The earliest forms of hot chocolate were enjoyed by the Olmec, Mayan, and Aztec cultures. However, their chocolate drink was neither hot nor sweetened. Instead, it was lightly frothed and mixed with spices and flowers for flavor. Missionaries who later came to the area brought the drink back to Spain, where it evolved into the warm, sweetened beverage we would recognize today. Hot chocolate was originally only served to royalty, but eventually the drink gained widespread popularity throughout Europe. In fact, hot chocolate was the main way the world consumed cocoa for centuries. It wasn’t until the mid-1800s that chocolate in bar form was created. While bar chocolate may have taken over the cocoa market, we can all agree - there is nothing quite like a warm cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter day!