolate so you can maintain that bathing suit-ready-bod' you can fire back (that not only should they mind their damn business) but ALSO that chocolate is essentially a sunscreen substitute so you are being health conscious.
If you'd like to enjoy chocolate in its original form with a modern day twist, try mixing things up by celebrating National Chocolate Day with an adult hot chocolate featuring Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, a Caribbean Rum blended and bottled in America. The recipe can be found in the 21+ section of the site directly below.
SJ & Hot Chocolate
1 ½ parts Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
1½ parts Butterscotch Schnapps
3 parts Hot Chocolate
Dash of Orange bitters
Method: Add equal (or more) parts liquor to hot chocolate, top with whipped cream, shaved chocolate, and garnish with a cinnamon stick or candy cane.